Monday, December 5, 2011

Dev Anand, A Tongue-In-Check Tribute

Circa  : 1974
Place : Bombay
Cast   : A 12 year old Me wearing strechlon blue checked bell-bottom trousers, a same-age friend (F) and his older brother (OB), and another friend of the older brother (FOB). 
Scene  : F & me run into OB & FOB.

OB & FOB : ROFLing
F & Me : Why are you ROFLing ?
OB : Look at your pants
Me : Nothing to laugh at, they almost match Dev Anand's in Amir Garib. He is my favorite hero.
FOB : Dev Anand !!! He is over 50 years old.
Me : NO !!!! (At that age, 50 belongs with the dinosaurs)
OB : You know nothing, you just came from Poona. He also wears a wig.
Me : NO !!!!, But he looks so young.
FOB : He got a face-lift.
Me : (Not sure what a face-lift is, but almost certain it is not flattering.) So what ?
FOB : (Guessing I had no clue) That means plastic surgery, do you know what that is?
Me : (trying to salvage my dignity, but crestfallen) Of course I do.

Much later I realized I need not have taken it to heart, because this would not have fazed Dev Anand. He was supremely secure in who he was, and what he wanted to do, and no amount of criticism (legitimate or otherwise) seemed to bother him. At Johannesburg in April 2003, while receiving one of his numerous awards, he remarked that he will continue to make films even though he knew that most people "criticized & ridiculed him for doing so".

In today's internet world, Dev Anand's death was reported by several global media outlets including, New York Times, Reuters, BBC, CBS, Huffington Post, Al Jazeera, Guardian,  UAE Times, Entertainment Weekly, Hollywood Reporter, CNN and the Wall Street Journal. Indian media outlets had extensive coverage; with reactions from most Bollywood insiders. Rishi Kapoor called him the "Badshah of Style"; and in that sentiment I present ten songs filmed with him wearing a checked article of clothing. Obviously one of the inspirations is my own experience from many years ago. Readers are advised to submit their own songs that shed light upon his fashion style.

10) Ladies & Gentlemen --- Amir Garib
You are a real hardcore Dev Anand fan if you like these trousers. And to those who do not like them, I refer to his Johannesburg speech :). Nevertheless, a nice song, Kishore & Laxmikant Pyarelal bail him out.

9) Kanchi Re Kanchi --- Hare Rama Hare Krishna
A great song from a cult movie, Dev Anand's best directorial effort.  He wears subdued checked trousers that could find favor even today, but I dare you to wear that orange shirt.

8) Ankhon Ankhon Mein Hum Tum --- Mahal
We have Dev Anand & heroine Asha Parekh in checked outfits, his is a jacket, hers is I think a blanket. If I remember correctly, Asha got drenched and is trying to dry out. Dev Anand is a gallant gentlemen, and even though they are alone and unmarried, unlike most other Hindi Movies, no hanky-panky happens ;). A soothing gentle romantic song, typical of several Dev Anand numbers.

7) Sau Saal Pehle --- Jab Pyar Kisise Hota Hai
Another Dev-Asha pairing, and another great romantic song, Dev wears a classic checked jacket.  A legitimate debate would be which is the best song in this Nasir Hussein entertainer, perhaps "Yeh Ankhen UffYuMa". An even better debate would be whether Asha's checked outfit in "Yeh Akhen UffYuMa" would suit Dev Anand ;)

6) Yeh Raat Yeh Chandni Phir Kahaan --- Jaal
Could this sweater be a precursor to current preppy diamond/argyle fashions, Dev Anand's attire cannot be faulted by "How To Look Preppy". To top it all, apparently he plays a smuggler in this Guru Dutt directed movie. Perhaps Al Capone should have consulted Dev Anand on what "The Well Dressed Smuggler is Wearing". (Full Marks to those who recognize this line is adapted from B. Wooster's "What the Well Dressed Gentleman is Wearing".)

5) Dekh Hame Awaaz Na Dena --- Amardeep
Yes that is a checked scarf being used by Dev Anand to flirt with Vyjanthimala. Dev elevated wearing mufflers to an art form. Needless to say, another great romantic song.

4) Likha Hai Teri Ankhon Mein --- Teen Devian
There can be no confusion here, definitely a checked scarf/muffler. Dev Anand simultaneously romances three women in this movie, perhaps wearing this checked muffler is the clue to his real preference.

3) Mera Man Tera Pyaasa --- Gambler
Dev Anand may be a Gambler straight out of Gambler's er. Gentlemen's Quarterly. That checked shirt is a classic, but how many would dare wear that purple scarf.

2) Nafrat Karne Walon Ke Seene Mein Pyar Bhar Doon --- Johnny Mera Naam
That black muffler blends in with the checked shirt & navy blazer. Add pale blue trousers, and this classic outfit stands the test of time.

Shirt + Cap
1) Aasmaan Ke Neeche --- Jewel Thief
A great two-in-one, cap plus shirt, completes this tongue-in-check tribute.


Smita said...

There was no one like him and there can be no one like him! Ahead of his time!!!

