It’s pretty hard to believe that Dilip Kumarji — Yusufsaab to all of us — is no more. To me he was like an elder brother, friend and guide. My first meeting with Yusufsaab was on a Mumbai suburban train. This was years ago — I think, in 1946 or ’47. I, Anil-da (music director Anil Biswas) and one of his assistants were on our way to Malad. A tall, young man hopped into the compartment at Bandra.

Anil-da asked him to join us. “Yeh ladki kaun hai (Who is this girl?)” he asked. Anil-da introduced me to him, saying, “This is a young playback singer, she is very good. She is a Maharashtrian.”

I’ve seen most of Yusufsaab’s films — Deedar, Madhumati, Aan, Daag, Yahudi, Aadmi… almost all — in cinema halls. Watching Yusufsaab on the silver screen was a fascinating experience.

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Nisha Dubey


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