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For Dev Anand Life was a song

By J.K. Bhagchandani

Dev Anand

Dev Anand

‘India’s youngest star dies at 88’ read the heading in the ‘Times of India’ on Dec. 05, 2011, and that I think, aptly summed up the persona of Dev saab. His zest, zeal and enthusiasm emitted so much of positive energy that ordinary mortals like us can only applaud at the sidelines.

The anecdote that defines the Dev Saab’s concept of a film (or his life for that matter) goes back to early seventies. It was when he declined the offer of film ‘Zanjeer’ as the film did not have any song picturized on him. An eternal romantist that he was, a movie without such musical ingredient, was not the type Dev saab would feel at home. That was the kind of importance he gave to the film’s music. The super success of that film ‘Zanjeer’ (which commissioned Amitabh Bachan to the subsequent immortality) may spur some analysts to declare the incident as ‘a missed opportunity’ or ‘a great professional blunder’ but not Dev Saab himself. ‘Regret’ was most un-used English word and least practiced sentiment by Indian Gregory Peck. Ever heard him even mention this incident of offer of Zanjeer to any one? Even otherwise, by the time the Zanjeer was conceived, Dev saab’s super stardom status was already a deep rooted phenomenon. So Zanjeer was needed by Amitabh more than by Dev Saab.

If above anecdote outlined the Dev’s thoughts about cinema, the other incident that defined the Dev Anand, the person, was his refusal to bow to the dictates of the power that were during emergency, resulting in his temporary ban from AIR and Doordarshan. Again the noted absentee in his conduct was ‘regret’ factor.

Rafi Sahab and Dev Anand

Rafi Sahab and Dev Anand

It is also a fact that many of his last films had flopped. But considering the enormity of his popularity and stardom, this fact needs to be kept aside. But what can not be kept aside is his enthusiasm oozing face, vibrant eyes looking for that ‘something’ and the way he perused his convictions.

A lot has already been written about him. So anything more will be at the cost of repetition.

Like his contemporaries (Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar), his understanding and indulgence in music of his films was enormous. His association was with many music directors but with S.D. Burman it was something special. It was the combination of Dev Anand-S.D. Burman and Mohammed Rafi which added that unprecedented fillip to Dev saab’s debonair image.


J.K.Bhagchandani, the author of this article.

Let us celebrate Dev Saab’s legendary musical disposition through 10 songs (solos) of his combination with Rafi saab and S.D. Burman. These songs, in my opinion are the top 10 of above combination. Many readers will agree, many may not. But exercise in itself is fascinating.

1. Tere Mere sapne ab ek rang hain (Guide):
2. Kabhi khud pe kabhi haalat pe rona aaya (Hum Dono)
3. Apni to har aah ek toofan hai (Kala Bazar):
4. Aise to na dekho (Teen Deviyaan)
5. Main Zindagi ka saath nibhata chala gaya (Hum Dono)
6. Dil ka bhanwar kare pukaar (Tere Ghar ke saamne)
7. Din dhal jaye haai (Guide)
8. Ham bekhudi mein tumko pukare (Kala Pani)
9. Tu kahan ye bataa is nashili raat mein (Tere Ghar ke saamne)
10. Kya se kya ho gaya (Guide)

Dev saab is dead. Long live Dev Anand. ………‘Abhi na jao chhod kar..’

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15 Blog Comments to “For Dev Anand Life was a song”

  1. J.K. Bhagchandani says:

    I would like to thank all the readers for their compliments and great responses. I am deeply overwhelmed.

    Till Hare Rama Hare Krishna, music played a very important role in Dev Anand’s movies. And Rafi saab played the pivotal role in many such musical ventures of Dev saab. If we include other music directors also in the list, the list will swell enormously with inclusion of movies like Asli Naqli’, Sharabi, Jab Pyar Kisi se hota hai, Amar Deep, Maya, Duniya, Love Marriage, Pyar Mohabbat etc. I would request Hans ji to add to the list.

    J.K. Bhagchandani

  2. Binu Nair says:

    Attending today 16th december the Prayer meeting of evergreeen dev anand at mumbais historic mehboob studios from 5 pm to 7 pm.

    mehboob studio is the place where i first saw dev anand during the shooting of desh pardes where we had a music rehearsal with asha ji, salil da and saxo king manohari singh. on a cool sunday morning.

    mehboob studio is the place where our mohd rafi saaheb had his last song recording of few lines with laxmikant and pyarelal : ” tu kahin aaas paaas hai dost”.

    mehboob studio is the place from where mohd rafi saaheb last walked from the studio to his residence after the recording saying to L P that he will be back for recording the full song . that was not to be.

    yes . immortal men and women worked i n mehboob studios and its a historic place .

    i remember the immortal men of our cinema once more – today.

    from the rafi foundation, mumbai

  3. Ahmad Misbaah says:

    His good looks, unique style and mannerisms, the up-ended and loose, ankle-length trousers, tilt of the neck with a tuft of hair falling on the forehead under a beret worn askew, and fast-paced dialogue delivery accompanied with nodding were all part of his act.

    He did not get many awards for acting but he did not care. After all, he was Dev Anand.

    Indeed, Dev Anand’s much-acclaimed Guide, based on R.K. Narayan’s novel, was directed by his younger brother, Vijay.

    It is the only film where Dev Anand did not play Dev Anand, having left, for once, his trademark style, mannerisms, and peculiar way of delivering dialogue to play the eponymous guide to Waheeda Rahman’s visiting tourist character. The film won Dev Anand a rare best actor award and many more accolades back in 1966.

    Music was the backbone of almost all Dev Anand films.

