‘Nobody questioned the films he made. Everyone realised it was important for him’

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Prasoon Joshi, lyricist and ad filmmaker

Photo: Indian Express Archive

ALL MY life, I desperately wanted to work with Dev Anand. I remember I was in a meeting when I got a call from him asking me if I’d work for him. Initially, I thought someone was playing a prank on me. For a fanboy like me, he embodied nearly mythological dimensions. He was a star we grew up with, the original cool dude.

I went on to write a song for his film Love At Times Square (2003). I did it pro bono, without even listening to the script. Getting to work with him was enough for me. When I met him, what struck me most was that he had the same style, the mannerism, the defined drawl as he had on screen. If I was to put it philosophically, he represented the advait, there was no second, there was one Dev Anand. One cannot say that about many actors.

The film industry is believed to be ruthless. But when it comes to Dev saab, it was indulgent. Nobody questioned the films he made. Everybody realised it was important for him to keep making films. People were happy to collaborate with him.

His romantic image was not just for the screen, he was indeed a romantic person. He believed in life. He believed in romancing life. People become cynical and slow down as they age. Yet, here was this man, an artiste who just had to express himself, throbbing with ideas, wanting to meet new people and continue taking risks all his life.

He had a great affinity for melody and poetry. As a poet, I can see how he inspired the lyricists of that time to propagate a philosophy that we find in his music, and that philosophy is of embracing positivity, of growing with life and discarding worries along the way. Har fikr ko dhuen mein udata chala gaya.

As told to Sunaina Kumar

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