Whatever else you may think of Dev Anand, or the films he took to making in his later years decades, his place in film history and popular culture is assured forever because of the movies he did in the black and white era, and even more so for the songs picturised on him. While Guide almost always gets cited for its soundtrack, and there definitely are some other gems from the early "colour" decades, those B&W songs — from the pens of Majrooh to Hasrat to Sahir (or even Shailendra) and some of the very best of Hemant, Rafi and Kishore under (largely) the magic of S.D. Burman — alone are enough to remember him as the one who got the best songs to sing. And some of the most memorable.
So long and thanks for all the poetry set to music...
Rest in peace.
Also read: All Those Jaunty Angles and more from Outlook Archives
Kanchhedia Chammar, Rampur, India ::
There could be some critical analysis of Dev Saab's life and career, but must you have to spill your vitriolic acid against him at this time and prove to justify the essence of your last name!!
Dev Anand’s autobiography “Romancing with life” appears to be a very honest portrayal of the man called Dev Anand. Dev Anand’s early life revolved around the towns of Gurdaspur, Amritsar, Lahore and the hill stations of Dalhousie, and Dharamsala. He hailed from a well to do family originally of village Gharota. His father was a leading lawyer of Gurdaspur, who wanted to give first grade education to all his children.
During summer vacations in the schools, Dev’ Anand’s father used to rent a small cottage owned by an Englishman Mr. Robinson at a hilltop in Dalhousie, a very captivating hill-station in Gurdaspur district. Dev was put for the summers in a famous Sacred Heart Convent School Dalhousie, set among highly picturesque surroundings. Dev was enrolled in Government College Lahore for his graduation, which he did with honours in English. But soon he discovered that his father had fallen on bad days, and Dev couldn't fulfil his dream of persuing higher education at London, and instead of his father's advice for persuing MA, he opted for becoming a movie star at Bombay. The rest is history.
In an industry where an actor is only as good as his / her last film, a man who had not given a hit in the last thirty years, retained his aura till the end.
"Before bollywood there was Dev Anand the romantic hero, and after bollywood Dev Sahab was the last Moghul". Rishi Kapoor, rightly said; Dev Sahab was contemporary to his father, but at 88, he was more youthful than his 28 year old son Ranbir Kapoor.! Legends never Die.
No R.I.P.for Dev Anand.
Thank you for posting this playlist!
Elite education in the days of the British Raj had what Edward Said would call an orientalist bias. Children of the elite attending English-medium missionary and public schools would routinely be taught to look up to everything Western, and look down upon everything Indian. I leave it to psychologists to fathom what attitude those who were corporally punished for uttering anything in a vernacular language would have to the vernacular languages and people when they grow up. Ashis Nandy’s study of Kipling is a case in point.
There is considerable evidence that the practice that the British started as a tool of colonial subjugation continues in an India that is independent only in name, and what the English-speaking Indians have for a mind continues to be mortgaged for life to Western culture. A recent news story on La Martiniere in Lucknow is a case in point.
Adulatory obituaries of Dev Anand do not mention where he went to school, but several of them did mention that he got a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Government College Lahore, where I am quite sure his mind was thoroughly colonized. In spite of a life spent in vernacular media, Dev Anand retained a contempt for the vernacular quite characteristic of colonized minds that colleges such as Government College Lahore specialize in churning out. Here is why I think I am justified in saying what I do:
I cannot recall seeing any interview with Dev Anand on TV or in documentaries in any language other than English, and I do not think that he was capable of conceiving anything beyond a most rudimentary thought in any language other than English, let alone of uttering a grammatically correct sentence in Hindi that had not been written for him. In Sandip Ray’s Hindi documentary on Kishore Kumar (Zindagi Ek Safar), Dev Anand and Sandip Ray’s father Satyajit, stand out as two people who recount their recollections of Kishore in English, a language Kishore Kumar remained ill at ease with throughout his short life.
It is significant that Dev Anand chose to write (or have ghost-written) his biography in English. And since all those who have been heaping fawning praise on him in adulatory obituaries claim that he was a bon vivant full of beans to his last breath, he does not seem to have been troubled by the fact that he made his living uttering uncouth dialogues in an uncouth language like Hindi to amuse uncouth menials who are caught in the prisonhouse of their uncouth language. One wonders why he did not seek a living through English, a language he evidently loved. But then, there is a difference between asskissing and competence. Government College Lahore taught Dev Anand to revere English literature, without teaching him much about it. I started glancing through his biography and stopped when I came across a sentence on page 3, where in describing what he came across in the lobby of Waldorf Astoria in New York, the erudite Dev Anand describes the works of Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce and Ayn Rand as “pride of the American literary world.” Whether the despicable filth that Ayn Rand turned out can be called literature in any sense of the word, no matter how loose, is open to question. One can once accept that since she wrote what she did after having arrived in the US, her writings are a part of American literature. But at Government College Lahore, young Dharmdev Pishorimal does not seem to have delved too deeply into the writings of James Joyce, for I cannot imagine anybody reading any work of James Joyce without realizing his roots in Ireland.
What amazes me about the surging audience of Hindi cinema is their acquiescence in the contempt that most of those who make money out of Hindi films have for Hindi. But more on that later.
Nobody ACCUSED Dev Anand of acting! Even if he received Filmfare for Kaal Paani and Guide!
Dev saab was all about style and Urban Charisma. Dilip saab and Raj Kapoor can look like villagers. Dev saab Forget that!
Yes Dev Saab had great BIG ears for music. SD/SJ, Saahir and Shailendra with an occasional Majrooh did create the best of the hindi movie songs
A lousy actor and completely delusional, but you have to give it to the dude, he had an ear for music!! I salute him for that!
Whole day on TV and Radio, it was his songs! Best weekend in a long time!!