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Monday, December 19, 2011

Dev Anand: A musical interview (Part 2)

Updated (links): 17 June 2022

amardeep00069Interviewing Dev Saab is not an easy task! Once part 1 of the interview was done, I was certain that part 2 would only take me a couple of hours. I hadn’t, of course, taken into account one thing – every time I tried asking him a question, he’d just belt out one of his intoxicatingly romantic numbers, and I would be umm… distracted.

Sach kehta hun bohut haseen ho – Jaali Note (1960)

It took a herculean effort in exercising my will power to continue our chat on a normal plane. That is why this part has taken so long to come to you…

Me: Dev Saab, tell me about your puff:

Dev A: It all began with my topi – it went everywhere my head did, and we were very happy together.

Main jaadugar bangaal ka (Dushman, 1957)

But then it started to have ideas above my head, and took to floating away into thin air at the drop of a hat. The inevitable happened. It was flattened into oblivion.

Aye meri topi palat ke aa (Funtoosh, 1956)

Instead of committing to a new topi, I decided to find myself a more permanent solution – headgear that would stay attached to my head. That is how the puff was born. It started out small…

Do bichhde hue dil (Shair, 1949)

Khaali peeli kahe ko akkha din (Tamasha, 1952)

But when Shammi [Kapoor] set up in competition, I had to make mine bigger. Then it just got bigger and bigger, till it began to dominate my persona. Waheeda was so upset with my puff that she refused to do any more films with me until I got rid of it! I begged and pleaded, but she was adamant.

Din dhal jaaye hai raat na jaye (Guide, 1965)

That was the nadir of my career. But I refused to give in to despair, and decided to eschew headgear forthwith. It was time to flatten out the puff and concentrate on my other love - my neck wear.

Aankhon aankhon mein dekho (Mahal, 1967)

Me: Dev Saab, you are the only hero from the golden era who has never sported a paunch or displayed a double chin. Whispers of plastic surgery and/or a miracle diet have followed you everywhere. Care to set those rumours to rest, once and for all?

Dev A: I was as big a fan of tandoori chicken and butter naan as any person in his right mind ought to be. But then, one day, I realised that every grain comes labeled with it’s consumer’s name, and they are all coming from Lord Rama’s granary!

Daane daane pe likha hai khaane waale ka naam (Baarish, 1957)

This could not be. Me consuming such mass produced stuff?! Chhi chhi chhii…There and then, I decided to opt for a liquid and gaseous diet. I must admit that it was a very smart decision. You can drink and/or smoke in any bar/cafe, you don’t have to waste time masticating, and here’s the best thing – the lovely ladies love you.

Dil se milake dil pyaar kijiye (Taxi Driver, 1954)


Ek naya tarana (Faraar/Dev Anand in Goa, 1955)

Of course, I also took up dancing. That helped a lot to keep me slim.

Is jahan ka pyaar jhootha (Amardeep, 1958)

Nacho ghoom ghoom ghoom ke (Sarhad, 1960)

I decided that when it came to his "dancing", discretion was the better part of valour, and swiftly changed the subject.

Me: You haven’t done [m]any historicals. Why stay away from the world of swashbuckling costume dramas?

Dev A: Teri duniya mein jeene se to behtar hai ki mar jaye (I’d rather die than live in your world).

Teri duniya mein jeene se (House No. 44, 1955)

All good things have to come to an end, and it is now time to end this long, musical conversation. But I am loath to let go without a few more songs words from the romantic puff-throb.

Me: What would you tell the youth of today?

Dev A: Duniya kya hai dafaa karo, thokar maaro… (What is the world? Forget it, push it away…)

Duniya kya hai dafaa karo (Sarhad, 1960)

And play more cricket. The world needs more sport!

She ne khela he se aaj cricket match (Love Marriage, 1959)


  1. Ha, you rejuvenated your comment section! This post was definitely worth waiting for. Thank heavens I'd finished drinking my morning tea! Or I would have needed another keyboard. Madhu already owes me one.

    I know Dev wasn't a great dancer, but he looked like he was having so much fun in the Sarhad song, prancing about. :)

    Now, some more songs to keep me company as I clean house today. Sweet!

  2. Hilarious post! Had a great time reading it!

    "It was time to flatten out the puff and concentrate on my other love - my neck wear."

    Daane daane pe likha hai khaane waale ka naam from Baarish (1957) was new for me.

