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Saira Banu: Dilip saab’s love is the biggest birthday gift for me

Hindustan Times logo Hindustan Times 23-08-2017
© India Today

Saira Banu’s entire life revolves around her husband, the legendary thespian Dilip Kumar. The veteran actor, who celebrates her 72nd birthday on August 23, even says that her best birthday gift has been her husband of 51 years.

“It’s a fact that ever since I became an actress, and in fact, even before that, I just wanted to be Dilip saab’s wife. Material gifts are good, and yes, they make one happy. But, the gift of love is the biggest gift one could ever get. And I’m lucky that I have got that love from him,” she tells us.

It has been “a very difficult year” for Saira Banu — Dilip Kumar has been in the hospital twice. Her birthday will be a “double celebration” for the actor, since “Dilip saab has just returned from the hospital, and we are resetting our life”, says Saira, who made her cinema debut with Junglee in 1961 (opposite Shammi Kapoor) and married Dilip Kumar in 1966.

“He was at the hospital on his birthday, in December last year. Even now, I was with him for eight days and eight nights at the hospital and he has just come back. So it’s going to be a double special for me and us,” Saira says.

Not surprisingly, her only birthday wish this year is the well-being of her husband. She says, “I just want God to make Dilip saab completely fit again. I wish he’d get well, and he should always get the love that he’s getting right now. That’s my only wish for this year.”

The birthday celebrations will be private. Saira says, “When I was young, and we had a lot of energy, we used to have big parties. Thankfully, by the grace of God, I had a very loving family, and we used to have grand celebrations. But as it happens, with age and time, a lot of people leave you. So there are only a few friends, who have been there with us at every step of our lives, with whom we celebrate. This year is going to be with them as well.”

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