Saira started off by saying that it was actor Om Prakash who first told Dilip Kumar about Big B.
“Sahib got to hear of Amitabh Bachchan from his friend, actor Om Prakash Ji- “Oh! Yousuf Jaan, I am so amazed to find a young man, an actor for the first time in my career who has the same intense, piercing look in his eyes as YOU!” There began a mutual admiration between Sahib and Amit Ji. Amit Ji said that Sahib is an exceptionally good human being. He always plays the father figure for anybody seeking his guidance,” said Banu.
She further recalled an incident and added, “One day, late at night, the writer-duo Salim-Javed egged Amit Ji to visit Sahib’s house without a prior appointment. Amit Ji was reluctant, as it had never been his habit to take such liberties, especially with elders. They said it was alright, drove over to Sahib’s bungalow and learnt from the watchman that Sahib had retired for the day and was in his bedroom. Amit Ji told Salim-Javed that they should leave, but they asked the watchman to inform Sahib that his friends were over to see him.”
Saira said that ‘Sahib’ chit-chatted with them till wee hours in the morning. Adding further she said, “The very next moment, the lights were switched on in the living room and his personal valet ushered them inside. Sahib came downstairs from his bedroom, all smiles. He was hospitable even at that unearthly hour, regaled them with old anecdotes until 4:00 in the morning and the trio reluctantly took leave of Sahib. Such was his care and warmth. Amit Ji once said, “The history of Indian Cinema shall be ‘before Dilip Sahib’ and ‘after Dilip Sahib’, because of his impeccable presence. When you measure a journey, you never change the milestone. Dilip Sahib is that milestone in our film industry”.”
Dilip Kumar was an admirer of Bachchan, revealed Saira. “Sahib has lauded Amitabh’s work personally and publicly. At the premiere of BLACK, he waited outside the theatre until Amit Ji emerged, and then walked up to him, held his hands warmly and looked into his eyes for what seemed an eternity. Amitabh says, “I did not speak a word, but his eyes spoke the most eloquent words that anyone ever spoke to me”. Later, whenever Sahib got hospitalised at ‘Lilavati Hospital’, it was so kind of Amit Ji that after his shooting, he would pay a surprise visit to Sahib in the evening. Sahib definitely felt better in his company and got home soon. This was always a memorable happening.”
Bachchan and Dilip Kumar had shared screen space together in ‘Shakti’.