My friend Dev Anand

10 Mar

I was just now listening to kishore kumar songs and there was a song that was being introduced by Shah Rukh Khan, a perennial favourite of old timers like me “ek ladki bheegi bhang se” from the irrepressible and charming ” chalti ka naam gaadi”. And as part of his introduction he said some very endearing words for Mr. Kishore Kumar.

As I was listening everything sounded nice yet there at the back of my mind I could feel something was amiss, a note that jarred in his speak, out of place, like an ugly mark on the face of a beautiful girl, a misplaced splash on a perfect painting.

Then it came to me, it was respect that seemed unnecessary and somehow inappropriate, the suffix Mr didn’t sit easy, it was a redundant sound, a word rather than elevating the stature, made the artist distant, alienating him from me, his ardent admirer.

It is so strange, somehow the name comes easy on the Tongue, Raj Kapoor, Amitabh Bachan, Dilip Kumar, even the artists from another era, artists long gone, Kishore Kumar, Ashoka Kumar, Mohammad Rafi, Bharat Bhushan, Marlon Brando. Bigger the artist, taller the flame, higher the scale more easily, casually the name sits on the Tongue.

The beauty of an artist lies in his humility (not real but associative), in their familiarity and intimacy that they share with their fans. I have not met Robert De Niro but I know him intimately, like a friend, like a buddy, he is part of my life, my growing up days, of my youthful fervour, his poster has seen me trying to ape his “you talkin to me” or shashi kapoor’s “mere paas ma hai” has been a wise crack of many, and outside the classrooms, many have whispered to the dictator professors “gabar aa raha hoon mein”, and the lovers burning in the flame of eternal love have copied and aped the style of SRK’s eternal and immortalised lover Raj. These guys been around us forever, live with us and within.

And no one calls friends, whatever their age or social status or stature or popularity, Mr.

One always calls a friend by name.

So Dev my friend, you will always have my nod of approval.


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