One of India’s greatest actors, Diilp Kumar, who received the Lokmat Jeevan Gaurav (Lifetime Achievement) Award 2011 at the Lokmat Maharashtrian of the Year Awards, from the President of India, shared these thoughts on his blog (http://thedilipkumar.mouthshut.com/2011/12/thought-on-maharashtra.html) after winning the award:
Thought on Maharashtra: Wednesday evening was a different experience. Received an award from the President of India, Mrs Pratibha Patil. The award rated me as the best Maharashtrian of the year-Lifetime Achievement. On my way home, I thought over it and yes…
In more ways than one it is Maharashtra that holds the roots of my life and career. I had my schooling at Barnes School in Deolali, Nashik, as a day scholar. The moderate climate, especially the cool summers attracted my parents to stay in Deolali since my mother was ailing with asthma. Years later, after I became known as actor Dilip Kumar, I revisited Deolali in the course of my search all over Nashik District for an ideal location to film Ganga Jamuna’s outdoor scenes.
People came to greet me wherever we stopped and were surprised and happy to converse with me in Marathi. It was exhilarating to travel all over Nashik by road taking in the natural majesty of the Sahyadri range. My brother Nasir and friend Mukri were with me and we enjoyed the small meals we tucked away at wayside eateries. Hot usal served with crushed papdis and ghati sev, poha, puris with potato bhaji garnished with green, finely cut coriander, jhunka with hot bakri… Maharashtra’s cuisine has its own identity. It titillates the taste buds but is never heavy in the tummy. Our cook of almost four decades is a Maharashtrian, Narmada, who has hooked us completely to puran polis, batata vadas, kanda poha etc forever.
One place I can never resist is Pune. I lived and worked in Pune (then Poona) for two years and earned my first “big” money there. I know every street and road in Pune city. One of my wishes was to build a house and live in Lonavala, enjoy the convenience of driving to Pune or Nashik whenever I desired and invite friends to spend weekends with me.