    There are too many of them but those brought up on the Dev Anand films would immediately recall Main Zindgi Ka Saath Nibhata Chala Gaya (from the film Hum Dono), Gata Rahe Mera Dil (Guide), Khoya Khoya Chand (Kala Bazaar) and Mana Janab Ney sPukara Nahi (Paying Guest).

    Dev Anand never really gave up. Even though his films had stopped clicking in the early 80s, he continued to make them, starring himself in the male lead, with painful regularity.

    He was the story-writer, producer, director, editor, actor, et al. It was pathetic to see a great star become a victim to hubris.

  4. Ahamed Kutty says:

    Dear j.k.b. ji,

    i used to see your various comments and i think this wonderful
    site need people like to you to give good comments as rafian
    like me the knowledge about rafi saab is very little.the timely
    write up to remember rafi saab and devji is excellent.kindly
    keep it up.

    with regards,

    ahamed kutty

  5. bhagchandaniji,

    your article is unique in a way that you brought out to the fore a great facet in dev’s personality. zanjeer episode, goes to prove how strong was dev sahab’s inner self and his convictions. he was known for exactly opposite things. famous and flop movies. nothing detered him. he did because he liked to. that is what made truly great – that is what made him dev anand.

    there is so much to talk about this enigmatic film personality that even at the cost of repitition one could write a book.

    bhagchandaniji, aap ek achhey manjhey lekhak ho, likhthey rahiye. achha lagtha hai. mann ko sukoon milthaa hai.

    aap hameshaa apnee vichaaron mein gehree vazan paidaa karthey hai.

    i personally like a write up or article when too much is not written about songs but about the person himself. you have done great justice to this aspect.

    i always felt one could write grreat things about rafi sahab the peron and the personality, than his songs only.

    ramesh narain kurpad.

  6. Rajesh Vyas says:

    Nice… Very Interesting….. 🙂

  7. Zaheendanish says:

    Dev Anand was cremated on 10 December 2011 in London.

    It is sad to note the event for Indian people, a actor who brought up in indian cinema got fame, respect, money, sucessful life, but the end ditched the heart of indian people by selecting last journey on the soil of UK instead of his motherland India. As it known the decision of Dev Anand family to cremate him in London, at the same time I wish they could have brought his body to India where millions of his fans could get the last chance to pay respect to their beloved actor. In fact the whole film industry was waiting for his body to come to Mumbai.

    Also it is in news that While fans in India could not have a last glimpse of the star, his ashes will be flown back to Mumbai, the city associated for over 60 years with the thespian’s incomparable body of work. A memorial service will be held at the Mehboob studio in Mumbai on December 15.

  8. Nasreen says:

    oops, i just read your post no. 4 which does add the song I mentioned above. Apologies for writing too soon.

  9. Nasreen says:

    Thank you for an article that aptly sums up what Dev Sahab was. And your choice of his top 10 songs absolutely hits the nail on the head. These are really the best of his songs. Another one which i could not have left out and which belongs to the same category is “Kahin bekhayal ho kar”



  10. Champaka Megharaj says:

    J K B ji, Very well written article !! An apt tribute to the late Dev sab as well as late Rafi sab.. They indeed complemented each other in a great way.. One by his inimitable mellifluous voice, the other by his most handsome looks !!

    May both the great souls rest in eternal peace.

  11. J.K. Bhagchandani says:

    Hikmat Bahadur Mali saab (Post 3):

    Yes, the music director of ‘Hum Dono’ was Jaidev. The error is from my side. The error occurred while attaching the MS Word file for sending to the moderator of this site. By mistake I attached an earlier saved file. In the updated file (which I should have attached) I had replaced those two songs of Hum Dono with ‘Khoya Khoya chand…. (Kala Bazar) and ‘Kahin bekhyal ho kar….’ (Teen Deviyaan). My apologies for the error. All the readers are requested to kindly consider the list with the corrections as stated.

    -J.K. Bhagcahndani

  12. The music director of the Film ” Hum Dono ” is the great Jaidev.

  13. MUKESH JOSHI says:

    Lovely article, Devsaab never dies will always be in our hearts.

  14. H.A.K. Walijah says:

    Dear J.K. Bhagchandani Ji,

    Dev Anand is a legend like Rafi Sahab. He almost spent 60 years of his life in acting and making films. Your simple write up told everything in a very concise manner. Your listing of 10 songs are of course unforgettable and will always be in our memory.

    Thanks for coming up with your timely write up as a tribute to the great actor. Overall it is a very short & sweet tribute to the legend.

    Best regards

    H.A.K. Walijah

  15. sunil kumar says:

    sir, Dev Saheb will be remembered as ever green romantic Hero. Why is it so why this image of Dev saheb though he was 88 yrs old. I feel this image was created by the soft romantic songs of Rafi & SDB combination. Full credit must be given to both for this . Because what we still remember at end of the day is songs from tere ghar ke saamne, Guide, Kala Bazar , Kala Pani . There were other songs of Rafi with Jai Dev as MD ” Main Zindgi ka saath nibhata zhala gaya” & ” Abhi na jao chodkar “. Dev himself said in an interview recently with simi grewal abhi na jao chodjar as the most romantic song. Hema ji played some roles during later years of his career She worked in Johny Mera Naam , JOSHILA , SHARIEF BADMASH , CHUPA RUSTAM & AMIR GARIB. If i have not missed any more she in an interview after his death said Dev saheb’s image was supported by Rafi’s music. In all the movies she worked with Dev not a single song of Rafi But she remembered all those soft romantic songs of Rafi support my point that Rafi saheb played very crucial role in making Dev an Everlasting evergreen Romantic hero.She also added her mother was a very big fan of Dev saheb. He was Hero for a Grand mother ,mother and her daughter for three generations It will be difficult for any of the today’s heroes to fulfill that feat.

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