Dilip Kumar: King of all times

Dilip Kumar

Raj had his own screen presence and Dev had his. Raj's fans loved the romance and the musical content in his work and the simpleton characters he brought to life on the screen. Dev's admirers loved his style, and the films he acted in had a huge attraction for the youth of the time. As for me, I had to work hard to mould myself into a serious actor, and try really hard to endow realism to my acting. Between Raj and me there was no mean jealousy about the success our films got. He often sat with me and watched rushes of my films, and invited me to watch the result of the initial work of some of his films. We have genuinely admired and criticised each other's work, and motivated each other. He was genuinely moved by some of my films, and I could sense it in his voice and his warm clasp of my hand at the end of the trial screening. It is a great assurance when someone who cares, approves of your work.

Would you then say that competition between top guns in showbiz should be healthy?

Every period in the growth of the medium has had actors, directors, music directors and technicians giving their best, and it is good to have healthy competition if only to spur innovation. I have always admired the way Shammi Kapoor made himself different from the other actors, and created his own place. There was not much variety in the romantic roles offered to leading men at that time, and he would have had to still his fears while inventing a robust and flamboyant screen image for himself.

To stay ahead you don't have to arrest the progress of others. You must see how you can improve and apply the audacity of imagination. If A.R.Rahman is getting more recognition than the others, it is because he is letting his creativity fly on the wings of imagination and invention. When competition is healthy and taken in the right spirit, it yields outstanding performance be it in sports, education, business or everyday life.

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