Veteran actress Saira Banu paid tribute to her late husband, the iconic actor Dilip Kumar, on the anniversary of his passing, which occurred on July 7, 2021. Kumar was celebrated for his unmatched acting prowess. Banu penned an extensive letter to the departed star, reminiscing about their life together, describing how they strolled 'hand in hand'. She also shared a collection of photographs and a touching story from their relationship. In her heartfelt message, she revealed that Kumar affectionately nicknamed her 'sleeping pill' because their union brought him restful sleep, which he had struggled to find before their marriage. She recounted, “Sahib was the greatest actor of all time. Despite having everything at his command, few knew he battled severe insomnia. Before we wed, he would stay awake until dawn, even with medication. But after we married and became inseparable, he found sleep easily. He sweetly called me, ‘Saira, you are my sleeping pill, you are my pillow’. I still laugh remembering his charming way of saying it.”

Banu also shared another endearing incident where Kumar, a lover of music, would set up a Darbar at home to enjoy the performances. He would sometimes slip away to rest, but found he couldn’t sleep without her. On one such night, he left a note saying, ‘Feeling sleepy, what do you suggest, Aunty? ...Yours 100%’.” She noted that Kumar maintained strong relationships with India’s first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, and other notable figures across various fields. “Sahib was a close friend to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Narsimha Rao, and many leading lawyers, economists, and industrialists. He was also a fervent supporter of sports and played football and cricket with skill, possibly preferring a national sports career over his acting destiny,” she explained.

Banu expressed her gratitude to those who continue to send messages of support and remembrance. “I am writing to thank all admirers, fans, well-wishers, friends, and family who take the time to send us lovely messages on special occasions. It warms my heart that they remember our significant dates and pray for his well-being. Dilip Sahib continues to inspire six generations of actors and those yet to come.” She described Kumar as a “fun-loving person” and concluded with, “Dilip Sahib is forever....May Allah keep him in his love and blessings...Aameen!” Born on December 11, 1922, Kumar’s acting career began with the 1944 film Jwar Bhata and continued with notable roles in films like Jugnu, Andaz, Aan, Daag, Azaad, Madhumati, Devdas, Kohinoor, Mughal-E-Azam, Gunga Jumna, and Naya Daur.