From Yusuf Khan to Dilip Kumar, ‘The Substance and the Shadow’ released

Beena Parmar Mumbai | Updated on June 13, 2014 Published on June 10, 2014

Vyjayanthimala, Javed Akhtar, Saira Banu, Aamir Khan, Madhuri Dixit, Amitabh Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra during the launch of veteran actor Dilip Kumar's memoir in Mumbai. Photo: PTI

Dharmendra, Aamir Khan, and Amitabh Bachchan with Dilip Kumar and wife Saira Banu at launch of Dilip Kumar's autobiography "The Substance and The Shadow" in Mumbai on Monday. Photo: PTI

Bollywood legend Dilip Kumar during the launch of his autobiography in Mumbai at a star-studded function in Mumbai on June 9, 2014. Photo: PTI

Dilip Kumar with wife Saira Banu

Amitabh Bachchan with Dilip Kumar

A tete-a-tete: Dharmendra with Dilip Kumar



Thespian Dilip Kumar’s autobiography ‘The Substance and the Shadow’ that chronicles his life since birth was released on Monday at a star-studded event in Mumbai.

Penned by writer and former journalist Udaya Tara Nayar, the book is a first person account of the 91-year-old legend’s ups and downs in his much-talked about relationships, marriage and movies.

Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Anil Ambani with wifeTina Ambani, Aamir Khan, Madhuri Dixit and Priyanka Chopra were among the celebrities who were present at the launch function. Veteran actor Vyjayanthimala, who has co-starred with Dilip Kumar in Naya Daur and Devdas, lit the inaugural lamp.

Wife Saira Banu, dressed in a dazzling green sari, was at the side of Dilip Kumar.

Speaking at the function, Dilip Kumar said that a lot of what has been written about him so far was "full of distortions and misinformation" and he hoped the memoir would set the record straight. The memoir has many chapters dedicated to his ‘fairly tale’ marriage to Saira Banu.

Saira said: “Every chapter in the book is important and you will read something that you have not read before about him.”

As Yusuf Khan, the substance and Dilip Kumar as his shadow, Nayar documented the title signifying how as one walks, the shadow grows larger than the actual image. Similarly, Dilip Kumar has become bigger than Yusuf Khan.

Born as Muhammad Yusuf Khan in Peshawar, Pakistan, Dilip Kumar spent his childhood in Maharashtra and left home to start a canteen before he was spotted as a potential actor.

Described as ‘the ultimate method actor’ by Satyajit Ray, the actor entered films with the 1944 release Jwar Bhata. His film career In a career spanning six decades, he acted in over 60 films including Mela, Naya Daur, Aan, Devdas, Madhumati and Mughal-E-Azam.

After a five-year break, he started his 'second innings' with Kranti (1981), after which he appeared in a series of hits such as Vidhaata, Shakti, Mashaal, Karma, Saudagar and Qila with his last appearance in 1998.

He was honoured with the Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian award in 1991, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1994 and Pakistan's highest civilian award Nishan-e-Imtiaz in 1998, for his contributions towards Indian cinema. He was also nominated to the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Indian parliament for a term.

The legendary actor also holds the Guinness World Record for winning the maximum number of awards by an Indian actor.

A connoisseur of the arts, Dilip Kumar is a voracious reader of literary works in Urdu, Persian and English, a highly gifted multilingual orator, an excellent mimic and a superb dancer.

Published on June 10, 2014
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