Dharmendra remembers the bittersweet experience of working with the thespian on Paari.
Dharmendra and Dilip Kumar
No matter how much one prepares themselves for the eventuality, you are never quite prepared. That’s the feeling I am left with today. I lost my elder brother. Dilip saab was the reason I even dreamt of being an actor and it’s a cruel irony that he and I have never shared screen space. The only time we worked together in a movie was Paari in 1965. It was a Bengali film for which we shot extensively in Kolkata. I remember my disappointment on realising that I didn’t have a single scene with him. [I always thought, some day] life will give me a chance. The time spent with him over the decades has left an indelible mark on me. We bonded over our love for food and cinema. On set with him, I learnt the value of conducting oneself gracefully. He had impeccable manners, was polite and had an infectious energy. I wanted to copy him to the T — be it his hairstyle or his dressing sense. But, that’s the thing about men like him, you can’t replicate their brilliance. His loss leaves an irreparable void in my life.