Monday, March 19, 2012

On Mukherji Sahab and his son Joy Mukherjee

I have been thinking a lot about S. Mukherji , the founder of Filmalaya and one of the major influences in my career. I was witness to the care and love he lavished on his son Joy Mukherjee. He wanted to see Joy scale great heights as a star. It was not just a loving father’s desire to see his son shine as a star on the screen; it was the conviction of the man who had spotted, groomed and launched some of the more adored stars of Hindi cinema besides writers, directors, technicians, singers and composers.

Mukherji Sahab was very particular about physical fitness and he was keen that his son follow a strict physical regime to achieve attractive features like a good physique, chiseled facial features, flexibility in body movements etc. He would tell me: “Yousuf, tell him( Joy ) how you keep yourself fit with your game of badminton and soccer whenever you find time. You must also tell him how you don’t put yourself to great strain in acting. You just become the character you play”.

For Joy’s physical fitness and part of his ‘gyming’ Mukherji Sahab had hired a wrestler, a tough pleasant guy who knew his job well with oiled curly hair falling over his forehead. A wrestling ring was created a regular sand ‘Akharda’ and it was the wrestler’s duty to see that Joy and his brothers took regular lessons from him and went through the requisite regime like body massage etc. Joy had no option but to obey his father and I guess he knew what his father expected from him. Joy became one of the heart throbs of the nation after his debut and I could see the pride in Mukherji Sahab’s eyes.

It saddened me to see Joy when I last met him at our dinner here at home last December. He was unable to walk without help as his weight had increased. The neglect and indifference towards the physical fitness his father had insisted on began after Mukherji Sahab’s passing away. The void was hard for the sons to accept, especially for Joy, I am sure.



  1. what an insight by the legend: thanks for sharing these moments with us we relished every bit of it

  2. Very nice sir Ji.more from da past plz ( Malkit Bharj) London

  3. Very honest account Sir.You should share more such incidents from the past.Best Wishes.

  4. Sir, we want you to write daily on any of the thought you want to share with us. Thanks for today's write up.

    1. It would be a blessing on all of our young generation who grew up seing you as an idle man. (Saudia)

  5. At an award ceremony, which was beamed recently, Rajesh Khanna and some other actors of yesteryears looked older than Dilip Saab. A treasure trove of Bollywood experiences, he should share more such thoughts with his fans and more frequently.

  6. Such a down-to-earth article. Keep writing, Sir. Just wish I can meet you someday. Though I have seen you once in our locality, as I stay close to your house.

  7. Albeit short, what an unbiased and accurate account of the bygone era of hindi film industry and the upbringing of one of its celebrated actors. Sir, if you write more such pieces, collectively they will be the best gift that you can leave behind for the newer generations. We have so many things to learn from a true legend like you!!

  8. Physical fitness is often neglected as we age ...but the reverse should be the true

  9. Thank you for sharing the memories with mr mukerji Sahab. Please write more often like this.

  10. Dilip sir.. plz share more of ur memories and tell us more about ur life :):)
    as a fan... i desperately want to know about u... for me, u r the ideal actor and no one can even come close to copying ur work....
    because of the different generations, i dont know much about u... and also, there's not much about u in wikepedia :o
    but yeah.. my father always keeps telling me about ur films and everything (oh yes, he is a gr8 fan of urs as well!)
    hoping for ur reply :):):)
    oh yes...
    one more thing... i want to ask.. aapko "Dilip Kumar" naam kab aur kaise mila..?? :)

  11. We thank you for your cherished memories from yesteryears.
    These are the Kohinoors which we your ardent admirers would always appreciate.
    God bless you perpetual health.
    Sohrab Irani

  12. Hi Dilipsaab - Are you available for a Q & A interview view via e-mail? I am an Editor at and would love to send some Qs your way if you are available for the interview! Please contact me at Thank you! Looking fwd to connecting!

  13. Great insights, am really happy to know that you are an avid blogger.

    warm regards

  14. thanks dilip sir for sharing such memorable time of sashadhar mukharjee with you and his son ..God bless you all ..