|Dev Anand with Nutan in Tere Ghar ke Samne—
my personal favourite
Pune city in the early 1980s was a movie-goers delight.
Some 37-38 theatres (now they are called cinema halls!!) spread across the city offered a rich menu of movies—English, contemporary Hindi films and the Hindi film musicals of the 1950s and 60s.
And if you had the inclination—and money—you could watch three movies in a day!! Which we did on weekends!
Typically, Saturdays started with morning shows featuring Dev Anand or Shammi Kapoor romancing Nutan, Waheeda Rehman or Asha Parekh, progressed into watching a Paul Newman or Robert Redford con act in The Sting and ended with a night show with Amitabh Bachchan bashing Amjad Khan or Ranjeet.
Movies became an integral part of my life in those heady days in the early 1980s in Pune and Dev Anand—along with Shammi Kapoor—my favourite star!!
Thirty years have passed since I left college but Dev Anand and the music of his movies continue to remain at the top of my choice and will remain forever.
As Sunday morning brought the news of his passing away, all those moments spent in watching the debonair star on large screens came flooding back into memory.
Dev Anand had started making movies when our parents were young but watching his black white gems—from CID to Kala Bazaar and from Munimjito Hum Dono—one never felt that he was from another generation.
The happy-go-lucky outlook to life he exuded film after film, the easy charm with the ladies, but above all the romantic songs infused a sunny optimism in you in the dreary 1980s when India was still in the socialist era and the struggles of life were debilitating.
If he was utterly romantic in Abhi na jaao chhodkar(Hum Dono), Dekho rootha na karo (Tere Ghar ke Samne) and Dil Pukare aare aare (Jewel Thief), he infused optimism through the iconic Mein Zindagi ka saath Nibatha chala gaya(Hum Dono) or brought a sense of realism through Jeevan Ke Safar mein Raahi(Munimji).
The love of movies has not diminished over the years but time to watch them in as carefree manner as in one’s college days is unavailable but the songs continue to inspire and lift ones spirit.
There will be a flood of tributes to Dev Anand (can’t think of calling the ever youthful star Dev Saab) in the next few days.
He may have departed this world but his arrival in the next must have been as romantic as in his evergreen song Dil ka bhanwar kare pukar from Tere Ghar ke Samne.