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Dev Anand: Still a winner at 83

September 26, 2006
Raju Bharatan, doyen of India's film journalists, salutes a legend

As Dev Anand entered his 73rd year on Tuesday, September 26, 1995, as simultaneously he completed '50 Colourful Years In Indian Films' (having started out with Prabhat's Hum Ek Hain in 1946), this 'vintager' rang in person to invite me to a special do at the Hotel Leela Kempinski in the Sahar sector of Bombay.

As I here encountered in Dev a personality appearing to have discovered the secret of eternal youth, it was on the tip of my tart tongue to ask why he had not invited his first love Suraiya to that 50 years' happening. But better manners prevailed and, going off at a tangent, I sounded out Dev Anand on the possibility of my doing his biography.

"It's my biography," observed Dev, "so I should be writing it myself, don't you agree?"

I said I could not agree more and told the still debonair-looking Dev that I was eagerly awaiting the biography's advent. A decade and more down the line, Dev, we are still waiting for that biography under your own byline. I had summoned the gumption to raise the point at your 72nd birthday, Dev, only because your biography, as that of the perennial romantic, needed, as I viewed it, a certain comprehending musical treatment.

Remember, Dev, about how you had written to me, noting: "Raju -- When one thinks of music, you always come to mind, having written on it for years and years together. Do try and make it -- along with Girija (Rajendran -- Mrs Raju Bharatan)."

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