A Tribute To The Evergreen Legend - Dev Anand
The daybreak of 3rd December 2011 came with the news of sad demise of the evergreen legend, Dev Anand. The whole country was shocked by the sudden death of Devsahab. The Indian film industry was struck with grief and was pouring condolences from all the corners. The passing away of the Father of Romanticism has orphaned a set of emotions which were a part of Dev Anand’s acting and life. He was a live portrait of youthfulness, style, romance, joy and energy. The news of Dev Anand’s death was constantly flashing on the news channels along with his dashing and good looking snaps of all times. It seemed as he was riding for his last journey of life by saying:
“Mein Zindagi Ka Saath Nibhata Chala Gaya,
Har Fikra Ko Dhooyein Me Udata Chala Gaya”
And all his fans and admirers were giving him their tribute by saying:
“Abhi Na Jao Chod Kar,
Ke Dil Abhi Bhara Nahi”
Dev Anand, the evergreen stalwart of extraordinary talent with a multi-dimensional personality, who entertained the whole world for over more than five decades with his own brand of acting. His style of nodding his head and shaking his hand while doing a rapid dialogue delivery and his puffed hair style, was appreciated by the entire filmy fans of all the times. He was one of the rarest film stars who enjoyed the stardom with magical dimensions. For his commendable contribution to Indian cinema, he was recently awarded with Padma Bhushan. This debonair legend had a remarkable ability to live a youthful age throughout his life. Although Devsahab is not among us now, but he still continue to rule the Indian cinema by his films and melodious songs.
Childhood and early life of Devanand:
The original name of Dev Anand was Dharamdev Pishorimal Anand. He was born on 26th September 1923 in Gurudaspur district of Punjab. His father Pishorimal Anand was a successful advocate. Dev Anand had four siblings and he was third of the four children of Pishorimal Anand. His siblings were:
The two elder brothers were,
a) Manmohan Anand: He was an advocate of Gurudaspur district court.
b) Vijay Anand: He was a film maker.
c) Younger brother Chetan Anand
d) Sister Sheela kanta kapur, she was married in the Kapur family and is the mother of legendry filmmaker Shekhar Kapur. She also had two daughters, Neelu and Aruna who were married to Navin Nischol and Parikshit Sahani respectively.
Dev Anand spent his early childhood days in Gharoda village in Gurudaspur district. He completed his high school education from Sacred Heart School, Dalhousie and he enjoyed his college life in Dhramsala. Dev Anand was a graduate of English Literature from government college, Lahore. He wanted to pursue further studies but his father was going through a financial crisis. So, Devsahab thought of doing some job.
Dev Anand left Gurudaspur for Mumbai in search of job in the early 1940s. The early jobs done by him were:
1) He worked for a payment of Rs.165 per month at the military censor office at Church gate. Although he did not continue this job but the letters he read there of the military officers written to their wives, later gave him romantic ideas for his film.
2) He worked as a clerk in an accountancy firm at Rs.85 per month.
3) He joined the Indian People’s Theatre Association along with his brother Chetan Anand.
Dev Anand was not initially tilted towards acting. But he got inspired by Ashok Kumar’s performance in Achut Kanya and Kismat. Devsahab was first spotted by Babu Rao Pai of Prabhat films. Dev Anand’s smile, beautiful eyes and tremendous confidence strike Baburao and he decided to give Dev Anand a break. He casted him and screened him on the big screen for the very first time in Prabhat film’s production Hum Ek Hain in 1946. Dev Anand entered into a friendship with Guru Dutt, while shooting for a film in Pune. There was a mutual agreement between the two that both will help each other to be successful.
Dev Anand in Hum Ek hain
After Hum Ek Hain, many films of Dev Anand were released and by 1948, he established himself with a regular earning of Rs.365 per film. By this time, Devsahab brought his first car Hillman Minx.
