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4 December 2011

Never Say Die - Remembering Dev Anand

26.09.1923 - 04.12.2011
My introduction to Dev Anand, the man, came when I was a trainee journalist with The Sunday Observer in Bombay. Three months into our training period, the resident editor sent one of my colleagues to interview Dev Anand. I was deeply envious. (Green and purple vied with each other as I tried very hard to be happy for her.) I fed her with all the trivia I knew about Dev Anand. When she met him, she asked him about it. He was amused. How would a chit of a girl who was not even born when these things happened know about this? Savera mentioned that she had a friend who was an ardent fan, who could rattle off any amount of trivia about him. Devsaab laughed, and when she left after the interview, gave her a slip of paper with his autograph. For me.

I met him a few months later, when our newspaper held an awards night. I begged and pleaded, and promised to do anything if only my editor would let me go meet Devsaab to hand over the passes for the function. Devsaab was charm personified, and I was happy that my 'hero' was a gentleman, in the finest sense of the word.

What differentiated Dev Anand from the other two members of the ruling troika (to me, at least) was the fact that he was neither good-hearted tramp nor the ever-suffering, self-pitying Devdas. He was human, flawed, good, bad, and in-between; his 'heroes' were conflicted, and they had more shades of grey than sheer black or pure white. His heroes had no backstories, no justifications

His best roles came in films that were directed by his brothers, most notably his younger brother, Vijay Anand. And while his later films only proved that he did NOT have a director's vision, his plots, his themes, were topical and, more importantly, original. He prided himself on not plagiarising a single one of his movies. Every adaptation that Navketan made was properly credited. 

Earlier this year, I wrote a post on my favourite Dev Anand songs. Then, on his 88th birthday, giving in to a reader's request (and my own fascination for the evergreen hero), I wrote another post on what I considered to be his best performances.

In my earlier post, I wrote: Whose irrepressible indomitable spirit has probably never heard the word 'impossible', and who wouldn't know what to do with it, if he did.

He didn't, really. As long as he lived, he continued to make films, one after the other. It's hard to believe that he is no more. His legacy will live on, in his films, his songs, our memories of a man who never said die. This post is dedicated to the spirit of that irreppressible, indefagitable, immeasurably charming man who embodied life. These are songs, in my opinion, embody the spirit of an actor who has given me countless hours of entertainment. I can only hope that he is up there, planning his next movie. 

1. Tadbeer se bigdi hui taqdeer banale (Baazi / 1952 / Geeta Bali)
Ever the gambler, this song is so typical of Devsaab's philosophy. This is what he did, as he continued to make films one after another, irrespective of their fate at the box-office. 

Baazi was Navketan's first big hit, and it gave an impetus to the careers of everyone associated with it - Guru Dutt, Geeta Bali, Dev Anand, SD Burman, and Sahir Ludhianvi.

Afsar, though well-received critically had not been a commercial success. The fledgling Navketan banner needed hits if it were to survive. Dev Anand remembered his pledge to Guru Dutt. In his own words*: 
He (Guru Dutt) came, lit cigarette in hand, sat in front of me, and I said, 'Before you exhale, hold your breath.' He held his breath and waited. I broke the news. 'Remember, we dreamt a dream together on the hill-top of Poona, looking down at the world?' He nodded, still holding his breath. 'Let the world see our dream now. You are going to direct a film for Navketan.' He let out the smoke in short measured puffs with a broad smile, straight onto my face. I inhaled it, for it smelt of a coming success.

2. Main zindagi ka saath nibhaata chala gaya (Hum Dono / 1961 / Sadhana, Nanda) 
According to Devsaab, this was the underlying philosophy of his life. Jo mil gaya usi ko muqaddar samajh liya, jo kho gaya main us ko bhulata chala gaya. That was certainly how he lived his life - always looking forward to what he could do next. He certainly came to be associated with the lyrics, so evocatively written by Sahir Ludhianvi. Main zindagi ka saath nibhaata chala gaya, har fiqr ko dhue mein udaata chala gaya. To him, these lines ring true of 'everyone who believes that life is worth living'.

Hum Dono saw him playing two roles, that of Major Verma and Captain Anand. He based the Major's character on a mustachioed major he had known in the British army cantonment at Kirkee near Poona. The true to life performance drew a perfect compliment from the general officer of the Southern Command in Poona when he was invited to watch the movie. In the middle of a scene involving Major Verma, he spontaeneously burst out "Doesn't he remind you of----?" provoking great hilarity amongst the audience.

