Dilip Kumar’s first income was from selling sandwiches in Pune in 1940, Raj Kapoor visited stall later

Shailesh Gujar of Pune Vrut Darshan said Dilip Kumar had once told him, “This city gave me my first earning of Rs 100. After I had differences with my father, I had put up a stall to sell sandwiches outside the Army canteen at Pune Camp in 1940."

Legend Dilip Kumar, whose path to stardom had begun from humble origins, had in 1940 set up a stall in Pune to sell sandwiches. As the veteran actor, who passed away in Mumbai on Wednesday, once recalled, that stall was his first source of income in life and Raj Kapoor was among those who frequented the place.

Recalling the visit of Dilip Kumar for a programme called “Pride of Pune” at Residency Club a few years ago, Shailesh Gujar of Pune Vrut Darshan said he was surprised to hear from the legendary actor on his connections with Pune city. “This city gave me my first earning of Rs 100. After I had differences with my father, I had put up a stall to sell sandwiches outside the Army canteen at Pune Camp in 1940,” the actor had told Gujar.

The film legend said Raj Kapoor, who was his childhood friend, used to visit the stall whenever he was in Pune. “I earned from the sandwiches I sold and saved up Rs 5,000. Using that money, I then returned to Mumbai. But I will never forget the Rs 100 I had earned initially — which was my first savings and came from this city. That gave me a lot of happiness,” he had added.

The legendary actor has more connections to Pune. Khurshid Hussain Nagarwala, whose work was influenced by Dilip Kumar and who later a close family friend of the veteran actor, said,  “I have been a very big fan of Dilip Kumar from the very beginning. I used to travel to Mumbai to watch his movies. I started a paint business and decided to name the brands of my factory after the name of Dilip Kumar films.”

Nagarwala has two paint producing plants in and around Pune city. “I named two of my paint brands as Kohinoor even before I had met the legendary actor. I was later introduced to him by a common accomplice 35 years ago and then we became close friends,” said Nagarwala, recalling that Dilip Kumar had laid the foundation stone to one of his paint factories at Yeolewadi in 1997.

Nagarwala added that Dilip Kumar had been very happy when he was informed that his paint products are named after his films. “I had used Kranti, Shakti, Leader, Gopi and Vidhata as brand names for paints produced in my factory,” he said.

“I never missed meeting the actor for a cup of tea whenever he was in the city. I was also a regular visitor to his house in Mumbai. Our last meeting was around two years ago during the birthday of the actor and there was a long gap due to the ongoing pandemic,” he said.

Mohsin Nagarwala, son of Khurshid Hussain Nagarwala, said that his father would attend the funeral of the actor in Mumbai. “There are restrictions on the number of attendees for the funeral due to the pandemic. Those managing it have been urging people not to come for the funeral but my father was very close to him and so he has been asked to attend it. He was requested not to bring the rest of his family members,” he said.

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