Romantic involvement with Suraiya:
Dev Anand was screened in many women oriented films opposite singer actress Suraiya. They both acted together in 7 films and all of them were successful. There films were:
1) Vidya (1948)
2) Jeet (1949)
3) Shair (1949)
4) Afsar (1950)
5) Nili (1950)
6) Do Sitare (1951)
7) Sanam. (1951)
Dev Anand and Suraiya
During the shooting of Vidya, a song called “Kinare Kinare Chale Jayeng” was picturised on them. Suddenly the boat on which they were shooting capsized and Suraiya was about to drown. Dev Anand saved her from drowning and they both fell in love in each other. Devsahab finally proposed Suraiya on the sets of Jeet. But her grandmother opposed their relationship since Anand was a Hindu and Suraiya, a Muslim by caste. This ended their off screen and on screen pairing. They were seen together for the last time in Do Sitare released in 1951.
Although all the films of Dev Anand with Suraiya as a co-star were successful, but the critics, producers and the directors attributed the success to Suraiya. Dev Anand then began to search an opportunity as a male lead in a film where his acting skills can be applauded.
Dev Anand’s first big break:
Dadamuni aka Ashok Kumar gave Dev Anand his first big film. He saw Dev Anand roaming in the studios and casted him as a male lead for the film Ziddi, a Bombay Talkies production. He was paired opposite Kamini Kaushal. The film was tremendously successful and then there was no looking back for Devsahab.
Dev Anand and Kamini Kaushal in Ziddi
Dev Anand and Kishor Kumar:
During the shooting of Ziddi, Dev Anand tied up a strong bonding with Kishor Kumar. Kishor da gave playback to Devanand for the first time in film Ziddi for the song “Marne ki Duayein”. Also, in this film the first Kishor Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar’s duet “Ye Kaun Aya Karke Sola Singar” was recorded. After this, Kishor Kumar’s association with Dev Anand continued for four decades.
The beginning of Navketan Films :
After the success of Ziddi, Dev Anand decided thought of producing films. So, in 1949, he opened his own production house called Navketan Films. This banner produced around 35 films till 2011. The first film released under this banner was a crime thriller called Baazi. The film was a success at the box office. As promised, Devsahab chose Guru Dutt to direct his film Baazi.
With this film, Guru Dutt made his debut as a director. The film also introduced a new face called Kalpana Kartik in the female lead. The trio of Guru Dutt, Dev Anand and Kalpana Kartik was appreciated by the audience and Dev Anand and Kalpana Kartik were offered many roles together. The two signed many films and among them Aandhiyan, Taxi driver, House No.44, Nau Do Gyarah became huge hits. 1950s was the golden era of Dev Anand’s films. His many films like Pocket Maar, C.I.D, and Paying Guest made him the heartthrob of the 50s. His films were either suspense stories or light comedy. His peculiar style in these films was widely applauded and imitated by the audience.
Dev Anand’s marriage:
Dev Anand fell in love with Kalpana Kartik during the making of Taxi Driver. After the film’s success, they got married. Kalpana stopped acting after marriage. Nau Do Gyarah was her last film. The couple was blessed with a son named Sunil Anand and a daughter called Devina.
Varieties in Dev Anand’s films:
1) With the films like Taxi Driver, and Fantoosh, Dev Anand encouraged the young generation to try their luck on the magical streets of Mumbai.
2) In the films like Jaal, Kala Pani, and Dushman, he threw light on the sociological and illegal issues. He played a smuggler in Jaal, a gangster in Dushman and a black Marketer in Kala Pani.
3) The romantic locations of his films were from around the world. The song “Phoolon ke rang se, dil ki kalam se”, which comprises of three stanzas, was shot in various countries.
4) Besides this, his films included children of the places where he shot the film.
5) Dev Anand sported versatile clothes in his films. The coats, hats and the scarf which he used became a trademark and that made him fashion icon of his time.
Devsahab’s chemistry with his leading ladies:
It is believed that Dev Anand had the ability to romance with eyes. His magical eyes gave a new dimension to romance. His eyes had the power to drown the beautiful female co-stars of his film.
