Dev Anand: The eternal romantic hero

By Hindustan Times

Dev Anand was the ultimate flamboyant and irresistibly charming silver screen star, whose romantic image and infectious zeal for life and cinema will outlive that of his contemporaries.

The charismatic star lived by the philosophy of Main Zindagi Ka Saath Nibhata Chala Gaya, Har Fikar Ko Dhuen Mein Udata Chala Gaya," a song from his movie Hum Dono (1961).

The 88-year-old versatile actor-filmmaker, who passed away in London last night, will be remembered for his swagger, which continue to find imitations till date.

When his contemporaries like Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar stopped playing the leading men in movies, Dev Anand did not lose his innate romantic spirit and continued to woo his young heroines with trademark puff of hair, his sloping walk and smile in movies like Johnny Mera Naam, Des Pardes, Hare Rama Hare Krishna among others.

The actor-director-producer was working till his last. His latest project Chargesheet is ready to release and he was planning a extention of his cult hit Hare Rama Hare Krishna.

But there will be no Dev saab, as he was popularly addressed as by friends and fans, to complete them.

In his last interview to PTI in September on his 88th birthday, Dev Anand said that he had still a lot to offer.

"My life is the same and I am at a beautiful stage at 88. I am as excited as I was in my 20s. I have so many things to do and I am looking forward to the release of Chargesheet.

"I am working on a fresh script titled Hare Rama Hare Krishna Aaj on audience's demand."

His films spoke of his modern sensibilities and desire to portray tomorrow's headlines today. The Bollywood legend always said that his films were expression of his world view and hence dealt with socially-relevant subjects.

His recent movies focused on the themes of present times like Awwal Number, Sau Crore, Censor, Mr Prime Minister and the latest Chargesheet where he played central characters.

Even though after Awwal Number, his movies did not do well at the box office, the evergreen hero's mantra was always to think positive. "I never give myself a chance to get depressed. I think ahead," he would say.

There has always been a hint of romance and intrigue in Dev Anand's personal and professional life which perhaps made him so popular.

In 2007, he released his memoirs Romancing with Life where he admitted he has never looked back in his life, always preferring to remain optimistic and confident about future.

Dev Anand co-produced the English Version of Guide with the Nobel Laureate Pearl S Buck (The Good Earth).

In 1993, he received a Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award and in 1996 he received a Screen Videocon Lifetime Achievement Award.

Of late he was involved in the direction of a new all American film Project Song Of Life - a musical love story which was to be shot in the United States. He was to play the central character in the film which was to have a predominantly American star cast.

Dev Anand is the second of three brothers who were active in Hindi Cinema. His brothers are Chetan Anand and Vijay Anand. Their sister, Sheel Kanta Kapur, is the mother of renowned film director Shekhar Kapur.

His films spoke of his modern sensibilities and desire to portray tomorrow's headlines today. The Bollywood legend always said that his films were expression of his world view and hence dealt with socially-relevant subjects.

His recent movies focused on the themes of present times like Awwal Number, Sau Crore, Censor, Mr Prime Minister and the latest Chargesheet where he played the central character.

Even though after Awwal Number, his movies did not do well at the box office, the evergreen hero's mantra was always to think positive. "I never give myself a chance to get depressed. I think ahead," he would say.

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