Hema, keep working, life mein aur kuch nahi rakha hai — these are the words which echoes in Hema Malini’s mind when she remembers late actor Dev Anand, and is something which she has held on till date. On 100th birth anniversary, the actor says no one can replace Dev Anand or his legacy.
“I have really sweet memories associated with him. He was one of my favourite co-stars. I never faced any problem with him. He was sweet and playful on set, and every scene was done without any tension. There are some actors who induce tension while working. But that was not the case for Dev sahab,” Malini tells us.
Remembering him, the 74-year-old mentions, “He was a very lovely human, very respectful and dignified person. He never interfered in anyone’s other matters. Bus kaam karte the. He used to encourage me, ‘Come on, Hema, keep working. Aur kya hi rakha hai life mein’. And what a handsome persona. Aaj tak unke jaise koi nahi aaya. He was the one and only. It is really sad that we have lost such gems in all these years”.
It was Anand’s Johny Mera Naam (1970) which made Malini a big star, with the two reuniting for several projects such as Shareef Badmaash (1973), Joshila (1973), Chhupa Rustam
(1973) and Amir Garib (1974).
On set, Malini reveals that he was always restless to work, “walking up and down on set with a stick in his hand and sharing his plan for the day with the crew”.
“He would only talk about work, and how we can be better. He would talk about it non-stop. His style of acting was different. Be it a sad scene or angry scene or an emotional one, he would add his own unique touch to him. He was a perfectionist in everything, and ensured he looked good while doing that,” she says, adding, “He used to start work on time and end on time. If I was late, he would say, ‘koi baat nahi, scene khatam kar dene’, subtly telling me not to call off my day without completing my scenes”.
Here, she reveals she never saw him getting angry except for one instance. Recalling one incident, “There was an actor Prem Nath who misbehaved with a junior artist while working on Shareef Badmaash. He was drunk at that time. Dev sahab got so angry, and gave him a lecture. Everyone on set was terrified at that moment because we never saw him in such a mood”.
Wrapping up, the actor mentions, “Aaj ke daur mein waisi acting koi nahi kar sakta. No one can copy or replace him. There was just one Dev Anand, aur koi Dev Anand aa hi nahi sakta”.