Young at Heart even at 87!

The door of his Khar Road office in Mumbai opened, and there, on the revolving chair was he, the ‘yeh dil na hota bechara, kadam nahote awara…’ man. Still clad in a red scarf and blue shirt, colourful as ever, Dev Anand.

1. In the movie ‘Guide’ the audience had felt something spiritual. Do we get it in movies nowadays?
Movies nowadays lack a soul. Though it’s difficult, I can’t say. Only those movies that have something to touch you deep down the soul. All young people are fed up, and no one wants to watch a film that doesn’t leave you craving for more. A movie, unless it touches your soul, is a documentary. Relationships are the same all over the world, no matter how advanced technology has become or science has progressed. But how can the soul change? Find a soul in a film, and it’s bound to be a hit.

2. How do you plan for the remake of Hare Ram Hare Krishna? Are you or Zeenat Aman acting again?
The script is ready; though I can’t afford to disclose it right now. I’m a man who is always ready with his next frames as soon as one film is over. ‘Chargesheet’ is coming in 2-3 months.

3. Is there any problem with your new venture charge sheet?
I’ve an experience of over 60 years in the Bollywood industry. I’ve seen most of the old and new generations here. There’s Nasiruddin Shsh, Divya Dutta, Jackie Shroff and new comers. I always welcome newcomers. It’s a 1 hour 55 min murder story with a message.

4. Today’s actors/ actresses? 5 top ones in your list?I believe in talent. Not empty stardom; neither in the fact that an actor’s son has to be an actor. I won’t take any specific favourite’s name.

5. Why did you abandon your political career forever?
No, I have no chance of going back to politics. I’m very politically aware; but I don’t want to be a politician. I was an artist, I still am, and I will die an artist.

6. How do you still ‘Romance with Life’?
My book ‘Romancing with Life’ has been a bestseller, and I’m happy that I could be a good writer who could reach from door to door of myreader’s hearts. I’ve travelled round the world, and in different cities of India for the release and inauguration of my book. And yes, I still do romance with my life. Can’t you see this? ( pointing to his red scarf , and flashing a million watt smile).

7. Retirement?
Only retirement is death. Till then I will work. I’m 87 years old, yet I fee lI’m too busy with my career and I still have a lot left undone.

8. How do you enjoy being ‘evergreen’?
People call me that. I just believe if your mind is sharp and your intellect is strong, everything else automatically goes on perfectly.

9. If you weren’t an actor?
Then I would be a traveller and I would explore the world; go to those untouched places that haven’t yet experienced a man’s step on it.

10. Song of Life?I wrote it but it takes a long time in America for things to happen. I had to come out of it, but I haven’t cancelled the plan. It’s safely kept on the shelf, let’s see what I can do about it.

11. Norah Jones?
I know Ravi Shankar personally; when Norah got a Grammy, then I wrote this story. But I will sort out that objection as it’s not meant to hurt anyone’s sentiment.

12. What is your idea of no-song movies?
It can happen. Reading a movie means reading a screenplay.
He is 87 now, but I chose him as the youth icon because he is still young at heart.

Aryani Bannerjee