"Dev Anand died in a hotel in London on 3 December 2011 (4 December 2011 by Indian time) of a cardiac arrest" the headlines revealed, breaking the hearts of millions of fans all over the world.
As i shuffled between the innumerable melodies saved in my favorite folder, i couldnot help but fondly remember the sweet and charming face of the legend who lisped them.
Those who know me would think that SRK is my favorite bolly star.But only those who know me really well would be able to tell you that it has always been this man---this man from an whole different era, much much older to the one im living in, but neverthless being able to make my heart skip a beat on watching him on the silver screen in his prime days...this man who with his silk smooth acting skills and charismatic attitude not just managed to be the heart throb of the 60s but also earn the respect of millions of fans all over with his never-say-die spirit and enthusiasm.
Dev Anand was and will always remain an inseperable part of indian cinema.His passion for cinema and enthusiasm for life is indeed commendable. His exemplary performance in movies 'Guide', 'Johny mera naam', 'teen deviyaan', 'Jewel thief', 'heera panna', 'hare rama hare krishna' are unforgetable---this acting genius was someone who could move you to tears and light up passion with equal intensity.
His unique style allowed him to carry off the most bizarre of fashions (which included the 'scarf and hat' look of the 60's) with so much panache that it stuck on to his image and even now is fondly imitated by people paying tributes.
I had the opportunity to meet this man for a film festival a couple of years back.
What i saw in him was a very humble personality, soft spoken and down to earth, taking the time to exchange a word or two with each of his fans gathered there.
"Jo Mil Gaya Usi Ko Muqaddar Samajh Liya
Jo Kho Gaya Maein Usko Bhulata Chala Gaya"
As people flocked to get his his autobiography autographed, i stood at a corner quietly looking at his face...wrinkled, old, tired and yet somehow there still was an unsettling calm about it---the calm that comes not with awards and accolades but with the satisfaction of having led a life he was proud of.
On being addressed as the 'evergreen' Dev Saab by someone from the audience, he crinkled up his eyes and laughed.
When an interviewer asked him the percentage of honesty in his autobiography, he immediately answered with "it was tough but before writing it, i had promised myself i would be 100% honest".
It was right then that i wanted to believe that man, with the charming smile, with the strange calm, with the soothing voice...the man who i had travelled back in time and fallen in love with.
On reaching home, i picked up 'romancing with life' from my library, a book which i had put down to read another day, mainly because i always ended up youtubing my collection of 'Dev Anand' songs instead. (yea, you dont just listen to Dev Anand songs, you youtube them!)
"dhup thi nasib mein, to dhup men liya hai dam
Chandani mili to hum, chandani mein so liye"
But i had decided to know more about this man.and so i read into the journey of his life.
Written in a wonderfully honest and interestingly soulful way, i could then understand the reason for the satisfaction on his face---this man kept no secrets!
From then on, my respect and admiration for him grew much more.
I would google interviews just to hear him speak about the simple complexities of life.
His song "main zindagi ka saath" will always remain my all time favorite, the others being haunting melodies---like "hai sabse madhur woh geet", "kabhi khud pe kabhi haalat pe", "jeevan ke safar mein", romantic tunes---like "abhi na jaao", "phoolon ke rang se", "chhoodi nahi mera", "yeh raat yeh chand", "accha jee main haari" and countless other tracks.
Even though i personally admire his acting qualities much more than his directorial abilities, i cannot help but admire this one man who ventured without the fear of getting lost...who stumbled but never fell...who kept on going his way no matter what others said...who lived as per his own terms.
A legend who romanced with life and loved it to the fullest.
"ae kaash chalte milke,
ye teen raahi dil ke,
chand aur main aur tu"
So let us travel back in time and express our fond admiration for this superstar who will stay 'evergreen' in our nostalgic moments for ever
We will miss you, Dev saab...