Trivia: Hum Dono was India's official entry to the 1962 Berlin Film Festival. Attending the opening day also allowed him to meet one of his idols - James (Jimmy) Stewart.

3. Jeevan ke safar mein rahi (Munimji / 1955 / Nalini Jaywant)
I like the way the song is picturised. Dev Anand begins to sing, whereupon Nalni Jaywant asks him to keep quiet and drive silently. Dev Anand acquieces and keeping his lips firmly pursed (but with a rougish look in his eyes), he begins to weave back and forth across the road. She is palpably shaken; finally, she gives in - he can sing, but only if he drives carefully! 

Kishore Kumar was Dev Anand's voice just as much as Mukesh was Raj Kapoor's. The first song of Kishoreda's career was sung for Dev Anand, in the film Ziddi, which was a milestone in Devsaab's career too. The song was Marne ki duaen kyun mangoon, jeene ki tamanna kaun kare. For Dev Anand, Jeevan ke safar mein rahi will always remain the ode to his deep friendship with his alter ego, who delighted in playing Dev Anand in the recording studio. Aur de jaatein hain yaadein, tanhai mein tadpane ko. These lines could as well stand for how Devsaab's admirers feel today. 

4. Hum hain rahi pyar ke (Nau Do Gyarah / 1957 / Kalpana Kartik)
Nau Do Gyaarah was Vijay (Goldie) Anand's first film for Navketan. Chetan Anand had begun to distance himself, and was in the process of forming his own production company. Nau Do Gyaarah was Goldie's own script. It was one of the earliest of road movies, as Dev travelled around the country in a ramshackle truck; the camera following him, sometimes going ahead to film the panoramic views of the countryside. 

This is another song that exemplifies Devsaab's philosophy of life. Dhoop thi naseeb mein, to dhoop mein liya hai dum, chaandni mili to hum chaandni mein so liye. What a nice way to live life.

5. Hai apna di toh awaara (Solva Saal / 1958 / Waheeda Rehman) 
What is the best way to woo a woman who is in love with another? Well, sing her a song of course. Only, he is not really wooing her; she is eloping with her lover, who prefers her heirloom necklace to her (the man must be blind!). He is a newspaperman who is on the lookout for a story and decides to trust his instincts. Only, he does not bargain for having to look after the girl, go after a necklace, and other shenanigans that are scattered around the pretty well-written screenplay. 

The lyrics are so typical of how Dev Anand liked to be perceived. Here he was, romancing the loveliest of ladies on screen; and off-screen, thousands of his female admirers were romancing him!

6. Ye dil na hota bechara (Jewel Thief / 1967 / Tanuja)
Only Devsaab could make a plastic fish look cool. As he walks along happily in the middle of the road, not allowing Tanuja to pass, she even gets out of the car to chase him. Until he finally manages to find a bullock cart, and proceeds to drive that in the middle of the road. She's forced to go off the road to try and overtake him, but it seems Lady Luck doesn't favour her - there's a herd of cattle blocking her way. He finally ends the song, sitting on the bonnet of her car. 

Devsaab offered the role of the villain in Jewel Thief to Ashok Kumar, as a way of paying back the latter's generosity in the earlier days of his career. It was more a psychological payback, since Dadamoni had a flourishing career of his own. It did take Goldie some time to get Dadamoni to accept the first negative role of his career.

7. Zindagi hai kya, sun meri jaan (Maya/1961/Mala Sinha) 
Another song with Devsaab wooing his heroine in ways only he could think of - how many heroes would turn into ice-cream vendors for their lady loves? So, he comes, dispersing icecreams to every child in the neighbourhood, even giving them away free to the little ones who do not have the money. Mala Sinha is amused though she doesn't come down to him. 

Under the guise of extolling the virtues of icecream, he extols the virtues of the heart he is offering. Could she withstand it? 

This song was inspired from the theme music of Charlie Chaplin's Limelight, composed by the great man himself.

