Legend tells us that Urvashi, the most beautiful Apsara of all, gave a boon of being Chir-Tarun to the great Arjun. The term Chir-Tarun literally means Forever Young. Most people in the world would scoff at the concept of Chir-Tarun. But they never knew Dev Anand. We Bollywood Rasiks did.
Lovely, beautiful, drop-dead gorgeous women have been costars of the Chir-Tarun Dev Anand through the last 6 decades. Each one of them became less young and moved away from her stardom. From Suraiya, Kalpana Kartik, Kamini Kasshal in the 1940s & early 50s, to Waheeda Rehman, Sadhana, Nutan, Nanda in the late 50s & 60s, to Hema Malini, Zeenat Aman, Rakhee in the 1970s to Yogita Bali and Tina Munim in the 1980s, the list includes just about every beautiful and talented woman of Bollywood. They graduated to older roles but Dev Anand remained the Chir-Tarun star.
The best evidence we can present is the clip below. Karan Johar, the veteran director and host of the talk show Koffee with Karan, interviewed Zeenat Aman and Hema Malini a couple of years ago. These two beautiful stars owed their launch in Bollywood to Dev Anand. Zeenat Aman is the original oomph girl of Bollywood. She was introduced by Dev Anand in his 1971 blockbuster Hare Rama Hare Krishna. Zeenat Aman was 20 years old and Dev Anand was 48 years old at that time.
At minute 07:34 minute of this clip, Karan Johar asked Zeenat Aman:
Johar – If Dev Anan approached you to play his on screen sister or
mother in his upcoming film, your immediate response would be?
- Zeenat Aman – I would accept whatever he offers, sister mother whatever…..
Zeenat Aman, the sensual, gorgeous star who radiated oomph, is being asked if she would be willing to play the mother of a man 28 years older than her. This question would be unthinkable for any other man. But this question about Dev Anand came naturally to Karan Johar and Zeenat Aman answered simply.
This aura is the definition of Chir-Tarun, of the man we knew as Dev Anand.
The man, named at birth as Dharam Dev Kishorimal Anand, passed away earlier this week. The Star Dev Anand lives forever. The only way to present Dev Anand is to showcase some of his songs. He was the star in 110 films. So the list is endless. Below are just a few of our favorites.
The first is from the 1952 film Jaal, directed by Guru Dutt. Look the effect of Dev Anand on Geeta Bali.
The next is from the 1958 hit Kala Pani. Nalini Jaywant tells Dev Anand how she feels about him.
Perhaps the most decorated film of Dev Anand is Guide (1965) with the talented Waheeda Rehman. Every song of Guide is a stunner. The one below is our favorite.
A critical milestone in Dev Anand’s career was the 1970 mega hit Johnny Mera Naam. This was also the film that really launched Hema Malini, who went on to become the Dream Girl of Bollywood.
If you had to pick just one song, we think it would be the one below from the 1961 hit Hum Dono. The words of the song mean “Do Not Leave Just Yet”. That has been the prayer of all Dev Anand fans for years.
Unfortunately, Dev Anand had to leave us last week. So our grief, our cry out to him is best expressed by the words of his 1958 Kala Pani classic.
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