Dev Anand

The golden era of Hindi cinema is a fading pageant. Dilip Kumar is still around. But stalwarts like Ashok Kumar and Raj Kapoor are gone. And now Dev Anand dies at the age of 88- the evergreen hero of the Hindi screen. Even when death was knocking at his door, he was engaged in brisk activity, planning his next production. He arrived in Bombay in the 1940s with the ambition of becoming a star. In 1946 he made his debut and two years later he made his first hit. Soon he set up his own production house, Navketan. He had to develop his own persona and image that set him apart from Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor. He was always the quintessential sophisticated, urban hero with the inevitable cigarette. Bombay did not welcome an actor from Punjab with open arms. He had to take the rough and the smooth. He portrayed characters which moved from darkness to light. His heroes wrestled with problems to keep the social contract in the ambience. His themes, his heroines, the music and his mannerisms revolved around his urban image. His city was no bed of roses, but he prevailed over the odds. Till his death, Dev Anand did not allow himself to succumb to age. His mind was always set on what his next venture would be. Maybe, his old age performances were not well received. But the man who progressed from “Guide” with beautiful Waheeda Rahman to “Dum Mere Dum” with sultry Zeenate Aman was a pillar of the Hindi cinema and his death is an irreparable loss.

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