Ever Green Star Is No More: Dev Anand, RIP
Yesterday, December 4, here in India, we woke up to hear the shocking news of the passing away of the legendary actor, Dev Anand. Yes, all of us have to go sometime but even if he was 88, "Dev Saab", as he was affectionately and respectfully called, seemed to be bucking the trend. That's what he did all his life. Be different. Be innovative and be a trend setter.
Born in Gurdaspur, Punjab in September 1923, Dev came from a relatively affluent family. He chose to chase his dreams and reached Mumbai (then Bombay), home to India's world of films, in the early 1940s. He made his film debut in 1946. Then followed a career which has been unprecedented. For over six decades, he has entertained millions of Indians in his country and all over the world with his movies, first as a star and later as a director as well.
In 1961, as a lad of ten, I vividly recall " Hum Dono", a film in which Dev Saab played a double-role as an Army officer. In those days, he was popularly called the "Gregory Peck of Indian cinema".Though fifty years have gone by since then, the music and songs of that film are still remembered today.
Along with Dilip Kumar ( Yusuf Khan in real life), and Raj Kapoor , he dominated Bollywood as few people have. While Dilip Kumar had his niche in tragic drama and Raj Kapoor stood out in his slap stick comedies, there was no one to match Dev Saab as a romantic hero. He was always full of life, always zealous for action, standing out in the triumvirate of Hindi cinema of those times by his flamboyance. Be it his over- sized shirt collars, his astonishing array of headgear and zany scarves, he created a cult following which had no parallel. Every one, but every one wanted to imitate him. His mannerisms, like the rapid fire dialogue delivery and that nodding of the head, became part of the Dev Anand image.
An era has come to an end with the passing away of Dev Saab. It's most unlikely that we'll see anyone like him again. As the article in The Economic Times said " Only death could retire Dev Anand!".