Dev Anand spoke with eFE on Love At Times Square and happiness that Times Square in New York evokes, what he would be if not a film star, secret behind his Gregory Peck style, how he became his own man, his dreams, corporatisation of the film sector, and of course madness about doing things that one believes in.
It is madness (junoon as he calls it) that drives success, he says.
Talk about corporatisation of the film sector, and he will have nothing to do with it. Movie-making is an individualistic work, he said.
Whether for funds or for censorship, he believes in freedom. Any political ambitions Running the country is the toughest thing to do, he replied.
On the involvement of the mafia in Bollywood, he dismissed it saying it was only a small percentage and shouldnt be taken too seriously. On how he was finding funding for his movies, he said he had a lot of goodwill in the industry, so money is not a problem!
If not a star, what then I would be you, he said in his inimitable style. A journalist. Im tremendously adventurous. Movement of the body and mind fascinates me. Flight to Washington, flight to New York, Timbaktoo, Tokyo. Meet people. Write stories, break stories. Excite the world, he said it all in one breath.
And then he added: I just would be a journalist. But a journalist, whos recognised, whos important. Theres no use being an average in any field. Try to reach the top.
Then he let out a secret.
Dev Anand and Gregory Peck: whats behind the comparison No, no, no. I dont want to be compared to anybody.
But, he confessed that his good friend Suraiyya used to be Gregory Pecks fan, and maybe thats how....In ones impressionable age, we used to see a lot of Hollywood films. Carry Grant, Paul Mooney and Gregory Peck were among the great actors that time. I was friendly with a girl called Suraiyya and she was a great fan of Gregory Peck....She would say look-look-look...maybe everyone has an idol at one time or the other, he said, leaving you to guess the meaning of it all. But it was Guide that was the turning point in his life. You come to a stage when you dont have an idol, you are yourself, he said. That was around early 60s when Guide was made. Guide took me across to the world, he said.
Even as Bollywood stars are taking to the small screen like it is nobodys business, Dev saab (as hes affectionately called) is busy with motion pictures. A lot of people say come to TV. But Im involved in my own thing, he said. Ultimate goal Difficult to say. Goals keep on changing. And they should. When Im making a picture, Im only making that picture. When that picture finishes, I go on to another. And then another. His golden words: Goals should keep on changing because dreams must never end. The moment your dream ends, it is your end. And the secret behind his success My positive attitude, he said.
One wouldnt let Dev Anand go off without asking him about his favourite actor. But, he ducked this one. I like a lot of them. Any names Difficult. By this time, another mediaperson was getting impatient for his turn to quiz Dev Anand. So, one had to leave, but not without being touched by his restless spirit.
And yes, his walk, his high trousers, his checked shirt, and the black muffler that symbolised Dev Anand in films ranging from Hum Dono to Guide to Tere Ghar Ke Saamne to Hare Rama Hare Krishna, everything remains evergreen. Just like him. In case you havent realised,theres never been a burnout phase in his life.