Dilip Kumar’s 100th birth anniversary: Revisiting the time he said no to Guru Dutt

Dilip Kumar’s 100th birth anniversary is tomorrow on December 11. His repertoire of films is the envy of every aspiring thespian in the world. He picked his films very carefully. During his illustrious innings as an actor he said no to dozens of films including Raj Kapoor’s Sangam where he was offered Rajendra Kumar’s role.

But the one role that he deeply regretted for saying no to, was Guru Dutt’s Pyaasa. Dilip saab was not only signed for the film he was ready with his lines, clothes, dates, dialogues. In fact the camera was about to roll when Dilip Kumar repudiated the role.

In a past interview Dilip Kumar had revealed, “I had done Bimal Roy’s Devdas two years previously when I was supposed to step into another very dark role in Pyaasa. Devdas had taken a heavy toll on my mind. I was emotionally very stressed. In fact I had to undergo therapy after Devdas. To do another heavily melancholic character was too much for me.”

In a panic Guru Dutt stepped into Devdas’s dhoti and gave an intriguing spin to the disenchanted poet Vijay’s character. Cineastes still wonder what Guru Dutt’s Pyaasa would have been like had Dilip Kumar played the eponymous role.

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