Today is the death anniversary of the evergreen Dev Anand. Though I was not born during his arm-jerking style days, I have been a big fan of late Dev Anand, like my Mom, having been brought up on old movies on TV and their songs on Vividh Bharati. My Mom used to be such a big fan of his that her school friends would call her Dev Anandi. 🙂
It was the beginning of my career, when I got the good opportunity to speak to him over the phone to fix an appointment for an interview. He wanted to actually confirm that all I wanted was his interview. You can understand his hesitation. Fans can pose as journalists to just meet him or any other celebrity.
Dev Sahab, as I called him with respect, finally gave me the appointment and Mom came along to meet him with me. While doing the interview I was so nervous that I bungled one of the questions. I wanted to ask him, except for Zeenat Aman and Tina Munim, no one else was seen often on the big screen after they had been launched by him. Instead I asked, “Except for Zeenat Aman and Tina Munim, everyone else had made it big in Bollywood.”
The man was so sweet and understanding that he gave me the proper answer ignoring my mistake! When the interview was over I was relieved and asked him for an autograph, as I always do with eminent people in any field. Surprise of surprises, he stood in his patent pose for our benefit while signing my autograph book!
At that time I told him one of my favourite songs of his was, Main zindagi ka sath nibhata chala gaya… from Hum Dono (1961). And he replied that that is a beautiful song.
Dev Sahab, you may not be here with us, but the day I interviewed you has been etched in my mind and it will stay with me forever.