Do what you love doing. No matter what people think of you. And you will forever be at peace. And, importantly, you will always feel young.
Review your Life. Almost all your decisions are based on what other people think of you. The way you dress, the way you speak, the way you think are limited because of a perceived world-view you have of yourself. In fact, many people are trapped in lives and careers that are based on what other people have chosen for them __ parents or spouses __ or they have been driven by circumstances and fears to do what they are doing.
Dev Anand, Bollywood’s Evergreen, Everyoung, Eversmiling and Everalive star, led his Life his way__no matter what people thought of him__and led the way for us for the 65 years that he was in cinema. Almost everyone loved him. In fact, I am yet to come across someone who says, “I don’t like Dev saab”. He lived a full Life, although his last recognized hit at the box office, ‘Hare Rama Hare Krishna’ came in 1971, which was 40 years before he passed away in December 2011! But over these 40 years, he continued to do what he loved doing __ make films, launch new talent, helping whoever came his way. He financed his 18 films between 1971 and 2011 from revenue from his various real estate investments and from his post-production, recording and sound remix facility in Pali Hill, Mumbai, which industry estimates say, earned him Rs.20 crore annually. So, his Navketan Films, continued to survive despite all his 18 films failing at the box office. Despite his bad run in the trade, Dev Anand’s goodwill, carried him along in his last few decades. The venerable Warner Brothers associated even with his last film__and another failure__’Chargesheet’ that released in October 2011, because, as an official told The Economic Times, “We did it for Dev Anand”. Trade Analyst Komal Nahta recounts the tale of a person who bought the distribution rights of a Dev Anand film for the Rajasthan region some years ago. Nahta asked him: “Are you crazy?” His reply, Nahta told The Economic Times, was, “I got to pose with Dev Anand for a photo.” It wasn’t just about his star appeal alone, which he of course retained despite aging over the years. He didn’t mind that the trade wrote him off because of his films’ poor showing. He continued to be alive to humanity. What was special about Dev Anand was his energy. Nobody, it is said, who went to him came back depressed. He continued to launch talent__having launched stars like Naseeruddin Shah, Jackie Shroff and Tabu in films__and was willing to help anyone in distress. “Log mujhe pyaar karte hain”, he would say smiling his trademark smile, meaning, “People love me.” To me, the key learnings from Dev Anand’s Life: 1. He loved what he was doing. 2. He was therefore ever peaceful, ever smiling. 3. He took his work seriously: continuing to improve every day, with each film, at least in his mind, within himself, IRRESPECTIVE OF WHAT PEOPLE SAID OR THOUGHT OF HIM. 4. He was forever willing to help. Only when we live Life this way, can we live easy, and as the lyrics of Dev Anand’s 1962 classic ‘Hum Dono’ (We Both), go, we too can say, “…Main Zindagi Ka Saath Nibhatha Chala Gaya…Main Har Fikr Ko Dhuen Main Udaatha Chala Gaya…”. This means, I went along playing ball with Life, blowing away all my worries. This, Dev Anand often said, was also his Life’s Mantra.
Make it yours. And you too will be Everalive, Evergreen and Everyoung!