Eternal Love – Dilip Kumar & Saira Bano

When it’s true love, trivial things like age take a backseat. And that is exactly what happened in this love story. With an age gap of 22 years (Saira was 22 & Dilip 44 when they tied the knot), they enjoyed (and are still doing so) a blissful married life.

Their marriage has weathered all storms and not even once have we seen them drifting away from each other. They are as much in love as they were at the beginning of their relationship and are a perfect example of love stays young forever.

altDilip Kumar was born as Muhammad Yusuf Khan in Peshawar Bazaar Qissa Khwan. His father was a fruit merchant and owned a large orchard.

They were 12 siblings who with the whole family moved to Mumbai in 1930. Soon after, Dilip/Yusuf moved to Pune to start his canteen business.

This is where he was discovered by Devika Rani, a leading yesteryear actress, who also gave him his screen name – Dilip Kumar.

He started his career in 1944 and went on to become one of the greatest actors of Bollywood and has the highest number of Filmfare awards to his credit. In fact he was the first actor to win one.

Saira on the other hand was born in the year Dilip started his filmy journey. She was the daughter of Naseem Bano who was also a famous actress of that time. She made her debut with ‘Junglee’ opposite Shammi Kapoor and soon started acting with the biggies including Dilip Kumar. They were paired in 3 back-to-back movies and that is when love happened.

Dilip married Saira in 1966; he was 44 at the time while she was merely 22. As is with such controversial marriages, the rumour mills were abuzz that their marriage won’t last long and stand the test of time considering what a mismatch they were age wise. But this couple proved all of them wrong by sticking through year after year.

There was just a brief hiccup though when Dilip (being a Muslim) married a woman named Asma in 1980. But as fate would have it, the union was soon dissolved and all was again hunky dory with the Dilip-Saira love story.

Saira Bano in her own words said once that she actually fell in love with Dilip Kumar at the age of 12. And funny as destiny is, it ended up getting them together several years later.

After all the wonderful years of togetherness, they’ve still managed to keep up the romance. For all those who want to emulate the long lasting love of this couple, here’s what Saira herself advises: "Every marriage goes through its ups and downs, so I would tell all young couples to have patience and nourish the relationship with love that gives more than it demands."

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