“Abhi Naa Jao chodkar, Ke Dil Abhi Bhara Nahi.” – (Hum Dono, 1961) is the apt song for describing the charisma and aura which reflects from Dev Anand. The Dev Anand Story is a recollection of his rise to stardom and the years after. He was a man who lived for the Indian Film industry and gave back immensely through his expertise in this field. Dr. Govind Sharma has written the book after meticulous research and that is evident from the chapters itself.
Dev Anand worked as a regular employee and struggled in Bombay to make a mark for himself. But after his first break, he never looked back. He did not believe in attaching himself to his works and that is why the success or failure of his movies could not deeply bother him.
Interestingly, as society does with all the actors, he too was not spared of comparison- either with other actors of his time or with his own works. After the phenomenal success of Guide; Dev Anand not only became a household name but also set a benchmark for himself in the world of Indian Cinema, that no other actor or his own work could break. As an actor, he has had his fair share of rumors to deal with but has always been successful in keeping them at bay and impressing his audience with his work.
The Dev Anand Story immortalizes the ma himself through the writings of the author. The principles that he followed all his life, are indeed lessons of life for others. His friendship with Guru Dutt can never be forgotten. While they were both starting out, they each made a promise to the other, which they eventually fulfilled. He was also a true lover although destiny had other plans for him. His relationships with his co-stars – contemporaries or younger- had always been a two-way learning process. He was an experimental man and thus each movie made under his home banner- Navketan Films- had a different theme. However, ironically whenever he signed movies outside his banner he portrayed the stereotypical lover-boy.
Until his death at the age of eighty-eight Dev Anand did not rest. He experimented, acted, directed, produced, and suggested changes for scripts. He especially liked to work with new people as it gave him a newer perspective on situations and life. These traits of his personality truly made him an evergreen hero of the Indian Film Industry. His contributions were immense and his death deeply saddened his fans that spanned over at least three generations.
To conclude I would say that The Dev Anand Story is a great resource for researchers, film students, and anyone who would like to delve deeper into the ideologies of the man himself. His philosophies, struggles, personal life, friendships, experiments, trivia’s, rumors, love life, and a lot more are discussed in details. Nevertheless, one drawback of the book would be its editing. A crisper editing and deletion of repeated points would make the book a perfect read.
Disclaimer: I would like to Thank NotionPress for sending over a review copy in exchange for an honest review.