The veteran actress reacts to news of Dilip Kumar's ancestral home in Peshawar collapsing...
Renuka Vyavahare (BOMBAY TIMES; June 18, 2017)

News of thespian Dilip Kumar's century-old ancestral home in Peshawar (Pakistan) collapsing because of its dilapidated condition, surfaced on Friday. While it is being said that a replica will be constructed on the site soon, we spoke to Saira Banu to know her thoughts on the incident.

The veteran actress and wife of the legendary actor, stated, “I haven't told Dilip sahab about it yet, he will be extremely saddened. He was a teenager when his family moved to Maharashtra. He spent the first 10-12 years of his life there. However, going by how humble and down to earth he is, he will say, 'God gives us everything and everything returns to Allah'; so he won't worry about it too much.“

Speaking of the house, she added, “It was declared a heritage site. The government (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) had said that they will resurrect it and turn it into a museum and a library, which was a splendid idea. I wish it had been followed through. We used to get lots of messages from sahab's fans from across the border regarding it. I am very disappointed as this is a huge let-down not just for me, but all his fans. It feels like the end of a relationship.“

Saira got emotional while remembering her last visit to the ancestral home. She recalled, “When we visited the haveli many years ago, the house was a tad dilapidated and was occupied by other residents. We were hounded by fans so much that it was impossible for us to get access to the house. I am told every year on the occasion of sahab's birthday (December 11), there would be celebrations at the house. Such precious memories we have of it.“

She is, however, optimistic about the future. “Many promises have been made, but there is an internal tussle going on. I really hope that the museum and library become a reality and the house is reconstructed, as it's a heritage site. When we go to the US, houses of Roy Rogers and Michael Jackson are a special attraction as they are iconic artistes. Likewise, visiting the haveli (situated in Mohalla Khuda Dad near the historic Qissa Khawani Bazaar in Peshawar) would have been a treat for Dilip sahab's fans,“ she concluded.