Anonymous said...

That is SUCH an offbeat tribute, Samir. :-) I'm sure Devsaab must be grinning and nodding his head in approval (is he wearing a halo with little gold-and-silver checks up there, among the clouds?)

Anonymous said...

Great and interesting piece of research.
It does work out to be great tribute to Dev Anand, as an ever creative personality that he was.

samir said...

@ Smita :
He was ahead of his time, and there was no one like him.

samir said...

@ dustedoff
I am sure he is advising the angels to spiff up their outfits, and would not be surprised to find him with a checked halo. :)

samir said...

@ amvaishnav :
Thanks for the compliment, and yes, Dev Anand was an ever creative personality.

harvey said...

you add a new dimension to ROTFL.

But Dev can wear anything, he carries it off with a flair. Even this pink blazer-trouser combination don't reduce his charm. ;-)

samir said...

@Harvey :
Yes that pink blazer-trousers did not reduce his charm, and neither did this yellow trousers + red/orange shirt.

harvey said...

From baby girl pink to baby boy blue and that also of such a lovely hue

Yellow, yellow maybe a dirty fellow but not our Dev!

Did one wear such orange shirts in the 70s?

What I couldn't find was green, although I distinctly remember him wearing all green shirt and trouser somewhere!

How about a post on rainbow Dev?

samir said...

@ Harvey :
He did wear a green shirt in our favorite "Ruk Jaana O Jaana Humse Do Baatein", but could not find an all-green outfit. You would have thought with an "evergreen" tag, you would find some evidence.
Re: Dev & a rainbow, who would have thought the easiest colors to find are yellow-orange-red :)

Anu Warrier said...

Samir, now this is a theme I would never have come up with in a million years! I'm still laughing. I'm sure that out of the hundreds of tributes out there, this is the one that will appeal to Devsaab the most. I'm sure that he has a multi-coloured halo wherever he is (Madhu, gold and silver is too tame for our Devsaab), and is trying to light a fire under the tired and grouchy old Gods. Thank you for my mid-morning laugh!

samir said...

@ Anu
Thanks for the compliment, I am sure Dev Anand will like all his his tributes. And yes to the multi-colored halo, and lighting a fire under tired old gods :)

bollyviewer said...

You sure have checked him out! ;D Thank goodness I did not read this until after my morning coffee, else I would have needed a new keyboard. :D :D Dev A is one of the few people who could carry off loud checks with a John Wayne style scarf tied around his throat.

Methinks you should now direct your considerable research and analytical skills toward his dance steps and their cultural significance. ;D

samir said...

@ Bollyviewer
Thanks, and yes, Dev Anand could carry almost anything.
Dev Anand's dance steps and their cultural significance :), nothing immediately comes to mind, perhaps Harvey is one to pick this up, he usually spots Dev Anand dancing in the oddest of movies.

Lalitha said...

Great post! I am amazed that you took the time to check out his outfits so thoroughly. To his credit, none but Dev Anand could have carried off those checked pants and orange shirts so well. In his defense, guys in my college in the early 70's were wearing bright colored shirts with loud checks on them, and even printed shirts were being worn. I remember buying my Dad some colored shirts and talking him into wearing them, since he had never worn anything other than white shirts until then.

samir said...

@ Lalitha :
Thanks, and it was really not much trouble to dig up Dev Anand songs in checked outfits. Two other really great songs also have checked shirts, but I had used them in earlier posts :-
1) Jeevan Ke Safer Mein Rahi
2) Phoolon Ke Rang Se
I agree that no one can wear orange shirts & checked pants as well as Dev Anand, and nice to hear that I was not the only one following his style in the 70's. :)

harvey said...

Now I know why Waheeda refers to him as rangeela in Prem Pujari. She could foresee the days to come! Waheedaji abhi hamara bhi haath dekhiye.

samir said...

@ Harvey
There is a big reason behind that Rangeela Re song in Prem Pujari, and that is, in Guide Dev Anand sings all songs in absolutely plain costumes. No checks, stripes, lines, dots, squares, rectangles, circles, anywhere. He does wear some reds, pinks, yellows; but that did not satisfy his inner angst. Those last scenes in Guide are actually his hunger for some patterns/prints, that finally got fulfilled in Prem Pujari. Hence the song

Shilpi Bose said...

Interesting tribute and yes though I never was a fan of Devanand's acting, he was indeed very charming and handsome and that alone was enough for me to enjoy most of his films.

samir said...

I doubt that many of fans ever thought of him as a great actor. As you said, "he was indeed very charming and handsome", and I would add stylish, and sung great songs.
To some extent, he was cool & sauve, and was for the most part playing "Dev Anand".

Ava Suri said...

Oh this was one samir-worthy post tht I missed.

Dev really rocks the checks. He was so supremely self confident that he looks comfortable no matter what he wore or did.

Nice add-ons by Harvey too.

samir said...

Thanks for the Ava-worthy comment :)
Dev has to be the most supremely self confident Bollywood person ever.
And Harvey is very good at spotting several Dev idiosyncrasies, like dancing.