Well, our memories of Dev Anand and Suraiyya are quite vivid ever since we were school going kids when they both literally flared-up the cinema screens. Back in 50s, watching movies by kids was looked down upon as a big sin. Only a few hand-picked guests, who occasionally visited our house, had that rare privilege to allow us to come tete-a-tete with that sinister thing. But, whenever they did, these guests used to take us only to mythological films like ‘Veer Babruvahan’ or ‘Sati Naag-Kanya’ or fantasy films like ‘Samundari Daku’ and hardly ever to any social film. So it wasn’t possible even to have a glimpse of Dev Anand or Suraiyya on the screen. But still, they had always remained at the back of our minds for many years because the catchphrase, “सुरैय्या बीमार है तो, देव आनंद तैय्यार है”,_was not only the talk of the town but was being whispered in our class rooms as well. Since then the magic of ‘Dev Anand’ and ‘Suraiyya’ and their telltale stories of romance had been matter of a great curiosity & enticement for us.
Perhaps after a lot of permutation and combination of genes, a few handsome human species are born and legendary, Dev Anand, is certainly one of them. Often compered with yet another legendary handsome star from Hollywood, Gregory Peck, Dev Anand is yet to be surpassed by any other Indian film-star in terms of beauty & grace. This ever-green romantic hero with an endearing toothy grin, long-sleeved shirts, an unique gait and dialogue delivery will never be forgotten. With over 110 films spanning 5 decades, he continues to bestride the mind set of millions of film-lovers of Indian Cinema. Even today you are likely to be roughed up by his staunch admirers if you happen to criticize him.
Would be a voluminous job if a justified attempt is made to write about his life and film career. So suffice here to say, his enduring friendship with yet another legend, Guru Dutt, produced some of the timeless classics like ‘Bazzi’,’Jaal’, ‘Aar Paar’ and ‘CID’. And, not demeaning others, some of his most popular films are ‘Taxi Driver,’ Paying Guest’,’ Munimji’,’House No.44, ‘Nau Do Gyarah’,’Solwa Saal’,’Amar Deep’,’ Tere Ghar Ke Samne’,’Teen Deviyan’,’ Kaal Paani’, ‘Bambai Ka Babu’,’ Prem Pujari’,’ Johny Mera Naam’,’Tere Mere Sapne’, ‘Manpasand’ etc. while ‘Guide’ & ‘Jewel Thief’ remain his most critically acclaimed films.
In remembrance of another legend, Hemant Kumar, a song, ‘Hai Apna Dil To Aawara’ from the 1955 film ‘House No.44’ is presented which is pictured on Dev Anand and sung by Hemant Kumar to a scintillating tune composed by Burman Da. The sparkling ‘Mouth Organ’ in the song is played by young R.D.Burman.
As kids, we used to practice this song on the fiddle all day long pestering the elders.
Author – Ram Tayade (Deshmukh)