The evergreen and forever on the move dynamo, who has received countless invitations from the Sheikhs, Sultans and rulers of the various countries in the Gulf and had turned them down for years for reasons he has never divulged, has finally agreed to be a guest in Dubai. Dev will be in the oil-rich country as a part of the on going promotion of his autobiography, ‘Romancing with Life’. He will be in Dubai on November 15 and 16 and reports coming in various parts of the Gulf say that there is unprecedented excitement all over the Gulf to give Dev Anand a royal reception. Hectic preparations are being made by the authorities to make the kind of arrangements made for the visit of a head of state. Indians from different parts of Gulf and even from the strife-ridden Pakistan, Bangladesh and others who have a fascination for Dev Anand are making all out efforts to reach Dubai before Dev reaches there on the evening of November 14.
According to an Indian embassy source in Dubai, “All the other big stars from India, Dilip Kumar to Amitabh Bachchan and all the stars of today have visited Dubai and other countries in the Gulf regularly. Mr. Dev Anand is the only one who has never been to any country in the gulf. Various attempts have been made by all kinds of organizations and even by the rulers and Sultans and their families, but Mr. Anand has always excused himself for some reason or the other. Now that he has finally agreed to visit Dubai, there is already a state of euphoria not only among the various Indians but also among all those who are fans of Hindi films and admirers of Mr. Anand. Dubai has even seen some of the biggest Hollywood stars but never has the excitement been as high as it is ever since the news of Mr. Anand coming to Dubai. All arrangements are being made to give Mr. Anand the kind of welcome very few VIPs have. The other stars have made Dubai their second home almost but Mr. Anand’s coming is being treated like a festival in Dubai”.
Dev Saab himself is excited about his first visit to a Gulf country. “I have visited every country in the world and have not only always considered myself as a born citizen of India first but also a citizen of the world. I myself don’t know why I have not made it to any of the states in the Gulf. This is my first trip and I am as usual looking forward to this trip too. I wish I could have time to spend there but I have a very tight schedule ahead,” says Dev.
Dev Saab has already visited thirty major cities in Germany, Sweden, Great Britain and America in less than fifty days after his book was released in Mumbai on September 26, his 84th birthday. He has had meetings with some of the major celebrities, vice chancellors of universities, writers and intellectuals and various film directors. He had the rare opportunity to meet Mrs. Gregory Peck, the octogenarian wife of the Hollywood star Gregory Peck who Dev Saab has openly said has had a very strong influence on his early acting and life style. Dev Saab was a special guest at the 60th birthday of Mrs. Hillary Clinton, wife of the former President of America, Mr. Bill Clinton, who is the candidate of the Democratic Party aiming to be the first woman president of America. Dev Saab had the pleasure of having a brief chat with Mrs. Clinton, wished her all the best, and convinced her that she was a winner and he was all for having a woman as the head of the most powerful country in the world.
Dev Saab was flooded with number of invitations but had to rush back home to complete “some very important work left incomplete.” Three days later he will fly to Dubai and from Dubai he will fly back to America again where he has still some more functions to attend. He will then fly to Canada and from Canada, the man on the unbelievable drive will cross over to countries like China, Indonesia, Malaysia, both South and North Korea and South and East Africa. The book is already a sell out and in certain places even being sold at double the price. Dev Saab who started writing ‘Romancing with Life’ just as an exercise cannot easily believe the response his story has been receiving. His publishers, Penguin, are excited about the book which has been one of their best sellers in recent times. They have already asked Dev Saab to start working on a sequel to his autobiography but Dev Saab said, “I can write seven more books on the life I have lived during the last sixty three years in films but my first love always keeps tugging at me and that is films.” Dev hopes to finish this one big chapter in his life, come back in the end of December and immediately start work on of his three films whose scripts are ready.