Dev Ananda A Friend Forever

Bollywood legend Dev Ananda, a good friend of Nepal, dies<br>A CORRESSPONDENT

Dec. 13, 2011, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol.: 05 No.-11 Dec. 09-2011 (Mangsir 23,2068)<br>

Nepalese fans always admired Bollywood legend Dev Aandna as he always expressed his deep love to Nepal.  The veteran actor, who had a distinct flair for romance and repartee on screen, will largely be remembered by the Nepali film fraternity for his risk-loving spirit and warmth towards Nepal.

He came to Nepal during the marriage ceremony of late King Birendra as a guest of late King Mahendra. When Nepal was in a complete isolation, Dev Ananda made two films which were box office hits in India.

“Devji had brought a very original style of acting which was an instant hit with the audiences here,” recalled director Neer Shah.

Shah, who met Anand several times in Kathmandu and Mumbai, remembers the actor as always being full of ideas for making films here. “Besides the blockbuster Hare Rama Hare Krishna, Devji also made Ishq Ishq Ishq and formally announced his plans (in Mumbai) to make a film on the royal massacre,” Shah said.

This might have been a project of great interest to the late actor who was popular in Kathmandu for his friendship with members of the erstwhile royal family. “He was a very good friend of late King Mahendra and also had good relations with former king Gyanendra,” Shah added.

The film Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971) is remembered most for its hedonistic hit song Dum Maro Dum. It was, of course, a breakthrough in Ananda’s career—his first blockbuster after his debut film flopped. But besides the actor’s personal and professional success in Kathmandu, journalists have conjectured of his role in boosting the image of India in Nepal and vice versa.

The late actor was thus approached for some non-filmy interests as well, but there is more reason to believe that his charm and charisma was not just screen-deep.

“I am deeply saddened by the passing away of Devji and this event makes me very nostalgic,” Shah confessed, as did other old time members of Kollywood.

Dev Anand, popular for always rendering a positive image of Nepal—its people and physical beauty—and having brought Kathmandu to the Indian film screen with period films like Hare Rama Hare Krishna, has clearly left a legacy in the country.

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