When Saira Banu Wore “The Most Gorgeous” Saree To Mughal-E-Azam Premiere To Impress Dilip Kumar

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Veteran Bollywood actress Saira Banu often treats fans to fun anecdotes, both professional and personal. A case in point is her latest Instagram post, where she has spoken about her love for sarees – the Indian garment that she calls the “most beautiful dress in the world”. Sharing several throwback images of her young self in sarees, Saira Banu wrote, “As a child, I was much of a tree-climbing tomboy but even then, I was fascinated by the drape of Appaji’s beautiful ensembles in the sarees she wore. I was hardly 13 or 14 when Appaji sent letters to London along with goodies, where she once sent me a Saree on my request. A saree is the most beautiful dress in the world accentuating a woman’s femininity, and grace, as well as emphasising her oomph!”
Speaking about her first real saree moment, Saira Banu continued, “With gifts that would come, once came a beautiful white and gold Banarasi saree trimmed with bright red. Of course, I rushed at it trying to drape it and pounced on it, Goodness knows how! I was crestfallen because it slipped here and there until Sultan Bhai and Ammaji helped. As I draped it, I was bashful wearing it and Sultan Bhai took pictures of me blushing away to glory, clutching the saree like a wooden peg, and wearing dangling earrings to complete the look!”
Saira Banu also confessed to dressing up in a saree specially to impress her future husband, Dilip Kumar. Explaining that it was for the premiere of Dilip Kumar and Madhubala’s Mughal-E-Azam, which the actor “absconded from”, Saira Banu added: “During the holidays, we were invited to the premiere of Mughal-E-Azam and I badgered my mother to dish out the most gorgeous saree. My idea was to make Sahib [Dilip Kumar] notice me, the selected saree was so heavy that I was swinging back and forth, hanging on for dear life, But Oh! Guess What Happened? My six-days preparations of beauteous efforts at my face, skin, and long lustrous hair went in vain as Sahib absconded from the premiere.”
Speaking about her work in films and the role of fashion – and sarees, in particular – in her filmography, Saira Banu revealed, “Slowly I became a pro since my mother brought a revolution in saree wear designed out of Crepe Silk and Hand Embroidery like the one I wore in my film Aayi Milan Ki Bela and the song Bura Maan Gaye and Tumhein Kya Doon Main Dil Kay Sivay. These sarees became “Saira Banu Aaye Milan Ki Bela Sarees” starting the newest trend. Later, the “Forest Sprite Saree” in Shagird became a rage! People stopped my car in busy streets to scream “Aiyyaa”, the famous refrain in Shagird.”
She further said, “After marrying Sahib, from the Crepe Sarees, I was persuaded by him to wear fluffier fabrics like Organza and Organdy as he laughingly ventured that Pathan’s “Biwi” should look quite substantial to hold! I was quite slim when I married him and there was a change of colour in my wardrobe that he preferred from Whites to Off Whites, Creamy and Beige. I am still all for Whites and Off Whites.”