Friday, September 26, 2008


Let me begin the post by wishing a very, very happy birthday to that star of stars, that evergreen, romantic hero of all times, the dashing, suave and debonair Dev Anand. Yes, it is my all time favourite star's eighty fifth birthday today and like his millions of fans across the globe, I wish him health, happiness and more and more films.

The admiration for Dev Saab dates back to my childhood days and it runs deep in my family. All the women in my family, including my mother and my late maternal grandmother have been diehard and devoted fans of Dev Anand. We have all smiled, laughed, sung, wept and cried with the evergreen and ever youthful charmer. We absolutely loved his carefree, casual and very chic style. He always looked so natural and convincing in all the characters that he played. My favourite being his army officer act in the 60s classic Hum Dono, the suave Delhi architect bit in his home production Tere Ghar Ke Saamne and the hippie act in the 70s blockbuster Hare Rama Hare Krishna. He has always looked strikingly handsome, yet very, very real and believable. I think his appeal lied in his easy and modern style. Dev Saab never relied on unnecessary melodrama, because of which his charisma and appeal cuts across all age groups.

And that energy and zest for life and most importantly, for his craft of filmmaking is so infectious and inspiring. He continues to make films without a break Even today, at eighty five, a new project excites him as much as it used to when he was a rank newcomer way back in the nineteen forties. Dev Anand doesn't like to rest on past laurels. He never looks back. In his own words, "The need to keep learning and keep moving, is the need to live."

He also happens to be an incorrigible romantic. Here's another quote from the romantic star," I think life should be romantic, not necessarily in terms of lovemaking, or a love affair but if you are reading or writing a beautiful line, it is romantic, if you are wearing a beautiful neck tie, it is romantic, your speaking is romantic."

Such beautiful words. I have often drunk in and taken inspiration from these words.

Let me share with you a very interesting anecdote. Five years back, sometime in 2003, I was anchoring an early morning show with a fellow anchor. The show carried a story on Dev Anand who had been conferred some award. Seeing the story, I cribbed to my colleague that inspite of being one of Bollywood's greatest stars and a living legend, it was highly regretful and sad that Dev Saab had yet not been awarded Indian Film Industry's greatest honor, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award. There was anger and hurt in my voice as I wondered aloud to my colleague as to whether the authorities concerned had turned blind to the fact that the living legend was the most deserving candidate for the prestigious award. Later that night, as I was preparing to hit the sack, I got a call from my colleague and what ensued henceforth was simply unbelievable.

"Sheetal, did you hear the announcement on TV?"
"Which announcement?"
"Arre bhai, it has just been announced that Dev Anand will be awarded this year's Dadasaheb Phalke Award.Tumhari shikayat door kar di gayi hai ", she joked.

Stunned and shocked, I turned on the TV only to find that the news was actually true!

There was more to come in the next few days. In town to receive the award, I actually got a chance to interview my childhood and adulthood crush. I interviewed the superstar in one of capital's swanky hotels. I was nervous before the shoot and Dev Saab made me feel completely at ease as soon as he entered the lobby.

"Hello, Sheetal. That's a lovely, vibrant colour that you are wearing," he remarked in his inimitable style with a broad smile and a warm handshake.

This opening remark from the century's greatest star relaxed me completely and I opened up instantly. Of the many things that he said during the course of the interview, the one that I remember very clearly was the stress and importance that he laid on having one's own, distinct style.

"I like to wear things that none else has. Everything that I have on me, this watch, or this muffler, or even these loose pants should speak of my individual taste and choice. The way I walk, or speak, or react, is my individual, original style. It is very important to be original. Being one's own self is being original. You become a role model only if you have originality in your style."

So, that was the master's mantra straight from his mouth.

Signing off with these lines from a very famous song from Dev Anand's film Hum Dono, which sums up his personality and has provided inspiration to many -

"Main Zindagi ka saath nibhata chala gaya,
Har fiqr ki dhuyein mein udata chala gaya,"

P.S. - Many thanks to Sagarji for the link to his site and to Yunus Sahab for Kabban Mirza's pictures.


Gopal Chakraborty said...


Anonymous said...

Sheetal ji,
Please visit my blog
for Koshi Kavita,
the reality of New Bihar.
I am working in Bihar as
DIG Muzaffarpur.

अपराध करे जो, बचा रहे
व्यभिचार करे जो, बचा रहे

नौकर, मालिक की चाल चले
नौकरशाही फूले व फले

तब लोकतंत्र गल जाता है
नौकर, मालिक बन जाता है

adil farsi said...

एवरग्रीन देवानन्द ...फिल्र्मी दुनिया के तीन स्तम्भ दिलीप कुमार,राज कपूर,देवानन्द ...बधाई आप को

makrand said...

sheetal ji
just visit my blog
and do i continue on this theme

Vipin Behari Goyal said...

DevAnand is my all time favourite too.I have met him twice face to face and had a talk with him.Made few suggestions about his upcoming movie.I am desparate for a superhit for him.

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Unknown said...

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