1) Dev Anand was paired opposite Waheeda Rehman in C.I.D. This film’s success made Waheeda a star. The pair was also seen in the classic film Guide, which was based on R.K Narayan’s novel. The melodies like, “Gata Rahe Mera Dil”, “Tere Mere Sapne” still ranks the chartbusters.
2) He was screened opposite Nutan in films like Manzil, Tere Ghar Ke Samne and the classic songs like “Dil Ka Bhawar Kare Pukar” were born.
3) He worked with Meena Kumari in Kinare Kinare, Mala Sinha in Maya.
4) The beautiful composition “Abhi Na Jaao Chod Kar” was from the film Hum Dono opposite Sadhna.
5) He also worked with Asha Parekh in Mahal and Jab Pyar Kise Se Hota Hai.
6) Devsahab worked with Vaijayantimala and Tanuja in Jewel Thief. With this film he again united with Vijay Anand after Guide.
7) The hit film Johny Mera Naam with Hema Malini was a big hit. This made Hema Malini a big star.
Till mid sixties, Dev Anand was one of the three most prominent actors along with Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar. In the 70s, some of the films signed by Dev Anand like Ye Gulistan Hamara with Sharmila Tagore proved flop at the box office. But he again came in form and climbed the success ladder with films like Banarasi Babu, Amir Garib, Chupa Rustam, Heera Panna, and Warrant. His success story continued till mid 80s with films like Swami Dada, ManPasand, and Lootmar.
Dev Anand as a director:
Dev Anand’s first directorial debut Prem Pujari was a flop. But he gained success as a director in Hare Rama Hare Krishna, a film based on the Hippie culture. The credit of introducing the beautiful Zeenat Aman goes to Devsahab. When he saw Zeenat for the first time, he found her perfect for the role of a drug addicted girl. Devsahab was very confident that Zeenat will continue to be a part of Navketan films. But she suddenly switched off to R.K banners for Satyam Shivam Sundaram, which made Devsahab very upset.
Another young and beautiful face introduced by Dev Anand was the pretty Tina Munim. She made her debut with Dev Anand directed Des Pardes. The 55yr old Dev Anand perfectly suited to the 20yr young Tina. This proved that age never had any boundaries for Dev Anand. Along with these two actresses, Devsahab also gave break to actors like Zarina Wahab, Jackie Shroff, Tabu, Shatrughna Sinha and music composer Rajesh Roshan.
Dev Anand in the late 80s:
The Navketan banner was achieving success. it was the only production house run by the person who found it. It was under Navketan that Dev Anand introduced his son Sunil Anand in the film Kramer vs. Kramer. The film was a super flop at the box office. His later films like Hum Nau Jawan were successful and Awwal Number starring Aamir Khan was an average hit. All other films directed by Dev Anand like Censor, Charge sheet were failure. Due to continuous failures, Dev Anand was once asked, “Don’t you feel like a looser with so many flop films?” To this Dev Sahab replied, “When I came to Mumbai, I just had Rs1.30paise in my pocket and until I am not having only Rs1.30paise, I am not going to give up.” This attitude of Dev Anand made him so dynamic and strong in life.
Awards and Autobiography:
1) Dev Anand got his first Filmfare award for Best actor for the film Kala Pani.
2) He got the Padma Bhushan in 2001.
3) He was honored with Dada Saheb Phalke award in 2002
4) He got the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991
Beside this, he also got many National and International awards. His autobiography called “Romancing with Life” was released in 2007 by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Sing. His film Hum Dono was colorized in 2011
Dev Anand breathed his last at the age of 88 on 3rd December 2011 at London, a place which formed an integral part of many of his films. Legends like Deva Anand are born only once and they come in the world to spread happiness. Though he is not among us today but his soul will continue to spread love and happiness. His fans and admirers and the whole film industry is truly going to miss him but he will continue to be with them through his films. It is true that there is no coming back of the legend but then this is called life. It is truly said in one of the Rafi’s song picturised on Dev Anand:
“Jeevan Ke Safar Me rahi,
Milte hain Bichad Jane Ko,
Aur De Jate Hain Yadein,
Tanhayee Me Tadpane Ko”
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