In Praise of Dev Anand, India’s Gregory Peck. R.I.P!

Earlier this week, Dev Anand, a well known veteran Bollywood actor passed away. He was over 88 years old and he died because of cardiac complications. I was one of his biggest fans, something I share with my father who could at one point name every movie, recite every dialogue and talk about Dev Anand’s movies forever. He saw so many of his movies that I fell in love with them.

As a young writer in India, when being part of Newsmen Features, I got a chance to meet Mr. Anand. It was a wonderful conversation and he treated me – somewhat of a rookie writer – with a lot of respect and kindness. In my one and only interaction, he proved to be a gentleman and a star. I came back to Delhi and wrote about him in a column, that was widely circulated. That was almost two decades ago. At the time, Mr. Anand was a spritely 70.

Last night I emailed my mentor Mukesh Khosla who runs Newsmen Features, a New Delhi-based news agency and editorial service. We went down the memory lane. He dug up my article from his archives and sent it along. I share with you the article (written with many Indian colloquialisms and spellings intact), more as a celebration of Mr. Anand’s life and not as his obituary. For me, he will always be forever young.

Despite 70‑odd summers, Dev Anand is still the everyman’s hero. A man’s man and a woman’s dream. Almost half a century after his entry into films, video cassettes of his old hits are still being snapped up by teenagers who have never seen a better romantic hero than him. In fact at 70, Dev Anand looks as if he could play a couple of sets of tennis, pack a pint, look at the time and say, ” How about a three‑kilometer jog……?”

Continue reading “In Praise of Dev Anand, India’s Gregory Peck. R.I.P!”

Backoffice India

From Red Herring October 2000 issue Every so often India is rediscovered. Hippies in the ’60s sought enlightenment there. Then came the Deepak Chopra enthusiasts. And now, venture capitalists are seeking to cash in on a raft of Internet startups. But like the early spiritual travelers, most VCs are about to discover how elusive nirvana … Continue reading Backoffice India