8. Sawan ke maheene mein (Sharabi / 1964 / Madhubala)
One cannot have a post on Dev Anand, and not have a 'sharaabi' song. I'm sure that if I put my mind to it, I can come up with an entire post dedicated to Dev Anand and sharaab.

dekhkar jaam kashmakash me hoon 
kya karoon main 
jiyoon jiyoon haay na jiyoon 
saawan ke maheene mein 
ik aag si seene mein 
lagti hai to pee leta hoon 
do chaar ghadi jee leta hoon    

What a good reason to drink! This was probably one of the very few films of Dev Anand's that was scored by Madan Mohan.


9. Tu kahan ye bata (Tere Ghar Ke Saamne / 1963 / Nutan)
This is not a philosophical song, but to me, this is the song that comes to mind when I think of Dev Anand and romance. It's full of the joy of living, the ecstacy of love, the quest for one's beloved, and the complete surrender when he finally comes across her. A misty night, Rafi's mellifluous voice, Dev Anand's charm and Nutan's glowing smile that lights up the night. This was Dev Anand at his romantic best. (The other song that brings romance to mind - in a quieter, more subtle fashion - is Yaad kiya dil ne kahan ho tum from Patita.)

10.  Abhi na jao chhodkar (Hum Dono / 1962 / Sadhana)
 
This song was quintessential Dev Anand. Young, charming, earnest - how could any woman leave? It is also the essence of romance. Don't leave now, pleads the man to his lover. Let me live awhile. There is so much to tell you, so much to listen. Don't go. Don't stop me, she begs. If I stay back now, I'll never be able to leave. Don't go, he begs, leaving our dreams, our desires unfulfilled. This is not a complaint, but how will you maintain a relationship if you leave thus?  
Ke zindagi ke raah mein, 
Jawan dilon ki chaah mein, 
Kai makaam aayenge 
Jo humko aazmaayenge...

Abhi na jao chhodkar ke dil abhi bhara nahin... what else can I say? It's what I first felt when I heard that he was no more. It's what I feel now when I write this post, and it's no longer the young handsome Dev Anand I'm thinking about - it's the man as he was in later years, a mere shadow of his virile self physically but with his mind and intellect as keen as always; his charm still intact, with a sense of humour and rapier sharp wit. He knew himself for what he was, and was never in danger of going ga-ga over himself on screen, however egotistic he may have appeared to the world.

He cannot die, because he refused to die, Even in death, he's probably more alive than many of us who are still living. He definitely lived life better than any of us have, or ever will. Full of zest, full of enthusiasm, no regrets. He also went the way he would have wanted to:

I would, when the bell tolled for me, just want to vanish away, like a whiff of air into the breeze that blows, becoming a leaf on a branch that sways, a flicker of the flame of the fire that burns, a drop of water in the stream that flows, a joyful raindrop that bursts out of a cloud, or a particle of shining sand swept into the folds of a playful tide. I would never, never want to be seen dying... or dead.

I hope his wishes are followed because I cannot imagine him leaving this world any other way.

*From his autobiography Romancing With Life. 

56 comments:

  1. What a wonderful tribute to Dev Saab! And it has the songs which seem to epitomize his spirit! What more could one ask for? As you have rightly said, he lived his life full of zest and enthusiasm, and left almost as if he vanished - no prolonged bouts of sickness, never bedridden - what a wonderful way to go!

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  2. Thank you, Lalitha. It's almost as if he scripted his death - a cardiac arrest in a hotel (not even in a hospital) in London. Quick, no mess, no fuss. Far away from the media circus, far away from the glare of the spotlight. He died so, so we can remember him for the man he was.

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  3. Somehow, I still cannot get used to the fact that he is dead - I was convinced that he'd go on forever! And while I never watched anything of his post-60s (except for a handful of his 70s films DD showed, back in the 80s), it makes me feel sad to think that he won't be making any more movies...

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  4. Same here, bollyviewer. Somehow this hit me quite hard. I suppose having met the man makes him seem all the more 'real'. He was so alive, so full of the joy of living his death seems like an anachronism. This has been a particularly bad year, no?

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  5. For some reason, Dev Anand's passing shocked me more than Shammi Kapoor's did. Paradoxical perhaps, since Dev Anand was much older. However, I always thought of him as being immortal. I KNEW you would have a post up, and you didn't disappoint. What a wonderful list - and it so epitomises that never-say-die spirit of the man.

    And you met him? I'm so envious...

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  6. This came as a shock. Imagine getting up in the morning, and seeing this as the headline in your feeds. I just can't wrap my head around it. I kept thinking that it was all a horrible joke! Thank you for such a moving tribute, Anu. These were definitely songs that captured the elfin spirit of the man.

