Hindi screen’s Evergreen hero and octogenarian, Dev Anand was felicitated in Bangalore at “Gayatri Vihar” in Palace Grounds by Vintage Music Club and Ramya Cultural Academy on Jan. 19. The evening was melodious with singers from different walks of life singing immortal tunes from Dev Saab’s old films and hence the felicitation ceremony was aptly titled Gaatha Rahe Mera dil...!
What motivated you to make R. K. Narayan's novel The Guide into a legendary movie?
As a film maker, it is my job to be searching for good stories. After reading the marvellous creation of R. K. Narayan, I called the great writer from California in 1965 and R. K. Narayan told me over the phone from Mysore that he was thrilled to receive a phone call from me and at once, told me “I will give you the rights to make the novel Guide into a movie!” Later on I flew from Bombay and R. K. Narayan had arrived in Bangalore from Mysore. After a discussion at the same Hotel Westend, I formally got the rights to make the movie!
Guide was initially made in English and later in Hindi, why?
In 1965, the theme of adultery by an Indian woman was viewed as “too bold” for the Indian audience! Hence “Guide” was initially made in English, produced by me and Pearl S. Buck (author and Nobel laureate, USA), who also wrote its script. The Director of the English version of the movie was Tad Danielewski. The English version was released only in USA. After viewing the English Guide, R. K. Narayan congratulated me when he called me from New York. But when I made the Hindi version of Guide by toning down the adultery component, R. K. Narayan was not too happy with the modifications. But ultimately it was the Hindi version which won the people’s hearts and the rest is history!
Which is the one role which you feel you should have done and which of your roles as an actor, you liked?
As a creative person, I would have liked to don hundreds of other roles! I am never satisfied with any of my roles, because once you are satisfied that will be the “death of creativity!”
The 84 – year - old (young!) living legend continues to be a Naujawan, who is forever “Romancing with life!” [Dev Anand’s autobiography is titled “Romancing with life!”]