Last week on December 17, 2010 I celebrated my 58th birthday. I wont be able to forget this year ever in my life. Before my birthday I was able to go to Lata Mangeshkar’s house on 7th December 2010 and finally, I was fortunate enough that I could talk to her on December 14, 2010. It was regarding a song for my Bhojpuri film ” Aber “.
Then, after talking to Lata ji, I went to meet Mr. Dev Anand in his office on December 20, 2010. As I have stated earlier in my blog ” 60 Years of Navketan and Some More Years of Mr. Dev Anand ” on February 27, 2010, I am a huge fan of Dev Anand. First film of Dev Anand, which I watched in my native place Deoria, was ” Dushman “. I was a kid then but the debonaire hero of that film is still fresh in my mind. Usha Kiran and Kumkum were the female protagonists opposite Dev Anand. Its music was composed by legendary Husnlal-Bhagatram. Lootnewale Duniya Ko Ik Din Tu Bhi Lut Jayega sung by Mohammad Rafi , still kindles in my memory. It is still famous.
After this film, I was introduced to Dev Anand’s world through his mega hit and critically acclaimed classic ” Guide “. After that film, it was a regular affair. A new Dev Anand release and I have to be in the theatre first day, first show.
Unfortunately during my 21 years in Mumbai, I could not meet Dev Anand earlier. Though I could meet his elder brother, legendary Chetan Anand , several years back. I was training Rohit Kumar then and Chetan Anand was to direct his debut film. I met Chetan Sahab several times in Rohit Kumar’s house.
Several years later on the premier of Akshaye Khanna’s debut film ” Himalay Putra ” I bumped into Vijay Anand, Dev Sahab’s younger brother and a legendary director himself. I kept on bumping into him in several film functions. But Dev Anand was illusive, though not by any design or by any fault of mine.
Recently when I started preparation for my directorial venture, a Bhojpuri film ” Aber “, I decided to approach Dev Anand to invite him to give clap for the muhurat shot. To my utter surprise he immediately gave me time and I could meet him in his office.
Frankly speaking , when I entered the room and sat in front of him, I was in awe. I was sitting in front of a legend, one of the original triumvirate of Hindi cinema [ Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor are the other two ], a hero whose career span is 64 years and that too as a leading man [ unmatched and unequalled in the world ]. I was sitting in front of a indefatigable optimist. He started working in films before my birth. He made his debut 6 years before my birth and here I am sitting in front of him as a 58 years old man and Dev Anand was talking about his latest film “Chargesheet” and the coloured version of ” Hum Dono “, his 1961 classic. He was full of new ideas, full of vibrating energy, full of future plans. Here was a man 30 years my senior, but still full of energy and brimming with new ideas. Needless to say that I was a change man after meeting Dev Anand. He was kind enough to bless me for my Bhojpuri film.
It has become a norm these days to denigrate the seniors. To insult a hapless person in absentia is considered a sense of humour by today’s Dalda generation. Cynics are ruling the roost and megalomaniacs are roaming around as today’s super stars. In this scenario Dev Anand belongs to a vanishing breed of a bygone era. I feel myself lucky and fortunate that I could meet him in flesh and blood. I feel myself blessed that I shared the same room with him and could talk to him for some time.
Thank you Sir for making me feel special, making me feel important and not making me feel inferior or insignificant in any sense. I am not even a spec in the scheme of universe but you were generous enough to give me time and said some kind words. I know there could never be another Dev Anand ever. I shall cherish my meeting with you as long as I am alive.
Long live Dev Anand !
Long live the evergreen hero !
Mumbai – Maharashtra – India
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