Just finished reading a long interview of Mr. Dev Anand in today’s HT Cafe`. Ms. Roshmila Bhattacharya has done a fabulous job. Mentioning of Dev Anand instantly reminds me of the triumvirate : Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand and Raj Kapoor, which ruled the Hindi film industry in the 50s, 60s and early 70s. Their popularity, their star power and their charisma knew no limits and boundaries. For today’s generation it is very difficult to know or understand their glory or success. They scaled dizzying heights, which is unimaginable for the stars of this generation. In those nascent days of the industry, when media was yet to get its gigantic size and reach, it was difficult to create and sustain a pan Indian image. It is still a mystery, how they achieved it and then sustained it for so long.
I still remember the day when I went to watch a movie with my maternal uncle, in the Vijay Talkies of my native town Deoria. If I am remembering correctly, film’s name was “ Dushman ”. My maternal uncle told me that it’s a Dev Anand movie and he is a big star. Film started and loud whistle and thunderous claps filled the dark corners of cinema hall, as soon as Mr. Dev Anand appeared on the screen. When he started mouthing his dialogues a hush dawned in the auditorium. Black trousers, white shirt, a puff of hair and a mysterious smile got me hooked instantly. I started following Dev Anand’s movies and from “ Dushman ” to “ Des Pardes” , I have watched almost all of his movies. I couldn’t follow his movies post “ Des Pardes ”, but I must say with all sincerity that I used to be his unabashed fan. I am still his fan and shall be one till my last breath.
This year Navketan, his production company, completed 60 years. From his first film “ Afsar ” to the latest “ Charge sheet ”, he has produced 37 films till date. Out of these 37 films some are the biggest hits of bollywood. Some are trend setters and some are milestones. Some like “ Guide ” are eternal classics. In this ephemeral world of film making, it is very rare for a production house to complete 60 years and ready with a new film. Mr. Dev Anand has achieved impossible.
I saw him once. I had gone to Navketan office for some work. I was parking my scooter. Suddenly I saw Dev Anand coming down the wooden staircase of his Kheera Nagar office. I was stunned to see the legend from such close quarters. It was my first encounter of Dev Anand. Years later, Late Raj Kumar’s daughter Vastavikta was being launched by Lawrence D’ Souza and Mr. Dev Anand was present there in the launch party. I was also there as a guest because I had trained Vastavikta. This was my second encounter of the legend. I couldn’t meet him after that.
I watched his film “ Dushman ” as a child in the Vijay Talkies, Deoria. And several years later,when I am also in the industry and have spent 20 years here, Dev Anand’s new film “ Charge Sheet ” is getting ready for release. It’s amazing , it’s a miracle and its a phenomenon in true sense of the term. Dev Saheb’s energy, enthusiasm and vigour is too infectious to ignore or avoid.
Long live the legend !!
Long live the phenomenon !!
Filed under: Down Memory Lane