On the auspicious occasion of Janmashtami, Saira Banu shared an anecdote from the sets of her film Shagird. Released in 1967, Shagird also starred Nazir Hussain. The film had a Janmashtami song, Kanha, which according to the veteran actress was “miraculously” shot on the very day of the festival. The video posted by Saira Banu features praying to Lord Krishna. The track was sung by the legendary Lata Mangeshkar. In the long caption, Saira Banu shared a BTS conversation she had with her co-star, Nazir Hussain. Of course, it had a Dilip Kumar connection. Saira Banu mentioned that during the shooting of Shagird, Nazir Hussain was also working with Dilip Kumar in Ram Aur Shyam. The veteran star wrote, “The picturisation of ‘Kanha‘ the Janmashtami song in the film Shagird was coincidentally and miraculously on the very day of the festival! We were shooting at “Filmistan Studios” with Nazir Hussain Sahab, an outstandingly famous character actor and a father figure to me who was also shooting at the same time in Madras (Chennai) with Dilip Sahab in Ram Aur Shyam. We had date problems and Nazir Sahab would shoot with me late in the night and fly in the morning to shoot with Dilip Sahab in Ram Aur Shyam. Nazir Sahab treated me like his own kid and vibed very easily on the sets with me.”
Saira Banu also recalled how she asked for a favour from Nazir Hussain, and the stalwart fulfilled his promise. She continued, “As I sang the Bhajan on Janmashtami night in front of a beautiful idol of Lord Krishna with Lataji’s melodious enthralling voice in the playback, I turned to Nazir Sahab and with a mischievous smile on my face asked him for a favour! ‘You are working with Dilip Sahab, Oh! you are so lucky enough to be working with Dilip Sahab, Please tell him that Saira is dying to work with him and if he doesn’t do this then ask him to marry me!’ Nazir Sahab was dumb-struck and then he rolled from side to side with the resounding laughter that he was famous for. If you see a scene from Ram Aur Shyam where Dilip Sahab and Nazir Sahab are outdoing each other in loud laughter, you will see what I mean. So Nazir Sahab travelled to Madras the next morning and dutifully conveyed my impudent message to the Shahenshah. Dilip Sahab, I am told, gracefully smiled and acknowledged my cheeky message, to probably cover his embarrassment—-although I think you could have knocked him down with a feather! The next evening again Nazir Sahab came onto the set of Shagird to shoot with me and told me that he had conveyed to Dilip Sahab my exact imploring message.”
Saira Banu revealed that days after she finished the shooting of the Janmashtami song, Dilip Kumar walked into her life and asked her [Saira Banu] hand in marriage. “Wonder of wonders we finished the Janmashtami song and can you believe it within the next few days it so happened that Dilip Sahab walked into my life, gazed into my eyes and asked my grandmother and mother for my hand in marriage. This was nothing short of a miracle!” she signed off.
Days ago on Raksha Bandhan, Saira Banu shared a heartfelt Instagram post talking about the sibling bond Dilip Kumar shared with Lata Mangeshkar. The veteran actress mentioned how the two stars of Hindi cinema would find a way to meet each other on Raksha Bandhan, every year.
Dilip Kumar, 98, died in 2021 after a prolonged illness.
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