A Brief Tribute to Dev Anand (1923-2011)

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Live Wire, Romanticist, Stylist Actor-Film Maker, Young at Heart ICON

Entire nation said “Abhi Na Jaao Chodkar Ki Dil Abhi Bhara Nahi” but the destiny played its ultimate card without any warning signals and snatched Dev saab to say ‘albida’ to this world on 4th Dec. 2011. But till the last breath he kept his words (penned by Sahir Ludhianvi) in the truest sense "Main Zindagi Saath Nibhata Chala Gaya, Har Fiqrr Ko Dhuyen Mein Udata Chala Gaya” till eighty eight long years. His unparallel track record as romantic actor, style icon, evergreen agile person and a Karmayogi has not been equaled by anyone for last 65 years of his active career journey as actor-film maker. Hence a huge void created by his death will remain. Only his seniors, the late thespian Ashok Kumar and now ailing legends Dilip Saab and Pran could come near to such enviable contribution. He may not be called a ‘Complete Actor’ (As Dilip Saab is) but deserves a position as a ‘Complete Film Maker’

Born as Dharam Dev Anand in Gurdaspur Punjab, he debuted in Hindi film “Hum Ek Hain” in 1946. None could stop his quick march with film after films as the leading actor with a handsome, charming chocolate face and a matching height. During 1950-1970 period he dominated as the born Romantic, and continued his journey blending with Melodious music and meaningful lyrics which will remain hall marks of his long career. He has a tally of 113 films as an actor-producer-director. As the personified hero he gave 32 block-buster films; as a producer 30 films (own banner Navketan), 19 of which he himself directed. It is said that since late eighties, he could see only ‘one side of a coin’, but his agility and energy intact, he has produced inane films or miserable flops. His last film “Charge Sheet” was released barely two months back. But he did what he believed. His zest for film production was so strong that he never bothered about the commercial success of his films which made him a man of sterner stuff like his evergreen song ‘Jo kho gaya main usko bhulata chala gaya’ and continued not only his creative pursuit of film making but also briefly dabbled in the ‘Constructive democratic politics’ and then wrote a semi-autobiographical book aptly captioned as “Romancing with Life”, thus giving an indication that his agility and zest for creativity will not die with his advancing age. It appears God has stopped creating such lively evergreen humans.

This writer had an opportunity to to talk to him after his 70th Birth day. This interview was published titled as “Live Wire Seventy- Dev Anand” and now is a part of my book A Golden Sojourn of Bollywood Wonderland. Thereafter, during last 6yrs, I met him 3 times but only at IFFI-Goa, hence could not talk much.

Dev Saab, never ever compromised on his own beliefs and did what his inner-self dictated, whether on film making, association and even emotions. That had caused the dissociation of his two Anand brothers from Navketan. While the elder Chetan Saab guided and trained him ("Taxi Driver”, "Andhiyaan” etc.) the younger Vijay Anand (Goldie) truly blossomed him as the commercially successful actor ("Johny Mera Naam”, "Guide”, "Jewel Thief” etc.) with his writings and directorial talents. He was also groomed by the stalwarts like Gurudutt (“Baazi”, "CID” etc.) and Raj Khosla ("Pocketmaar" "Kaala Paani” "CID" etc.). He also romanced with SIX generations of heroines from Suraiya-Waheeda Rehman to Hema Malini. As the philosophy he also accepted in life “Jo Mil Gaya Usi Ko Muqaddar Samajh Liya”. As a born romantic he had had flings but he never allowed to reflect it on duty towards his family, in spite of the long persistent illness of his estranged wife Mona Anand. He firmly believed and created his own ideals and convictions. He always dressed and acted in his own style, making films of the type his conscience dictated and Lived life king size with feverish activities. That made him a role model in life style and living. He never worked for awards or rewards (Padma Bhushan, Dada Saheb Phalke, Life Time Achievement and several other awards and honours), but his shining contribution fetched them.

He also proved to be true to the words (of Shayar Mazaz)

“Raaste Mein Rook kar Dam Loon, Ye Meri Aadat Nahi,

Lautkar Wapas Chala Jaawoon Ye meri Fitrat Nahi”.

And indeed only the DEATH could stop him.

Oh, God ! Just give us 10 percent of the zest and energy you gave to that legendary actor film- maker Dev Anand. Amen !

Written by: 

Mohan Siroya



This was such a heartfelt tribute Mohan ji. Really wonderful. I had met him on a few occasions. My father and he go back a long way. They knew each other since the 50"s. December 4th was also my father"s death anniversary.. so the bond goes on I presume.
dev sahabs physical body is no more and he has left for a new journey which is more mysterious and important for any human being.....all great things said about him are to some ectent true but sadly it is a common habit of people to praise and say nice things after a man dies....he was undoubtedly a lucky one in the industry as fortune smiled at him at an early age...to be star in this film world is not the result of talent and hard work but some mysterious chance or luck which no one can learn or study....so firstly he was a lucky chap and at the same time he was workaholic and not karmyogi as many fools say...karmyog is a totally different phonomena and one has to be a saintly person to practise it....he was a prolific filmmaker even after he became old and this trait is a kind of mental sickness seen among actors who suffer from narcissism....being young at heart meand chasing women and admiring them and finally sleping with them and fulfilling your sexual appetite though with age ,it should have been more balanced but because he lived a life of glory and glamour he had to justify his heroism till his death....his case is such that it should open eyes f younger stars who must understand that they are stars not in reality but of a fake world....they must learn that after a particular age one should try to simplify life and do something good for the society in an ordinary way...making films ony to justify oneself that he s still a hero is an act of psychic disease ....stars and actors should learn how to become a wise man after a stage when they are no more young ....the chase of external glamour should be replaced by inner glamour...dev sahab should have done that and this would have set an example for the coming generations and would have helped in producing less schizophrenics......those who attain stardom and have phenomenal success should realize it for the sake of educating others...in this respect he failed and hence the society is still misled by false hopes and promises....may that new dawn come soon when there shall be truly great actors who shall be adored ,not only for their talent but their wisdom and simplicity ....
A gentleman superstar....which is very rare. He is all that and much more..... I have worked with him.
Thanks for sharing mohan ji, its very well written tribute. he was all that. I spent three weeks with him in New York when he came to shoot Love at Times square. it was very energetic days, on 31st we waited 8 hours to get the shots of Mid night at times square in the midst of 200,000 people. I had brought the parathas and tea with us.we did not move just stayed at on spot. i have met him many times after that in New york and Mumbai. Luckily I met him in september in Mumbai last time. hope all is well with you. I am back in New york for now. Tirlok Malik
Your Tributes to Dev Saab. Unparalleled. Superb and deep. Dr. R.K.Verma
Thank you, Mohanji. A good tribute. Hilla Sethna
A great actor no more, good article by you Mohan! Have a fine day! Tina
Was just reading it, it was too good and touching. Seema Mukherjee
Touching tribute to Dev Anandji He was one of my favourites too

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