Dilip Kumar was to India subcontinent, what Marlon Brando was to Hollywood: Humayun Saeed

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Dubai - Veteran Pakistani actor-producer and industry stalwart pays tribute to the thespian

By Mahwash Ajaz

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Published: Thu 8 Jul 2021, 11:54 AM

Last updated: Thu 8 Jul 2021, 12:05 PM

Dilip Kumar, the legendary Bollywood icon, passed away on Wednesday (July 7) morning at the ripe old age of 98.

India, Pakistan and the entertainment industry across the world are mourning the death of the thespian, as tributes poured in thick and fast.

Dilip Kumar had a special impact on Pakistan, where his popularity knew no bounds.

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Several Pakistani stars, including Mehwish Hayat, Ali Zafar, Marina Khan and Fahad Mustafa, shared their thoughts with Khaleej Times about the incalculable loss to the arts and film fraternity.

Veteran Pakistani actor, producer and industry stalwart Humayun Saeed shared with Khaleej Times his thoughts regarding the tragic passing of the legendary actor.

“I knew he had been ill for a while,” said Humayun on a sombre note.

“I'm praying for him that may Allah bless his soul. He was an actor par excellence.”

Humayan, who grew up watching Dilip Kumar’s films while his father revered the late actor, said: “When I was young, my father used to call him Dilip sahab. But I’d never get the drift because my father was not a film buff. But he insisted on referring to Dilip Kumar as Dilip sahab. I couldn’t understand why my father called him Dilip sahab’, but as I grew up and watched his films, I understood the range of his work. I began to understand where my father's reverence came from.”

Humayun, like many of the late actor’s countless fans, explained how he struck a big chord with his audience that went beyond the geographical barriers between India and Pakistan.

“The truth is our previous generation had been watching Dilip sahab’s films and then our generation also saw him with Amitabh Bachchan,” he said.

“I had seen his films since the tender age of 15-16 years. His performances were so natural. He left an indelible imprint in each of the on-screen characters. Every scene had an impact. No wonder, he went on to bag all the awards for those memorable roles that he had essayed in his long and illustrious career.”

Humayun elaborated on his global legacy.

“He was to us what Marlon Brando, or Al Pacino was to Hollywood,” he said. “All the actors have learnt from him and have tried to emulate him,” he added.

Humayun explained the significance of Pakistan and its people to Dilip Kumar, who was born Mohammed Yusuf Khan on December 11, 1922, in Peshawar, in undivided India under the colonial rule.

“He was very close to Pakistanis,” said Humayun. “He often visited Pakistan and we often considered him as our own. Afterall, he was born in Peshawar. We’d always pray for him,” he added.

“His passing is a great loss. Undoubtedly, he was the tallest actor of the Indian subcontinent. We're in collective mourning and he’ll always be alive because of his memorable and unparalleled body of work,” Humayun signed off.

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