Dilip Kumar’s wife Saira Banu, confirms the news and says, “My heart fills up with joy each time I receive the news about the ancestral home of Yousuf Saheb in Peshawar in Northwest Frontier Province (now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) which the provincial government has been repeatedly trying to turn into a monument for posterity.”
She adds, “It has come up so many times in the past and I have appreciated the tenacity with which the government is pursuing the mission of turning the house into a museum for the public to visit and feel the vintage charm of the house where Dilip Kumar grew up like any bright boy of the province.”
Saira said that the house is of great sentimental value to Dilip Kumar. She adds, “I have shared his pride and happiness during a visit to the property some years ago. He was so emotional when he saw the house where he spent his lovely childhood in the comfort and security of a large, refined family. I wish the provincial government succeeds in its efforts and sincerely hope that this time the dream comes true.”
When asked if the Pakistani authorities have approached her and Dilip Kumar on what properties will be kept in the museum and has anyone asked for anything from them, Saira said, “They have not asked for any inputs.”
Dilip Kumar was born as Mohammad Yusuf Khan to Ayesha Begum and Lala Ghulam Sarwar Khan and was one of the 12 children at home in the Qissa Khawani Bazaar area of Peshawar. His father was a landlord and fruit merchant who owned orchards in Peshawar and Deolali. In 1940, Dilip Kumar after an altercation, left home and moved to Pune where he met a Parsi cafe owner who gave him a job; later set up a sandwich stall. He saved Rs. 5000 and moved to Bombay. In early 1943, he wanted to set up another business to help his father financially and met a gentleman at Churchgate railway station who asked him to accompany him to Bombay Talkies at Malad. Actress Devika Rani who was the owner of Bombay Talkies saw him and signed him for the company for a salary of Rs. 1250 and the rest is history.