'Memorial Service for Dev Anand to Be Held in Mumbai'

H S Rao/London
'Memorial Service for Dev Anand to Be Held in Mumbai'
A fitting memorial service for Bollywood legend Dev Anand, who passed away here last week, will be held at the Mehboob Studio in Mumbai on December 15, his son Suneil Anand said here today.

"After the funeral here on Saturday, I will be flying to Mumbai with his ashes and there a fitting memorial service will be held for him at the Mehboob Studio," Suneil told reporters at the Washington Mayfair hotel here this evening.

The cremation of the legendary 88-year old actor at Putney Vale Crematorium on Saturday will be followed by a memorial service at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan here.

"As far as the funeral arrangement is concerned, the cremation will take place at Putney Vale Crematorium here at 11.40 am (local time) on Saturday. It will be followed by a memorial service at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan at 2 pm.," said Dev Anand's nephew Tony Sarin.

Answering a question on the delay in performing the funeral, Suneil said, "there were certain formalities" to be carried out.

"We have to abide by the law of the land. Now everything is set. We decided to have the cremation in London. As soon as the cremation is over, I will fly with the Ashes. After the memorial at the Mehboob Studio the ashes will be immersed in the holy river in Nasik," he said at a press conference organised by Indian Journalists Association (IJA).

Suneil thanked the "people of India and the world over for their outpouring sympathy towards my father and the family".

"Passing of such an amazing man was really shocking. He was not only a legend, he was an incredible family man. He did so much for so many people," he underlined.

Answering a question on Dev Anand's legacy, Suneil said he would strive to keep the memory of Dev Anand alive.

"I will continue to revive his films. His legacy will continue." He said he would consider completing Dev Anand's last project 'Song of Life' - a musical love story.

Dev Anand was planning to shoot Song of Life in the UK, USA, Europe and India.

"I will consider completing it. It is a beautiful script," Suneil said.

"As time go on, I will look into them (legacy). He was a workaholic, he loved cinema. I remember him first as my Dad and as a friend. He was my best friend. I loved to work with him," Suneil said.

"I loved my father very much. I was close to him. God bless him," he said.

Asked whether he had left behind a Will, Suneil said "a sort of (Will)." He declined to give details, saying "I would rather not."

Asked whether Dev Anand was religious, Suneil said "he was not overtly religious but believed in God."

Responding to a question on a memorial in London, Suneil said "he loved London. We could do it. He was a global man."

He said Dev Anand was very happy when he visited Lahore with former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.

"His thoughts were that India should never have been divided. He loved Lahore and he felt at home there. He belonged to the world and the world belonged to him."

Joginder Sanger, owner of Washington Hotel where the actor died, said, "It is a very sad occasion."

"Popularly known as Dev ji, he expired suddenly. Perhaps this is what was written by the Lord. He had a good innings and he died the death of a saint," he said.

He also read out a condolence from Equity UK.

"Equity UK is saddened to learn about the sudden passing away of Dev Anand during his visit to London. We appreciate his lifelong contributions to the Indian film industry and send our heartfelt condolences to his family," it said.

Dev Anand died of cardiac arrest on December 3 at the Washington Hotel here at the age of 88, leading to an outpouring of grief from his fans across the globe.
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