    I'm still shaking my head in disbelief...

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  7. Lovely tribute, Anu. I adored that sweet anecdote you related, and I really liked the way you picked out lines from the songs you chose, to specifically highlight something that was real about Dev Anand, not just the characters he portrayed onscreen.

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  8. Thanks Ruhi. I'm in the same boat of being shocked and disbelieving and hoping against hope that it's all a huge mistake! However, rational mind intrudes to tell me that it was his time, and he went as he lived.

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  9. Sridhar, you and me and many, many others. Thanks for the compliment. It came from my heart.

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  10. Thanks, Madhu. Your compliment means much. I'm eagerly waiting for your tribute, for I know you will put one up soon.

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  11. Anu, a lovely tribute. I am glad you did get a chance to meet your 'hero'. And everyone who has met him, has only nice stories to tell about him, his charm, his warmth. I do hope he's planning his next movie somewhere up there.

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  12. Thanks, Banno. He was an incredible person to talk to - erudite, articulate, charming. The sort of person, who, when you first meet, you seem to have known for ages. And I met him when he was in his early 70s. And I could understand why women would have thrown themselves at him when he was younger.

    I'm sure he's up to something up there - I can't somehow imagine Dev Anand staying still - even when he is dead.

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  13. A wonderful idea to do a post on his songs on philosophy of life.
    A well-deserved and well-written tribute

    A motto for our lives:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXcTpJNjLTE

    Love this one too:
    particularly love the line: naiyaa purani hai, toofaan bhi puraane hain so to say the problems which we think are new are old and their solutions as well.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8MdrHc6Hf4

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  14. Thank you, harvey. I loved both the songs you listed. I know Devsaab had a hand in selecting the music for his films; I wonder if he also had a hand in wanting a certain theme to the lyrics? So many of his songs have lines that express a similar theme.

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  15. He was involved in all aspects of film making, so I can imagine he wanted certain situations in his films, which required certain songs with particular lyrics. But I don't think he asked the lyricist to modify the lyrics.

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  16. I am glad you got to meet him, I never got the chance. A great tribute you have here, and I liked the last excerpt from his book "Romancing with Life". I did read it, and he does prove himself to be a better author than a director, at least when he his describing his pre 80's days.
    Loved all the songs selected.

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  17. I don't think he 'modified' lyrics as much as influenced them. But I do think that he had a good grip on what he wanted, and how he wanted it.

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  18. Thanks, Samir. I agree about him being a good author too. There is the basic honesty that shines through what he wrote, and he didn't spare his little vanities either. Or why he did some of the things he did. That is probably why his ideas for his movies were so good, and his execution so flawed. He definitely did not have the directorial talents of his elder and younger brother.

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  19. As usual, I'm using Tina's login (I should really get one of my own since I seem to read your blog just as much as she does!): I was in the same state of shock since yesterday. Somehow death and Dev Anand do not go together. He seemed deathless. Thank you so much for such a lovely tribute to a man I have always liked. The songs are as timeless as he, and really, really exemplify the man.

    My father used to ape Devsaab's style apparently (in his youth); mom says that's why she fell for him - she couldn't get the real Dev, so she settled for the next best - another 'Dev' (that's dad's name) who also happened to resemble him a lot, helped along by the hairstyle (dad had a pouf too) and clothes. Of course, they do say imitation is the best form of flattery. Dad and mom are quite cut up about it. Mom's favourite possession is his autobiography, duly signed by him on his whirlwind tour of promotion.

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  20. Welcome again, Rishi. It's strange that the post showed up under your own name even though you logged in under Tina's. Does the comment form allow you to change your name? Talk about interesting! :)

    That's a really lovely story about your parents. :) I can imagine why your mother would have fallen for him. I wish I had been in India when he was on the book promotion tour. I would have got my copy signed by him too! Devsaab really touched a lot of lives, so much more than most other filmfolk.

    Thank you for your comment about my post.

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  21. I didn't post the Dev Anand songs I really, really like (apart from all the songs you posted, and though this does not have anything to do with his philosophy, so to speak).

