Dev Anand’s leading ladies remember their ‘real hero’
For Hema Malini, he was a “real hero”, and for Asha Parekh, working with him was “like being on an express train” — two veteran Bollywood beauties recall their time with evergreen star Dev Anand who, according to them, lived life to the fullest.
Dev Anand, who dedicated over six decades of his life to Indian cinema, died following cardiac arrest in London Sunday. He was 88.
“My mother was a huge fan of Dev saab, so I grew up hearing his name and watching his films. How was I to know that one day I’d go on to do many films with him? I started my career with one legendary actor Raj Kapoor, then I quickly did Johnny Mera Naam with Dev Saab. You can imagine how nervous I was. I was so young and he was a huge star. But he never made me feel like a newcomer,” said Hema.
“We were signed for several films together. I had the privilege of being directed by all the three brothers Chetan Anand, Dev and Vijay Anand. But I didn’t get a chance to be directed by Dev saab until very late in Shareef Budmaash. He was a perfectionist. He would be the first on the sets with that trademark stick in his hand.
“I asked him why he carried that chhadi with him. He told me it was to prod those who wasted his time. Dev Saab was always on the move. He was so restless, and he didn’t appreciate people around him who couldn’t keep pace with him. Watching him at work was like taking a Vitamin tablet,” she added.
Hema and Dev Anand worked in other films like Amir Garib and Joshila as well.
“He could convince me to do any role. I agreed to do a guest appearance in Tere Mere Sapne because of Dev saab and Vijay Anand saab. Working with Dev saab was always a pleasure. He was a very learned man and he was so articulate. He spoke very beautiful English. He was a real hero,” said the 63-year-old.
Asha, who worked with Dev Anand in Jab Pyar Kisise Hota Hai, Mahal and Kahin Aur Chal, is upset that this year she lost two of her favourite co-stars — first Shammi Kapoor, and now Dev Anand.
“We did three films together. Out of them Nasir Hussain saab‘s Jab Pyar Kissise Hota Hai was a huge success. We had a ball shooting that film. I was relatively new and Nasir saab and Dev saab were big names. Dev saab was sofull of beans, he made me feel like a has-been even at that young age. He could never sit still. He’d be all over the place, ‘Asha, do this, do that. Don’t stand there. Go go go…’ The clock never stopped for him. Working with him was like being on an express train. The journey was relentless and exhilarating,” she said.
“We went on to do two other films Mahal and Kahin Aur Chal. Dev Saab was such a huge star that people didn’t give him enough credit as an actor. He was very stylish. But he was also a brilliant actor. His clothes, hairstyle, the way he talked and waked exuded glamour and uniqueness. And he was a complete film person. Actor, director, writer, producer…. He lived breathed, ate and slept cinema, added Asha.
The 69-year-old says Dev Anand’s passion for work was infectious.
“Today, I see that kind of passion only in Aamir Khan. Dev Saab‘s enthusiasm infected everyone he worked with. I couldn’t keep in touch with him much because he spent most of his time in Mahabaleshwar writing, thinking new ideas. He would barely be finished with one film and he would already be planning his next.
“I think he lived, really lived. All of us others are just not that charged about life. There can never be another Dev Anand,” she added in his remembrance.