Madhubala and Dilip Kumar’s love story was stuff for legends. Having romanced in films like ‘Sangdil’, ‘Amar’ and ‘Mughal-E-Azam’, Madhubala and Dilip Kumar went on to have a nine year long affair and were even engaged. “Unki apa aayee thi, chunni lekar (his sister had come with a chunni as a custom). Bhaijan was also a Pathan. Contrary to reports, my father never stopped her from getting married. We already had enough by then and were secure. Apa and Bhaijan looked made for each other. Bhaijan would often come home. He has even seen me in my school uniform. He was respectful towards us children and addressed us with ‘aap’. The two would go for a drive or sit in the room and talk,” Madhubala’s sister Madhur Bhushan had told Filmfare in an interview.

However, the much adored couple went through a bitter separation. Spilling the details, Madhur had shared, “The break up with Dilip Kumar came due to the court case during Naya Daur (1957) in the mid ’50s. The unit was to shoot somewhere in Gwalior. During the shooting of another film Jabeen Jaleel, at the same location, a mob had attacked the women and even torn their clothes off. My father was wary and just asked that the locale be changed. It’s not that he didn’t let her go outdoors. Apa had shot in Mahableshwar, Hyderabad and other places before. Bhaijan called my father ‘a dictator’ in court and sided with the Chopras (late BR Chopra was the director). Darare padh gayee, rishtey toot gaye (relationships were broken).” They did try to reconcile but to no avail, “Apa used to cry a lot those days. They must be having conversations on the phone trying to patch up. He kept saying, ‘Leave your father and I’ll marry you’. She’d say, ‘I’ll marry you but just come home, say sorry and hug him’. It was zid, which ruined their love. But my father never asked her to break the engagement nor did he demand an apology.”

Dilip Kumar went on to tie the knot with Saira Banu and they continue to charm fans with their doting relationship. Despite an age gap of more than two decades, Dilip Kumar and Saira Banu are going strong. “Apa was sad when he got married, because she loved him. She’d say, ‘Unke naseeb mein woh (Saira Banu) thi, main nahin’. But she’d also say, ‘He’s got married to a very pretty girl. She’s devoted to him. I’m very happy for him’. But a vacuum in her heart remained,” Madhur had stated.

Madhubala was detected with a hole in her heart (ventricular septal defect) in 1954 and passed away on February 23, 1969. She was only 36. “Though Bhaijan never visited her when she was unwell, he flew down from Madras to pay his last respects at the kabrastan (cemetery). Food was sent from his home to ours for three days (as is the custom). A few years back her tomb was demolished as it was a Wahabi (a Muslim sect that doesn’t allow building of tombs) cemetery. They wiped away the last memories of a legend,” Madhur had revealed.


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By vinayak