    Will there be a part III?

  3. Yup, I took your tip and joined Disqus. :D Now I can do threaded comments too.

    Dev Anand's "dancing" reminds me of my father's dancing, except that Dev A is so assured and unselfconscious about his lack of dancing skills. To prance around like that, with Ragini around, no less, takes supreme self-confidence.

  4. Thank you harvey!

    Dev A has distracted me enough for a week, so no, no part 3. It's time I paid attention to my other favorite hunks! ;D

  5. Wondering who is next on your hit list!

  6. I am waiting to see, too. More 'favourite hunks'? Goodie! :-)

  7. That means you're going to write some more - yipppeee!

  8. Isn't it horrible how blogger is so stingy when it comes to these things? :(

    LOL at Dev's dancing reminding you of your father! Well, one thing that you *cannot* accuse Dev of, is a lack of confidence. :)

  9. This is a stroke of genius, such pure joy, cannot stop ROFLing.
    Please continue with Part 3. :)

  10. Blogger is certainly not the best. There is the problem with threaded comments, it doesn't show emoticons, and then the formatting isn't as good as Wordpress, either. That's what comes of starting to blog when you're not an experienced blogger!!! ;D Now I am too lazy to start over in WP.

  11. My 'hit' list?! lol Are you trying to scare the hunks away from my blog?

  12. Haven't you you noticed yet? I rarely ever post about films that do not feature a favourite hunk. ;D

  13. Of course I am going to write some more. I am going to earn all those dosas and appams you are going to make for me when I knock on your door sometime soon! :D

  14. Thank you Samir!

    I'd love to continue with another part - but it all depends upon whether Dev Saab is willing to answer my questions - it may require a lot more in-depth research on youtube.

  15. Like you, I'm too lazy to start over in another platoform. Besides, I do not know how many hacks I have put into my blog's html. (The code you sent is waiting for my attention.) I have no wish to go through that again.

    I wish they would have a better format for comments - with threaded replies, bold and italic and links without having to resort to html tags etc.,

  16. Hahahahahaha!
    This was fun. Too bad it's 'The End'.

    It was real genius to get Dev A to confess the secret of his rising and then flatenning puff.
    Like harvey I too was ROFL about;

    >. It was time to flatten out the puff and concentrate on my other love - my neck wear.

    Very wise to have steered him away from the topic of dancing :-D

    Thanks Bollyviewer. Waiting for the next hunk to be discussed here.

  17. So Bollyviewer, where should a Dev novice like myself start in exploring his films? I've seen Guide, Hum Dono, Jewel Thief, and Johny Mera Naam.

  18. Hoye, just 'cause I took off for a month doesn't give you a reason not to write! When is the next post coming, and we need to get going on our film-fest too. So. WRITE!

  19. I am sure blogger with catch up with Wordpress - in a century or so! ;) In the meantime, we have to rely on hacks...

  20. Hehe hunks are the way to go, for a good movie-watching experience ! :D And I've been watching a LOT of them while I've been away from here...

  21. Beth, if you are really keen to delve into Dev A you should start with his B/W popular films. He isn't the best actor on the block, but his 50s and early 60s B/W films (especially the ones his Navketan Films made) are a lot of fun to watch.

  22. I am gathering material for my next post - watching lots and lots of movies and TV! :) As soon as I can find time to write (huh! who'll watch all those films if I don't?) I'll be back. And where were you?

  23. Beth, C.I.D, Tere Ghar ke Saamne, Asli Naqli, Bambai ka Babu, Jaal, Kala Pani.... :)

  24. Nursing a migraine, and trying to get rid of my insomnia. :(

  25. If you find one that will allow us to offer formatting in the comments, let me know.

  26. Dev Anand might not be among us anymore, but his acting skills and songs will be etched in our memories forever. Like they say 'old id gold' and his songs made us cry, laugh and be happy. Songs are such a soulful element in ones life that no matter what your mood might be, they can sway them around. I love listening to old numbers. I was surfing the net when I came across this link: This is a song by a young girl, singing songs and dedicating them to her mother. The way she sings them makes them stand out in the crowd. Do listen to her and get back with your thoughts.

  27. i like Aankhon Aakhon Mein song very much.

  28. Dev Anand is a legend bollywood actor. He had done numbers of super hit hindi movies. And I really love the style of Dev Anand.