I liked everything about him. His style, his grace, his dress sense, his naughty smile, his love for good looking girls, everything. There was an inane purity about whatever he did. Even when he talked about his affairs and women in his life, he said those with so much grace, openness and class. He was an icon to me. Something, or someone, I wanted to become, not as a profession but as a persona. No one will call Dev Saab, a Casanova. He was not one, but he was an admirer of beauty, in fact all things which are beautiful in this world.
When I grew older, I started liking his grace more than his style. But the interesting thing was, I was never ever thinking of doing what he is doing as a profession, that is, becoming an actor. That never went through my mind at all. Interesting. Which tells me, that I was more influenced by who he was, and not by what he did. I remember several years back, I was interviewed for a magazine, about my work life and entrepreneurship. The journalist asked, “What do you think constitutes an ideal entrepreneur or elements of successful professional leader in business?”
I said, if there was someone, with a combination of Jamshedji Tata, Dhirubhai Ambani and Dev Anand, that would make an ideal leader. One represents social justice in business, other epitomizes growth and Dev Saab radiates vibrant positive energy.
I had met him at a Delhi Press club meet, several years back, that time Amitabh Bachchan, had joined politics and someone asked him, “when are you going to join politics?” He said instantly, “I will never join. It is too difficult to be a politician. You have to think only about the country from morning till evening. I can’t do that, I have to follow my creative pursuits.” “What is your actual age?” He was asked. He said, it depended on who is asking this question.
I remember to have read his complete book “Romancing with life” in one go, in a Hong Kong hotel on a Sunday morning. His personality comes out clearly in the book.
I wanted him to come to Globsyn and address my students and share some of his positive energy with them. It didn’t happen. I spoke to him on phone. He picked up the phone and asked why do you want to invite me. I told him our subjects are the same. I work for the development of youth, and you have to come. Unfortunately, that year his diary was full, and I missed him. But just talking to him on the phone, made my day.
There was an energy in him, that always radiated. I will be lying, if I say, I was not influenced by his persona, as I grew up. Many of my friends talk about my energy in life and in work. I used to quietly smile, but somewhere Dev Saab, must have contributed.
Good bye, Dev Saab. I will always remember you. You will always be in my life, as long as I live.
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