    Dev and Nutan look so good here.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jciafqnAjpk

    With a very pretty Asha Parekh (one of her first films, I think)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kp0bQ6BEQho&feature=related

    With a very, very beautiful Waheeda (in case you haven't figured out, my favourite actress, bar none)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oT9kqNvaUoQ&feature=related

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  22. I didn't post the Dev Anand songs I really, really like (apart from all the songs you posted, and though this does not have anything to do with his philosophy, so to speak).

    Dev and Nutan look so good here.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuMgYRG3vPU

    With a very pretty Asha Parekh (one of her first films, I think)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kp0bQ6BEQho&feature=related

    With a very, very beautiful Waheeda (in case you haven't figured out, my favourite actress, bar none)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oT9kqNvaUoQ&feature=related

    ps: Thanks for deleting my earlier post with the wrong link.

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  23. Rishi, these would *so* be on my list if I were making a list of romantic songs with Dev Anand. I wish someone would. (Madhu, you listening?) I'm thinking of all the different types of lists one could make with him, actually, and still have songs left over. Chhod do aanchal is such a beautiful song, picturisation, lyrics, music... thanks for giving me something to listen to this morning.

    No worries about deleting the comment - I got your email about the wrong links in the post. :)

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  24. As you know my health has been keeping me away from blogosphere but finally I have come to your blog I have been meaning to do so for quite some time. Well between you and the other bloggers as well as your readers you have said all there is to say about Devanand but one thing which I have noticed about him is that he had a wonderful command over the English language; that passage from his book which you have quoted underlines the fact that he was a student of English literature.

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  25. Shilpi, welcome back. I hope you're feeling better now. *hugs*

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  26. Keeping aside his cinema, would like to share this from an article by Salil Tripathi in the Live Mint, which interested me more-

    "India briefly flirted with such a system during the emergency (1975-1977). Mark Tully was the India correspondent of the British Broadcasting Corp. at that time. Dev Anand, who died on Sunday, was then in his early 50s, and Tully interviewed him because he was known to have strong political views. Tully asked Anand what he thought about the country’s political situation. Anand replied: “I deplore it in all its aspects.” Tully paused his recorder and asked Anand if he wished to continue—few people dared to speak out against Indira Gandhi in those days. Anand replied: “You asked me a question. I gave you an answer. What you do with it is up to you.”

    In that dark period, people like Anand kept the flame of freedom alive, reminding us that India’s greatness lay in its democracy: there was never “too much” of it. China or Malaysia jails outspoken people like Anand. India treasures them, honours them, and like in Anand’s case, mourns them."

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  27. Pradeep, he was very open about his opposition to the Emergency in his autobiography. That is what I used to like about the man - his forthrightness, and the fact that nothing he ever said was 'off the record'.

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  28. Anu, if you don't mind, what trivia? :DDDD

    I know the Nau Do Gyarah one, I know that Guide was shot in two versions, I know Madhubala was supposed to be in Naya Daur. (Wait. Not counted. Sorry.) I know Honton Pe Aisi Baat was shot in one go, I know Dev wore that Khoya Khoya Chand outfit four times, I know he only died ONCE in a film (That's a good thing or else I would've cried bucketfulls of tears), but what else? :D

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  29. That Dev first got to know Guru Dutt because the dhobhi at the guest house they were staying at, mixed up their shirts?

    That Dev sneaked into Suraiya's house at midnight to meet her on the terrace of her house because her granny wouldn't let them meet?

    That he was the only star who was vocally against the Emergency?

    That he was responsible for Shekhar Kapoor leaving Chartered Accountancy and joining films?

    That Navketan was named after Chetan Anand's eldest son?

    That Shami Kapoor acknowledged that Dev Anand influenced the way he acted his songs?

    That Vijay Anand did not want to direct Guide because of its content?

    Oh, I don't know, so many, many trivial things...

    :)

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  30. I know, Goldie was shocked when Dev approached him with the script. He was like, "You want me to direct THAT?!". And he ended up making a lot of (good) changes. I don't want to see Raju and Rosie "jumping into bed just hours after Rosie disembarks from the train", like how Goldie said.

    But that was cool. Shammi took inspiration from Dev?! Wow, that's new. ;) Thank you for sharing! :D

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  31. Forget, Goldie; Vyjayanthimala, who was the first choice for the role, refused the film outright. Waheeda was advised by everyone in the industry not to ruin her career by playing an adulteress. :)

    Shammi took inspiration from Dev?! Wow, that's new. ;)

    Well, he said so, in one of his Shammi Kapoor Unplugged series. You have watched those, haven't you?

