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Saira Banu remembers waiting for Dilip Kumar to open his eyes in his final days: “When he did, it was like Eid to me”

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At the Hero of Heroes festival in Mumbai on Saturday, Saira Banu talked about her late husband, actor Dilip Kumar.

At the Dilip Kumar Hero of Heroes event in Mumbai on Saturday, veteran actor Saira Banu broke down in tears. Dilip Kumar, a legendary actor, celebrated his 100th birthday on Sunday with a two-day film festival that was organized by PVR Cinemas, INOX, and Film Heritage Foundation.

Saira broke down in tears when speaking about Dilip at the inaugural ceremony on Saturday. She said, “Aisa lagta hai mujhe ke karwat lekar so rahe hain mere paas,” referring to his last moments. I have the impression that he is still curled up next to me, his face turned to the other side. He used to sleep for extended periods of time when he was sick in the recent past. And being the woman I still am in love with him, I would always naturally remain by his side. When he opened his eyes, it was a holiday for me; it was Eid.

She continued, “He would turn around, look at me with those lovely, piercing eyes and the most beautiful grin and say, ‘Saira, abhi tak yahan baithi ho (You are still sitting here)’.” I would respond, “Yes of course, abhi tak baithi hu aapke liye ki aapki aankh khule, aapke face pe, aapke jism pe koi harkat ho. Jab aap sote hai, ye duniya bahut khamosh hojati hai, pointless hojati hai mere liye. Lekin jab aap jaagte ho, is duniya mein harkat aajati hai log chalne phirne lagte hain (Yes, of course I’m still sitting for you so I can see you open your eyes and move. The world loses all meaning for me while you’re asleep. However, after you awaken, people begin to move once more.

Aan (1952), Devdas (1955), Ram Aur Shyam (1967), and Shakti (1982), among other critically acclaimed films by Kumar, will be shown during the nationwide film gala, which is being held in collaboration with PVR Cinemas, in over 30 theaters and 20 towns. The Hindi classics will also be shown at INOX theaters in 25 to 30 locations.

At the opening were Waheeda Rehman, Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi, Ramesh Sippy, Subhash Ghai, Biswajit, R Balki, and Rohan Sippy.

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