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“Dev Anand the Legend, I saw “Dev” in You” – Ali Peter John


Ali Peter John

A rare privilege both the Dev above and Dev Sahab gave me

God lives inside the legendary dev anandI don’t have to remember Dev, the eternal Anand because he lives in me and with me. I have not seen God (Dev) but after knowing Dev Anand very closely for more than 40 years ( a rare privilege both the Dev above and Dev Sahab gave me) I have a strong feeling that the Dev above must be looking as handsome as Dev Sahab and must be having a heart and mind like Dev Sahab.

Talking about Dev Anand is a thrill I have never experienced while talking about anyone else. Feeling the experience of spending hours with Dev Anand in bliss. Writing about my meetings and talks with him is like writing the most interesting pages of a holy book and trying to know that I was a witness to some of the best moments in his legendary life is like being with him wherever he is singing, dancing and entertaining and enlightening another world. Knowing the eternal and evergreen Dev Anand was a blessing that not everyone gets and I will always count Dev Anand as one of the most wonderful miracles I have seen in this life. It is years since Dev Anand made people believe that even an eternal enigma like him could die and still continue to live in the heart’s and minds of people who have still believe that they live in a world without Dev Anand

I have my own reasons to believe that Dev Anand was like God because he had all the qualities that God is supposed to have as described in all the holy books but has not been proved and has not stood the tests of time or the truth.

Witnessing an era of Legendary Dev Anand

God lives inside the legendary dev anandDev Anand was like the Dev above as and when he was in action and I had rarely seen him inactive or sitting idle in his large and ornate chair in his pent house office which always gave me the feeling that the palace of the Dev above must have been inspired by Dev’s pent house. Dev was always on the move and even way ahead of the times he was living in. He had some advisers who asked him not to raise against time and he always said, “time runs too fast and Dev cannot let time beat him in the race. I have a million promises to keep to myself and how will I keep them if I don’t run and race with time however hard time may try to beat me. Let the world run at its own pace but Dev will run his own race in the only way he knows’

Dev was Dev because he had a place for everyone in his large heart. Dev must have helped hundreds of people in the industry and outside it but he never believed in doing anything to show off his benevolence and never once did he make any attempts to claim that he was helping out people and their causes. Wasn’t this what the Dev above would have liked to do?

In all my years with Dev Sahab, I never nce heard him speaking ill about anyone, even about his most strident critics and competitors. I had never once heard him even calling someone an idiot or a fool. He had his own political ideology, but he never let it interfere with his work as a creative person. He was perhaps the only man who was so much a part of the film industry and yet so much out of it.

Did Dev Anand have the power to work miracles? I can only give some examples of what people called his miracles. One afternoon, four men carried an extremely obese woman into his pent house and he looked horrified. The men told him that the doctors had given up hope for her, but the dying woman firmly believed that if she met Dev Anand and he touched her, she would be healed. Dev Sahab told them that he was just as human as the sick woman and could not do anything for her, but the men kept pleading with him and asked Dev Sahab to at least touch the woman and I could see tears rolling down Dev Sahab’s eyes when he reluctantly touched the woman who the men said had smiled for the first time after months. The people left the pent house and were seen at Dev Sahabs pent house again only after twenty days and the woman who was brought on a stretcher the last time was now walking erect and smiling brightly. She tried to touch Dev Sahab’s feet. But he ran out of his pent house.

On another occasion, I met the wife of an old producer and after lunch, she took me to her kitchen opened her cupboard and took out an old photographs of Dev Sahab, touched it to her forehead and told me that she had the photographs with her for more than forty years and whenever she felt sad or sick, she touched the photograph and she was healed.

Actresses always considered him and even called him “a man of God”and actresses like Hema Malini and Raakhee made it a point to visit temples on the day of the release of any of his new films. And the sisters Farha Naaz and Tabu have always kept Dev Sahabs in their duaas.

And what do I say about a man who was admired and loved by all the villains working at different times, especially actors like Pran, Ajit, Jeevan, Amjad Khan, Amrish Puri and Nana Patekar who when I had introduced to Dev Sahab sat at his feet in his pent house and cried for fifteen minutes because he said, he couldn’t believe that he was sitting with his hero. And what about Kamal Hassan and Rajinikant and even the great Sivaji Ganesan who kept calling him young man young man and also called him “God’s good man,”

And politicians like Bal Thackeray, Sharad Pawar and Atal Bihari Vajpayee went on record to say that he was a saint caught in a devil’s world



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