The word ‘iconic’ suits very few personalities and Dev Anand definitely was one of them. He had an illustrious career as an actor and filmmaker. His style was novel, and his films continue to entertain and fascinate moviegoers of all generations. Also, the manner in which he lived his life energetically till his last breath, was nothing short of a miracle. The iconic artist passed away on December 3, 2011. Had he been alive today, he would have turned 100.
Remembering Dev Anand on his 100th birthday: The actor once met with a car accident after consuming Feni: “The steering wheel RAMMED into his chest, cracking a few ribs”
On Dev Anand’s 100th anniversary, we bring to you a lesser-known incident of his life. Dev saab had a close bond with Guru Dutt which began after their washerman ended up giving their laundered shirts to one another. Both had entered a pact that they’d give work to one another.
Dev Anand kept his word and launched Guru Dutt as the director of Baazi (1951), Navketan’s first production. Dev Anand played the lead in this entertainer, and it turned out to be a big break not just for him and Guru Dutt but also for lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi, composer S D Burman, comedian Johnny Walker and actresses Geeta Bali and Kalpana Kartik. Interestingly, Dev Anand later married Kalpana Kartik while Guru Dutt tied the knot with Geeta Bali.
A year after Baazi, both collaborated again on Jaal (1952). Unlike Baazi, Jaal was produced by T R Fatehchand of Film Arts. Along with Dev Anand, the classic neo-noir thriller also starred Geeta Bali and K N Singh.
Jaal was shot in Goa and on the last day of shooting in the beach state, K N Singh persuaded Dev Anand to drink Feni. Dev Anand was a teetotaller and K N Singh assured him that it was a local, non-alcoholic drink.
The next day, Dev Anand left for Bombay (present-day Mumbai) in his car, the Chevrolet Impala, with Geeta Bali, Geeta’s sister and the chauffeur. Dev Anand insisted on driving the car though he was drowsy and hungover from the Feni. The actor chose to drive within limits, due to his condition. As per a report in Mumbai Mirror in September 2017, Geeta Dutt asked him to speed. Dev Anand, too, got carried away and raced down the highway. But for a second, he shut his eyes and the car crashed into a tree. The steering wheel rammed into his chest due to which he cracked his ribs.
The locals, on hearing the accident, rushed the occupants of the car to Sassoon Hospital, Pune. Mohan Churiwala, a close associate of Dev Anand, revealed that Dev Anand was treated by Dr Shriram Lagoo, whom he later signed for films like Des Pardes (1978) and Lootmaar (1980).
Coming back to Dev Anand, Mohan Churiwala said in the same article that three days before Guru Dutt passed away, he met Dev Anand and expressed a desire to make a film starring the latter as a hero. Sadly, the fellow iconic artist couldn’t fulfil his promise as he left the world on October 10, 1964.
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