Dilip: The king of all stars

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LEGENDARY Dilip Kumar was one of the few actors who was widely loved and adored for his brilliance and great work.

Ruling the hearts of millions in the subcontinent for decades, his death saddened everybody.

As soon as news of his demise broke out, tributes poured from different quarters not only in India but also from Pakistan. He indeed was an institution within himself and a timeless actor.

Widely known as the King of Tragedy, his acting prowess, charisma and good looks were unmatchable.

Without any exaggeration, he was and will continue to be remembered as the greatest and most versatile actor.

His style of acting, his sense of dress, his gait and his mannerism were copied by many of the younger actors who entered the film industry in the sixties onwards. He perfectly embodied the fatalistic romantic ideals of early Indian cinema.

Starring in romantic tragedies of Shakespearean proportions such as Devdas, Deedar and Andaz, he played the lovelorn hero on the path of self destruction like no other.

He personified sorrow through his long, drawn out silences and subtle changes in expression with his character finding death at the bottom of a bottle or staring down the barrel of a gun in the hands of his lover.

Kumar’s characters were the epitome of the Indian political climate at the time. Through his characters, he brought the everyday Indians to the forefront.

Clad in a dhoti, his portrayals privileged the low waged labourers. He was at equal ease with comedy as well. A renowned critic once said about him that Kumar does not play the title role but defines it.

He is not there anymore but his influence will most likely continue to inspire emerging actors, just as it has those who are in the top bracket today.

Kumar was not only a great actor but also a philanthropist and a kind personality. He wanted improvement in relationship between Pakistan and India.

In recognition of his efforts, he was also awarded Pakistan’s highest civilian award, Nishan-e-Imtiaz back in 1998.

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