Together they created magic. The film adaptation of R.K. Narayan's acclaimed novel, The Guide, carved a place for itself in the hall of fame of Indian cinema, exalted by winning performances by Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman.
On Saturday night, that “guide,” Dev Anand, ended his journey through time, leaving behind a cinematic legacy built over decades.
Ms. Rehman, who starred with the evergreen icon for most part of her career, recalled the warmth of his affable personality.
“He was very, very nice, Ms. Rehman told The Hindu over the telephone. “My first movie, C.I.D., was with him. I did [most of my] movies with him. He was very cooperative, helpful and a nice gentleman. He was a decent man, warm and loving,” she said.
Ms. Rehman did three movies with Dev Anand's production house Navketan International Films.
Ms. Rehman said, she did not remember him speaking ill of anybody. With all his idiosyncrasies, here was a man simple at heart.
A simple man
“He was a simple man. He never spoke ill of anybody or any movies. He was in his own world, full of energy and stamina,” Ms. Rehman said.
There was no such thing as growing old in his world. The reason why his sudden demise came as a shock to actress Vyjayanthimala Bali. She had acted with Dev Anand in Amar Deep and Jewel Thief.
“It was sad and upsetting when I heard the news this morning. He was always full of energy, always on the move, always full of energy. He never showed any sickness. He was exuberant and youthful, good, courteous, and a cultured person. We made a good team,” she told The Hindu on phone from Chennai.
For the dance sequence in the song ‘Honton pe aisi baat' from Jewel Thief, Ms. Vyjayanthimala had to take a full turn round the hall before she returned to Dev Anand, who was on the drums.
“Dev had to play the drums and I had to move around. He had to wait before I reached him. It took quite a lot of footage. He was patient and nice and we did it in one shot. He was not the one who required many retakes,” she said.
But if there is one thing Ms. Vyjayanthimala gleefully remembers, it is him calling her ‘papa' — a Tamil term he picked up in Chennai. “We were shooting in Chennai for Amar Deep, my first film with Dev. It's a remake of Tamil film Amara Deepam. Everyone there called me ‘papa', meaning ‘baby'. So, he started calling me that and did that till the end. ‘Where is papa? Where is my actress?' he would say.”
All those compliments he paid to his co-star for her performances made her day. “He was one who immediately paid compliments. It's nice to hear them. After a shot, he would say, ‘great shot'. We got along very well. I shared a comfort level with him. He was very easy to work with. We shot three-four films together. I remember shooting with him in Sikkim. He'd be quiet and make suggestions when he had them.”
One more thing that impressed Ms. Vyjayanthimala was Dev Anand's height. “I was known as a tall actress in the industry. And Dev was tall, so height was not a problem,” she recalled.
Ms. Vyjayanthimala recalls an incident at a party in Mumbai. “Someone told him I was there and all of a sudden I heard someone calling me papa!”