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  32. Yeah, did they quarrel or what during the shooting of Jewel Thief? Someone said that Goldie and Vvjayanthimala weren't on talking terms when "Honton Pe Aisi Baat" was filmed. And Dev had to go and fight with everyone in classic filmi style because he wanted Waheeda for the role.
    I remember reading one guy's write-up, he was being sacarstic, "Dev's and Waheeda's relatives all thought that it was suicide - they were both at the peak of their careers, and they were making this movie? People also thought that Dev would go bankrupt (HEY. MEAN PEOPLE. SERIOUSLY. Dev = EPIC. And Guide was the third highest grossing film of the year. IN YOUR FACE, CRITICS.)"

    And yeah, I watched some, but I must've missed that. -goes back to watch-

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  33. I read that about the Jewel Thief shooting too; not sure how much truth is there in that.

    Guide was not a hit in the beginning. Devsaid that when it released, while the premiere was packed, there were no congragulatory messages, no responses at all. Days and weeks passed before the film became a conversation starter. He thought he had lost it all.

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  34. Don't know, but I don't think they worked together again.

    Yeah, Dev said that. He was like, "They didn't throw coins at the screen, which was how people appreciated dances". Wow, I guess they must've been REALLY shocked. Dev said he and Goldie spent sleepless nights... and I have to agree! But he didn't lose it all! Johny Mera Naam was the highest grossing film of 1970. Now that thing about losing it all is making me cry! >:(

    (Oh, really? Wikipedia said that it was the third. I like to imagine that it's the third, though. Just like how I always imagine Nau Do Gyarah as the highest grossing, although I know it isn't true!)

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  35. I don't need to tell you not to believe everything you read on Wiki, no? :))

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  36. Hey! I'm a Wiki contributer too! I expanded the article of Tere Ghar Ke Samne a LOT.

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  37. Not saying everything about Wiki is false; it's a good research tool, but never believe everything that iswritten there unless you have the facts from somewhere to back it up.

    Besides, not everyone who contributes is like you - to have done their research before adding to its pages. There are some absolute howlers there.

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  38. Exactly! There was this guy... he insulted Jewel Thief and Dev... it was seriously so bad that I was crying (It used to take a lot for me to cry, and this made me cry, but after Dev... yeah, I cry a lot now).

    How did you know that Guide was 27th or 28th? (Really people, you should've made it the highest grosser. Once my time machine is done, I will go back there and gatecrash to the premiere)

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  39. Sasha, mea culpa. I was mixing Guide in the whole decade, instead of that year. In 1965, the year that Guide released, it was the fifth highest grosser, after Waqt, Jab Jab Phool Khile, Himalay ki God Mein and Arzoo.

    I had those figures back from some feature we had done on the highest-grossing films of all time (until then (1990s) - you weren't even born yet. Sigh. Now, just writing that makes me feel old!)

    As for now, I should think searching the 'Net should give you figures. I remember vaguely a site called Boxofficeindia.com. (Not sure if it still exists.) We had to do it the hard way; calling Trade Analysts for info, and then double checking them against distributor figures.

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  40. Oh, that's cool. Looks like people did have at least a little bit of common sense in them. Fifth highest grosser - enough to save Dev's films - in your face, critics!

    And wow, was that for a newspaper thingy? Teehee, I was born in 1998! ;) And no, you aren't that old!

    I use boxofficeindia.com for references on Wikipedia (they're pretty reliable), so I guess it's okay. And wow, that must've been seriously hard!

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  41. Yes, Sasha,back in the days when we had computers only for a certain section of the newspaper (Business), and the rest of it was all cut-and-paste. Everything needed to be double checked because we (Indians) are not very good with keeping records of anything - so one person will have one set of figures, another will give us a second number, then we had to call the producers' offices to see what they had to say.

    As for being old, well, I could *almost* be your mother, and that's a lowering thought. :)

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  42.  Hmm, if you are Sasha's mother, I am old enough to be her grandmother, well, almost!

    I am impressed by the research Sasha has done, and her knowledge of the website you have mentioned, and I am thinking that in my working days in India, we did NOT have any computers anywhere in our bank.  I visited the offices of The Hindu once and they were doing everything the old way, with the typesetting stuff, and this was in '77!  Now I feel ancient!

