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Dilip Kumar once sold pickles!

This rare advertisement shows the legendary star endorsing a range of pickles

Sonal Pandya

The familiarity of the silver screen stars to their audience is a huge draw to advertisers. Today, it's commonplace that actors line up endorsements just as easily as they do films. But back in the early days of cinema, only a handful of luminaries were used pitch products to the public. Leela Chitnis, whose name was billed over her male actors, started the trend when she became the face of Lux soaps.

Widely regarded as the true thespian of Indian cinema, Dilip Kumar is said to have rejected associating his image for endorsement for years as it was not befitting to an actor. However, this yesteryear advertisement for Mother India Products shows Kumar endorsing a chilli pickle under his own name. For a special yet expensive price of Rs. 20, one could receive four bottles of the different Mother India pickles along with a large bottle of Dilip Kumar Amrose Syrup delivered to their house. Even before Paul Newman started up a food company in 1982 with his personal recipes for salsa, salad dressings and sauces, there was our very own Dilip Kumar with his own brand of pickles. There must have been fans who probably couldn't resist ordering these tasty preserves.