Indian film cinema legend Dev Anand passed away in a hospital in London yesterday. To the Hindi film lovers in India, Dev Anand needs no introduction. I just want to use this space to express my deepest sorrow that the industry has lost an icon!
Dev Anand or Dev Sahab as he was known to everybody, was not just a film star, to me he was a symbol of undying passion and indefatigable spirit. He had a very successful film career starting from the black and white era of Hindi cinema all the way into technicolour with so many hits and superhits that they cannot be counted on the fingers. In his old age (I use this word hesitantly for him as he defied the term with his very being), he continued making films, and he kept on making them despite the result on the box office.
There were questions about the quality of his films and that he was so fond of being in the frame himself. Maybe there's something in that, or maybe it's that elusive x-factor that one needed for a box office success in Bollywood. But even his worst enemies cannot say that he accepted defeat. Even after the bad failure of a movie, he'd simply dust himself off, announce his next film and go out in search of his next discovery.
Despite the failure of several of his later films, he launched many successful careers. There are many legends and inspiring stories about him that you can easily find on the web. But I cannot refrain from mentioning the legend of his black shirts. The legend goes that Bombay police had to request him not to wear black shirts as it excited his female fans too much. There is a mention of some girls jumping off balconies. I don't know how true that is but it must have a grain of truth in it based on the facts we know.
Dev Anand was always a well-dressed, debonair star on-screen and off it. Even in his later years this image didn't change. Any time I saw him on screen in a film festival or award function, he was always the well-dressed, well-spoken gentleman who did our film industry credit.
Another inspiring fact about him, for me, is the song "Main zindagi ka saath nibhata chala gaya". In an interview Dev Anand said that he lived his life like that and indeed he did. That song has been an inspiration to me for years.
Dev Sahab was 88 and he worked till his last breath. His latest film is Chargesheet to be released in 2011 (already released?).
I will just finish with the sentiment that Dev Anand will be missed for his contribution to the Hindi cinema and he will live on forever through his work.
General information about him you can read in this news item: