Naseeruddin Shah looks back at when Dilip Kumar advised him against becoming an actor

by Asif Ali
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Naseeruddin Shah and late actor Dilip Kumar were admitted to the same hospital. The veteran actor recalls Saira Banu visiting him.

The legendary actor Dilip Kumar left for heavenly abode on July 7. He left behind a huge void in the entertainment industry. Fans are still mourning this great loss. Indeed, we have lost one of the greatest actors of our Bollywood industry. During his last days, the actor was admitted to Mumbai’s Hinduja Hospital. And coincidentally, another veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah was also admitted to the same hospital. He was diagnosed with pneumonia. He has now recovered and is back at home.

In a recent interview with author and critic Saif Mahmood for Link Legal’s Beyond Law, the actor revealed that late actor’s wife Saira Bano ad visited him while he was admitted to the hospital. Shah was discharged on July 7 too. Not only did he spoke about how the veteran actress blessed him and what all did she say to him, but he also revealed about an old incident where the late actor had once discouraged him from pursuing a career in acting.  
According to reports in The Quint, the Ishqiya actor said, “(Saira) put her hand on my head and blessed me and said — Sahab was asking about you. I was deeply moved. I wanted to meet him before I left. But unfortunately, the day I left, he also left.”

Recalling his early days of acting in Mumbai, Shah shared that he wasn’t in touch with his parents during that period. However, his family caught hold of him through Dilip Kumar. His family knew the actor through his father’s eldest sister, Sakina Aapa, “who used to come to Ajmer, where my father was the administrator of Dargah Garib Nawaz.” It was then that Shah was made to spend a week at Dilip Ji’s house before he was sent back home. 

He remembered that he had nervously approached the Naya Daur actor and expressed his desire to become an actor. However, the Mughal-E-Azam actor told him, “I think you should go back and study. People from good families should not try to become actors.” Well, we are glad that he did not listen to the late actor, and we got one of the finest actors in our industry. 

Talking about his experience, the actor said, “That’s the only time I think I have been nervous while acting in my life. Most of the time, I was too terrified to even approach him, apart from greeting him in the mornings.” Coincidentally, the two actors ended up working together in Karma.

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