Thespian Dilip Kumar, who turns 93 today (December 11) has officially announced to cancel his birthday celebrations after being mourned by the devastation caused due to flood fury in Chennai.
In a statement on Twitter Dilip Kumar wrote, "I have decided to forego all celebrations on my birthday as I am saddened by the tragedy that has swept the lives of so many in Chennai. My sympathies are with the people of Chennai.” He added, “I wish I had the good health to travel there - the city I wanted to adopt as my second home.”
Readers may wonder why Dilip Kumar has called Chennai as his second home because just as Rajinikanth owes his stardom to Amitabh Bachchan as he did several Bollywood remakes of the superstar likewise Dilip Kumar owes his success to the South Indian Cinema as he did many remakes of South cinema.
In an interview Dilip Kumar had candidly confessed, “I owe a lot to South Indian filmmakers and their films because when I was being labeled as Tragedy King in Bollywood it was South film wizard S. M. S. Naidu who expressed trust in my histrionics and dared to offer me a comic film like AZAAD (1955) that broke my stereotype image of a tragedy icon.”
Readers may note AZAAD was a remake of the Tamil-hit MALAI KALLAN starring the legendary South superstar MGR.
After AZAAD, it was South movie Moghul S.S. Vasan, who made the extravagant India’s First Most Expensive Film Tamil film CHANDRALEKHA, who gave Dilip Kumar yet again an experimental role of an action star in his film INSANIYAT, a remake of Telugu film PALLETOORI PILLA (Village Girl) staring another South superstar Akkineni Nageshwara Rao.
In the 1960s, B Nagi Reddy, doyen of Tamil and Telugu Cinema once again approached Dilip Kumar to play the challenging double role in RAM AUR SHYAM essayed by South legend N.T. Rama Rao in the remake of the Telugu super hit, RAMADU BHEEMUDU.
Yet another marvelous performance that Dilip Kumar gave in his illustrious career includes AADMI, produced by P.S. Veerappa produced and directed by A. Bhimsingh.
In this film which was originally a remake of Tamil film AALAYAMANI staring South Mega Star Sivaji Ganesan, Dilip Kumar proved his histrionics at its peak. Bewitched by his mindboggling performance a report in the esteemed newspaper The Hindu stated, “The Dostoyevskian complexity of Dilip Kumar’s facial expressions along with changing tonal inflections of sarcasm, pain, guilt and rage are priceless jewels of silver screen.”