Dilip Kumar’s ancestral home in Pakistan being used as dumping ground

Veteran actor Dilip Kumar’s ancestral house in Pakistan has collapsed and is being used as a dumping ground by neighbouring residents. The house located in Peshawar’s famous Qissa Khwani Bazaar, which was declared a national heritage site, has been in shambles for a long time.   

The building in the narrow alleys of Mohallah Khudadad has been unoccupied for decades and has been slowying decaying with its ceiling, doors and supporting walls collapsing. Only a part of the front wall and the main gate are what remains of it.

A report in a popular Pakistani daily stated that the neighbouring people were responsible for bringing down the house to its current sorry state, though they took pride in living next door to a legend’s home. It was initially used by shopkeepers of the locality as a storehouse, and now, local residents dump garbage at the site.

Dilip Kumar, aka Yusuf Khan, was born in the same house in 1922 and his Peshawar home also finds mention in his autobiography ‘Substance and Shadow’. A photo of the actor at the gates of the house too was part of his book.

Dilip Kumar had visited the house in 1988 and kissed the soil as he fondly remembered his childhood days. The legendary actor was also bestowed Pakistan's highest civilian honour Nishan-e-Imtiaz in 1997, but he could not visit his ancestral home. At that time, he had spoken about how he wanted to revisit his childhood home.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa directorate of archaeology had in 2014 declared Dilip Kumar’s ancestral house as national heritage under the Federal Antiquities Act of 1975. The ancestral house of Bollywood’s Kapoor family is also in the same locality of Peshawar. Dilip Kumar's father and Prithiviraj Kapoor were friends.

The 94-year-old actor doesn’t keep well these days, and at a time when the India-Pakistan ties are on an all-time low, one can only hope that the ‘Ram Aur Shyam’ actor’s wish to revisit his childhood home is fulfilled.