Dilip Kumar, who?

Posted: January 28, 2011 in Filmstars
Tags: ,

Reading about former Indian cricketers Karsan Ghavri and Anshuman Gaekwad not knowing that the old man chatting with them was during a World Cup cricket match in England, was Sir Len Hutton, was as bad as Tony Grieg and Hylton Ackerman allowing another old man to pick up their luggage and load it in the car at Adelaide airport, and then as an afterthought asking him his name. Their shock and humiliation at finding out that the old man was none other than Sir Don Bradman, has been well documented.

Closer to home, I remember my mother telling me about a grand-uncle who was the curator at the Botanical Gardens in Ooty, who once did not recognise India’s then most popular film actor. He even let the film star use his living room to rest during the shooting, completely oblivious of the fact that he was playing host to a star!

Since the Botanical Gardens was a really beautiful and well maintained park in Ooty, numerous film units from across India would come there to shoot. My grand-uncle didn’t really care too much about Hindi films since he didn’t really understand the language and then the upkeep of the Gardens was his life’s mission – everything else was secondary. Sometime in the 1960s when a Hindi film unit was shooting in the Gardens, the director requested permission from my grand-uncle for the star of the film to use the living room to rest while the unit took a break between shots.

My grand-uncle didn’t think much of it and allowed the very well-known film star to relax in his living room. What happened then was that my two aunts, still teenagers then, who had been told by their father that they had a guest, and should not disturb him, returned home from school (or maybe college) and entered through the kitchen door. When they peeped into the living room they got a shock. They must have thought they were dreaming because seated in front of them leafing through a magazine was none other than DILIP KUMAR!

By a strange coincidence, his son-in-law Balagopal had a similar experience while flying down from Mumbai to (then) Bangalore. This story is no exaggeration because I got it from the horse’s mouth! This gentleman dabbled in microchips much before the IT boom happened and, again, like his father-in-law had no interest in films or filmstars. So flying from Mumbai to Bangalore he found himself seated next to a smart man and they got chatting. The gentleman asked Balagopal what he did and chatted on about his business and a lot else.

Then the conversation went something like this:
Balagopal: So what do you do?
Co-traveller: I am in films
Balagopal: I see. What do you do in films?
Co-traveller: I am Sunil Dutt
Balagopal: That’s nice, but WHAT do you in films

  1. Chandran says:

    Not to forget that Raj Kapoor used to nap on the living room carpet after lunch. All this happened during the shooting of Sangam.Vijayanthimala wrote in Jayanthi’s autograf book……from one Jayanthi to the other ….!!
    However , the one that took the cake,was my friend Ravi, who was so thrilled that he shook MGR’s hand,that he didn’t wash his hand for 2 days,while he sold handshakes at Rs 2 a handshake, marketing it as the hand that just shook the great MGR’s hand !!

  2. Balu (Girijammayi/Komama's grandson) says:

    Good one, Mohan-mama!

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