Adnan Sami overwhelmed by Bollywood concern

By Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, May 5 (IANS) Visits by superstars Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan and then calls from Rajesh Khanna and Saira Bano to inquire about his ailing father have completely overwhelmed Pakistani singer Adnan Sami.

Adnan's father Arshad Sami Khan, a former Pakistani diplomat, has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and is admitted to the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital. But Adnan says he couldn't meet either the Big B or King Khan.

"I missed both Bachchan-saab and Shah Rukh by minutes. But at least my mother was there when Shah Rukh so graciously visited with his daughter (Suhana). My father couldn't recall the names of all the Bachchan and SRK films he had seen except 'Veer-Zaara'," Adnan said.

The singer says his father was happy when Shah Rukh called on him.

"Shah Rukh resembles Dilip Kumar-saab so much. And Dilip-saab, whom we call Yusuf Lala, is not just a favourite of our family but also a relative. So to us Shah Rukh is a direct descendant of Yusuf Lala's heritage," he added.

When Shah Rukh visited him Friday, the frail Arshad Sami could barely speak but he uttered two words - "Veer-Zaara". This was his way of recalling the Shah Rukh film that did its substantial bit to improve relations between the two countries.

Adnan was once again surprised when he got a call from Rajesh Khanna, the first superstar of Indian cinema.

"I've seen his 'Prem Nagar' at least a million times. When he called and spoke such wonderful words of consolation - 'God is there for everyone I'm sure he's there for you too' - I was overwhelmed," said Adnan.

The other dream come true was a call from Saira Banu.

"I envy Yusuf Lala for a wife who's so devoted and for so long."

The Kokilabehn hospital is suddenly a beehive of Bollywood activities. On Thursday, the Big B dropped in to see Karan Johar's mom who underwent neuro-surgery, Dimple Kapadia's sister Simple who's critically ill, Adnan's father and Prakash Mehra, who gave him his first big hit "Zanjeer".

In fact, Mehra is in an ICU close to Adnan's father. When Adnan got to know that the veteran filmmaker was lying ill in the room next to his father's, he did what any sensitive person would.

"I walked into Prakash-ji's ICU to quietly take his blessings. But what do you know! He recognised me in that condition and did the popular hand movement from my song 'Lift kara de' with the Big B. It was his utterly endearing gesture of acknowledging me and my love for the movies that he did with the Big B. At times like these, being in the hospital is no more an acknowledgement of mortality. It becomes a celebration of life," said Adnan.

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