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  43. Oh, yes, Lalitha, that is exactly what I meant by 'cut-and-paste'. We had typesetters (I even learnt how to do that because it interested me) in the 90s at the Sunday Observer; though we did have computers instead of typewriters to write our copy.

    At the time, I think only the Times had become completely computerised.

    Chalo, now, we shall all call you Dadiamma. :))

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  44. Oh wow, my grandma told me that they only started to get computers when she retired in '94. And I've been growing up with computers all my life. Shame! And wow, you got to call the producers' offices?! I am so jealous of you. Kidding. But yeah. Did you call Dev? Did you talk to him? :DDDDDD Can you tell him that I gave him a big hug?
     
    Aww, that's perfectly fine! As long as you get to meet Dev! :D

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  45. Naww, that's not research. I was like, "Where do they get all these awesome figures?" So I went to check, and it had all the box office grossers! So I happily went and checked out all of Dev's films (C.I.D. was highest grossing for '56! Yay!)

    How were typewriters? They had the same QWERTY keyboards like now, right? I remember in Asli-Naqli, Dev gets a job, but he can't use the typewriter, so Sadhana has to take notes for him and type the letters too. And in one scene, Sadhana asked, "Why have you written Renu, Renu?" And he replied, "Okay, then after this I will write Anand, Anand." But his typing skills were fail. Hey Dev, it's called, you leave a space after a full stop. Thank you. :P

    And yes, I have to connect everything to his movies!

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  46. Sigh. You make me feel even older!

    Got to call producers' offices...

    Don't envy me that, Sasha. That was one of the worst assignments I ever had!

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  47. Sorry! D:

    Why? Were they hard to get through to? Did you call Navketan? :DDDD

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  48. They were not only difficult to get to (and the Bombay telephones added to our misery), but the chaps we usually got to talk to a) didn't know the figures b) wouldn't get back when they said they would c) often fudged figures so obviously we needed to waste precious time double-checking our facts and then call them back - so we went through the whole rigmarole again.

    Yes, I did call Navketan, and you'll be glad to know we got called back promptly with the answers. :)

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  49. Wow, you'd expect that from Bombay! I really would want to take part in that, though. :) Must've been lots of fun to find out the figures for all the classic movies, I suppose? :D

    And... YAAAAAAAAAAAAAY! I knew Navketan would be awesome. :DDDDDDD How much did Nau Do Gyarah gross at the box office, by the way? -dying to find out-

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  50. Saa-aasha, I don't remember! God, girl, it was so long ago! :( 

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  51. By the way (sorry) I have a kinda problem. On Valentines' Day this year I wrote a letter to Dev. No, it wasn't a demented prem patra, it was just like some kinda regular fan mail. I was like, "What's up with the scarves? What's your favorite movie?" Stuff like that. So the next day my grandma saw it and she didn't say anything. Recently in school I wrote another one (because I realized I left out a lot of things in my original letter), and yesterday my grandma saw it (It wasn't complete), and today she was like, "STOP WRITING LETTERS TO DEV." Seriously? What's the big deal? And now whenever I think of Dev (which is 99.9% of the time) I get agitated. >:( What can I do?

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  52. From your grandmother's point of view, she must be finding it strange that you write letters to a man who died. I can understand how you must feel ( a little bit) because I used to be demented about Amitabh Bachchan when I was your age. I think Dev's becoming an obsession with you, and that's not something that any parent or guardian is likely to accept.

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  53. I guess... but... -sigh- I like his movies and all that, I like to talk to the TV (No, seriously, I do. When he falls for the villian's trap in Jewel Thief I was YELLING, and in Tere Ghar Ke Samne, I was talking to the TV, "Hey Dev, you're awesome, you know?" Kay, that was before he died but it still counts), and I don't see anything wrong with liking him. (Oh, and I also write notes on my iPod about Dev, like, "Hey Dev, why do you make it so obvious that you're not playing the guitar?" Seriously, in "Yeh Raat Yeh Chandni" it's so obvious that he is not playing the guitar!)

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  54. :) There is nothing wrong with liking Dev (and if it makes you feel better, I talk at the TV too). Or writing notes about Dev playing (or not playing) the guitar - but who the heck wants to look at the guitar when Dev's on screen??

    It's just that I *think* your grandmother wants to stop you from obsessing too much - in the spirit of 'too much of anything is too bad'. :))

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