PESHAWAR: Peshawarites expressed deep grief over the demise of their city’s most famous son, Dilip Kumar, who died in Mumbai on Wednesday.
Dilip, 98, was born as Yousaf Khan in Peshawar in 1922 and migrated to Mumbai in 1930 along with his family where he left his indelible imprints on Bollywood.
Dilip Kumar’s death was received with much heartache in the provincial capital and funeral prayers in absentia were offered for the departed soul at his ancestral home in Mohallah Khudadad area of the city, which has recently been acquired by provincial government to turn it into a museum.
In the evening, candles were lit in the method actor’s memory at his ancestral residence. The funeral prayers were attended by a large number of actor’s fans, relatives and residents of Peshawar.
Talking to journalists on this occasion, the late actor’s nephew Fawad Ishaq said that Dilip Kumar became identity of his native city. He said that his uncle not only ruled the world of cinema but also the hearts of his fans. “He was a true lover of humanity,” he added.
Funeral prayers in absentia offered for Dilip Kumar in Mohallah Khudadad
Mr Ishaq said that Dilip Kumar was consummate talker and well versed in different subjects. He said that his death was not only loss of Peshawar but the whole of subcontinent. He said that they also applied for Indian visa to go to Mumbai to offer their condolences.
He also thanked the provincial government for acquiring Dilip Kumar’s ancestral residence to turn it into a museum.
Shakeel Waheedullah Khan, a social activist who had been regularly celebrating the acting legend’s birthdays since 2009, told Dawn that Dilip Kumar’s death was a huge loss for the provincial capital.
He said that he came into contact with the actor as part of people-to-people contact initiative to reduce tension between both countries and tried to solidify such contacts by engaging Peshawar’s origin Bollywood artists.
Mr Khan said that Dilip Kumar being a peace lover agreed to be a part of the initiative. He said that they used to celebrate his birthday every year since 2009 and either he or his close family members would attend the celebration through a live call.
He said when he met the actor in 2011, he expressed his desire that his ancestral residence should be turned into a museum or some cultural centre for the benefit of people. He said that the actor’s death was a great loss and someone like him would never be born again.
The provincial government spokesperson, Kamran Khan Bangash, in a video message expressed his sorrow over the demise of the actor. He said that Dilip Kumar was a Peshawari and had great love for his ancestral city.
He said that every citizen of Peshawar was sad over the death of acting legend. He said that government was going to set up an open museum in his ancestral residence to keep his memory alive.
Published in Dawn, July 8th, 2021