Dev Anand was planning an extensive tour of Britain and Europe to scout for locations for his next film, a sequel to the phenomenally successful Hare Rama, Hare Krishna and provisionally titled “Hare Rama, Hare Krishna AAj,” when he suddenly died here last week.
Describing Dev Anand's last days, his son Suneil on Thursday said his father was extremely happy to be back in London and excited about the prospect of travelling around Britain.
“His next film was to be shot in Britain and other European countries and he was looking forward to go on a location hunting expedition,” he said.
The script is 80 per cent complete but there is now a question mark over whether it would ever be made though Kenny Muir, U.K. representative of Navketan International Films, insisted that “we are determined to see it through.”
Making his first public appearance since losing his father, Mr. Suneil thanked the people of India and “my dad's fans around the world'' for their support.
“This was how he would have liked to be remembered. He was a man of the people and his instructions to us were never to stop anyone who wanted to meet him,” he said.
Seated in the basement hall of the hotel where his father breathed his last, Mr. Suneil said that despite the outpouring of support from the people around the world he felt “very lonely.”
“I miss him and I feel very lonely. He was not only my father but also a friend and a mentor. We worked together on all his projects. It is a lonely world without him. But I know he is up there somewhere and smiling,'' he said in a choked voice.
Dev Anand father was a “workaholic'' and left behind a large number of unfinished scripts and material relating to future projects.
“He was always working and the best tribute we can pay to him is to finish the projects he was working on,'' Mr. Suneil said.
Asked whether there were plans to donate his papers to a film archive or the Film Institute at Pune for the benefit of film historians and students of cinema, he said: “No, but as time passes we will try and make them available to the public in some form.”
How would his father like to have been remembered?
“Just for his work.”
Mr. Suneil said Dev Anand was a “forward-looking man'' who hated to look back.
“He was a Google man, if you know what I mean,'' he said.
His nephew Tony Sarin said that despite his public image he was a family man —“very caring and always around to help.”
London was apparently one of Dev Anand's favourite cities and the family is thinking of building a permanent memorial here to commemorate his love for the city.
Ashes to be brought to India
The last rites of Dev Anand will be held in London on Saturday, his family confirmed on Thursday.
He will be cremated at the Putney Vale Crematorium in South London and his ashes taken to India. Later, a memorial meeting will be held at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in Kensington, west London.