26th September marks the birth anniversary of Bollywood legend Dev Anand. The nation is celebrating his legacy on his 100th birth anniversary today. Dev Anand ruled millions of hearts for decades via his films. He is remembered for his work in films like Guide, Johny Mera Naam, Jewel Thief, Kala Pani, Baazi, Paying Guest, Hare Rama Hare Krishna and Des Pardes. His unbeatable success at the box office gave him the title of first evergreen hero of Bollywood. On his 100th birth anniversary, veteran actress Zeenat Aman posted a heartfelt note while honoring his legacy. For the unaware, Zeenat Aman was launched by Dev Anand in Hare Rama Hare Krishna in 1971.
In her Instagram post, Zeenat Aman shared two throwback pictures. The first one is a still from Hare Rama Hare Krishna while the second photo is from Heera Panna which was released in 1973. Zeenat wrote in the caption, “Celebrating 100 years of Dev saab. Stylish, suave and prolific, he was a dynamo beyond compare. And what generosity of talent! He sparked careers (mine included), brought together creative heads, and made films that resonated across generations.”
Zeenat further wrote, “It gladdens my heart to see his legacy honoured an entire century since his birth. In recent days, I’ve been overwhelmed with requests for comments about him but there is little to add to what I’ve already said.”
“Though, I posted a three-part series about him just a few weeks ago, I can’t resist the nostalgia of these two frames from our earliest films together. They will be instantly recognisable to my older followers, but I’m not so sure about you younger lot!” she concluded.
See Zeenat Aman’s Instagram Post:
In April this year, Zeenat Aman shared a series of Instagram posts and shared how she got the role in Hare Rama Hare Krishna because of Dev Anand. She said, “Very few are so lucky as to find this person, but I was. My starmaker was Dev saab.”
She elaborated, “It was 1970, and I think O P Ralhan was feeling quite sorry for me. He had given me a bit part in Hulchul, it had made little impact, and I was already packing my bags to relocate to Malta with my mother and stepfather. Dev Saab and his Navketan team were casting for Hare Rama Hare Krishna at the time. In his largesse, O P Ralhan suggested that they meet me. I vividly remember what I wore that day. A fitted yellow top, a fawn-coloured skirt and glasses with yellow frames. My mother was at the meeting (remember, I was still in my teens). So she held forth, while I spoke when spoken to, and packed tobacco into my pipe. The meeting concluded, and a few days later the landline jangled. I was asked to come for a screen test, and that is how I came to be cast as Jasbir/Janice. Oh, but the saga doesn’t end here. My family was ready to depart the country, but Dev [Anand] saab persuaded my mother and I to delay our travels. So instead we flew to Kathmandu, stayed at the famous Soaltee Hotel, and waited long days to be called to set to shoot! I was frothing at the bit by the time it was finally time for my scenes. The first of which was a bus sequence. It makes me laugh to watch it now because I know I’m practically spitting out my lines in my impatience to prove myself!”
Hare Rama Hare Krishna was a massive hit and Zeenat Aman became an overnight star. It was Dev Anand who persuaded her to stay. And the rest is history!
In another post, Zeenat said, “The age gap between Dev saab and myself was nearly 30 years. I had played his sister in HRHK [Hare Rama Hare Krishna], and he did not yet see me as a romantic lead. Instead, he cast me in the titular role of (Raakhee’s sister) Panna in Heera Panna, which was released in 1973. I had a blast shooting that film, and its soundtrack remains a favourite to this day. Dev saab was a dynamic mentor.”