When Dilip Kumar Met Dying Raj Kapoor in Hospital: ‘Aaj Bhi Der Se Aaya, Maaf Kar De’

Remembering Dilip Kumar: Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar might have been known as arch-rivals on-screens but beyond the movies, there was a bond that was unshakeable, unfathomable, and beyond love. Here's what Dilip Kumar did when he saw his friend for one last time.

Updated: July 7, 2021 7:01 PM IST

By Vineeta Kumar

dilip kumar death, remembering his friendship with Raj Kapoor
Dilip Kumar Death: Remembering his friendship with Raj Kapoor

Remembring Dilip Kumar, When He Met Raj Kapoor on His Last Day: Legendary actor Dilip Kumar passed away today, July 7, 2021, leaving a legacy of unmatchable screen aura and hundreds of movies that have already been looked upon as the institution of acting. Dilip Kumar died at 98 at PD Hinduja Hospital in Mumbai. In his five-decade-long career, he contributed to Hindi cinema in different ways. His childhood friend Raj Kapoor, too, later became his colleague in the film industry. Dilip and Raj were both born in the same month and year and were from the same place – Peshawar (now in Pakistan). Here’s a heartfelt story of Dilip Kumar visiting his dying friend Raj Kapoor at a hospital:

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When Dilip Kumar Met Dying Raj Kapoor in Hospital

Raj Kapoor is a name to reckon with. He is one of the most celebrated personalities of the Indian film industry and someone who made Hindi cinema how it is known to the world today. After entertaining the world with his hearty laugh, carving an innocent joker-square appearance on-screen, and carrying the kind of passion that allows you to put everything you have at stake to make the film of your dreams, Raj Kapoor passed away at the age of 63 at Apollo Hospital in Delhi on June 2, 1988.

Raj had gone into a coma before he passed away due to a cardiac arrest. But, not before his dearest friend Yousuf Khan aka Dilip Kumar visited him. The thespian of Bollywood had gone to Pakistan for an event when his friend, the showman Raj Kapoor got hospitalised. Known as Raj’s arch-rival on-screen and his best friend off-screen, Dilip rushed to Delhi as soon as he landed in Mumbai from Pakistan. He went to the hospital, saw his friend lying unconscious on the bed, and lacking the energy he had when he used to address him as ‘laale di jaan’. He held his hand and asked him to wake up. Dilip reminded him of all the bazaars and the kebabs that they used to enjoy during their frequent strolls on the streets of Peshawar. He told Raj that he had brought the ‘khushboo‘ of his favourite kebabs from Pakistan and he must now stop acting. But his dear friend did not follow his words. The man, who is known as the tragedy king of Bollywood, couldn’t fathom the tragedy of his life – seeing his dear friend on his death bed. He once again asked Raj to come back to his senses and talk to him. Raj didn’t listen. Dilip Kumar, like everyone else present in that room that day, knew that the joker was not going to return to perform any longer. He stood up, walked to the door, and took a look back at his friend for the one last time in this lifetime. Tears started rolling from the eyes and in that moment, everyone realised that Raj was not coming back. A friendship that dated back to childhood and that resulted in the kind of rivalry where none of them could see each other falling or flopping, had ended just like that.

The incident was described by Raj’s son and late actor Rishi Kapoor. In Dilip Kumar’s autobiography, he wrote a personal note about his father’s unparalleled friendship with father-figure Yousuf uncle. He wrote, “I remember very clearly how he walked into the room where papa was lying unconscious and drew a chair close to the bed on which he sat holding papa’s hand. He began telling papa, ‘Raj, aaj bhi main der se aaya. Maaf kar de mujhe.. I know you like to be in the limelight and have all the attention on you. Enough is enough. Get up and sit and listen to me. I have just come back from Peshawar and I have brought the aroma of chapli kebabs to temp you. You and I will go together and will walk through the bazaar like we used to and enjoy the kebabs and rotis. Waj, wake up and stop acting, I know you are a great actor. Raj, mainu le jana hai tusi Peshawar de ghar de aangan wich.’ His voice was now choking and tears were brimming over from his eyes as he spoke.”

Note: Excerpt taken from Dilip Kumar’s autobiography titled The Substance And The Shadow, narrated to Udayatara Nayar. 

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Published Date: July 7, 2021 1:00 PM IST

Updated Date: July 7, 2021 7:01 PM IST