By Monisha G Kumar Last Updated:
Dharamdev Pishorimal Anand, popularly known as Dev Anand, was an enigmatic actor, whose charm had cast a spell on almost every heroine in the 60s and 70s. Through a career that spanned six decades, Dev Anand worked in more than 100 films. With films like Baazi, Taxi Driver, Insaniyat, Munimji, C.I.D, Pocket Maar, Kala Pani, Guide, Jewel Thief and many more, Dev Anand created a special place in people’s hearts.
Just like his romantic films, Dev Anand was a die-hard romantic at heart. In many of his interviews, the handsome actor had confessed to being ‘always in love’. In his autobiography, Romancing with Life, Dev Anand had penned about his affairs. Be it his muses or his beloveds, no woman could resist Dev Anand’s charm and the actor too, never shied away from expressing his love for them.
Dev Anand, the charming lover boy, who was forever surrounded by women, was definitely a ladies’ man. Today, on his 100th birth anniversary, let us look at some of the leading ladies of the Hindi cinema, who had a special place in Dev Anand’s love life.
Dev Anand’s passionate affair with the singing sensation, Suraiya was a turning point in his life. It was during the late 40s when the budding star Dev Anand met Suraiya, who was already a sensational singing star and a renowned actress. Dev was smitten by Suraiya’s beauty and down-to-earth nature. She credited Dev for saving her life after he rescued the actress from drowning.
It so happened that while shooting for a song, ‘Kinare Kinare Chale Jayen’ for the film, Vidya slipped from the boat, and Dev jumped into the river to save her and became her real-life hero. After keeping their relationship under wraps for two years, the duo started dating and became public during the shooting of Afsar in 1950.
Dev Anand and Suraiya were head-over-heels in love with one another and wanted to marry each other. However, Suraiya’s grandmother, Badshah Begum was against their union because of their religious difference. On their last meeting, the actor met Suraiya on the terrace of her building, where they hugged and cried and ended their four-year-long relationship.
Suraiya stopped taking assignments, did no movies and remained unmarried till her death at the age of 74. Talking about his first love, Suraiya, Dev Anand mentioned in his autobiography:
“I fell in love for the first time. We all know what first love does to a human being. Then the agony of not getting it. Suddenly hope was aroused after being encouraged, but again disillusionment crept in when nothing happened.”
After his tragic breakup with Suraiya, Dev Anand moved on with his life and met his fellow co-star, Kalpana Kartik on the sets of Baazi. Dev fell in love with the peppy actress, Kalpana, and within three years, the duo got married and became parents to a son, Suneil Anand and a daughter, Devina.
Talking about Dev Anand and Kalpana’s marriage, it was a secret affair as they got secretly married while shooting for their film, Taxi Driver. While filming Taxi Driver, the two stars reportedly took a break from their schedule and went to the court to get married. Talking about his secret wedding, Dev Anand in an interview with Simi Garewal, said:
“We fell in love with each other on the sets of Baazi and decided to get married secretly. Why? Because isn't marriage a very personal affair? We had planned that we'd get married and will not tell anybody and then we'll throw a reception. We were shooting on the sets of Taxi Driver. I had the ring in my pocket. We had asked the registrar to come there. In between the breaks when the lighting was being done on the sets, I signalled to her, we went into our departmental room, got married and came back.”
When the news about Dev Anand’s secret wedding broke, the media went into a frenzy, and many questions related to the same were asked of the legendary actor. Keeping his calm, Dev Anand, in a throwback interview stated:
“It is my personal matter. We do not want the world to talk about it. It was our own happiness and it was a personal celebration. I did not want people to just come and dance for us.”
Though marriage with Kalpana Kartik might have healed Dev Anand’s broken heart, the actor had a thing for beauty, and it led to quite a few attachments, even after his marriage. And one of them was with actress, Zeenat Aman.
The sensuous, Zeenat Aman had swooned everyone with her scintillating moves and screen presence in the movie, Hare Rama Hare Krishna. She was 20 years old when she played the role of Dev Anand’s sister, who was aged 48 then. Despite the huge age difference, Zeenat’s bold demure made Dev Anand fall hopelessly in love with her.
In his autobiography, Dev Anand penned his feelings for Zeenat and how he decided to propose to her. He wrote:
“Whenever and wherever she was talked about glowingly, I loved it; and whenever and wherever I was discussed in the same vein, she was jubilant. In the subconscious, we had become emotionally attached to each other. Suddenly, one day I felt I was desperately in love with Zeenat – and wanted to say so to her! To make an honest confession, at a very special, exclusive place meant for romance. I chose the Rendezvous at the Taj, on top of the city, where we had dined together once earlier."
However, Zeenat never felt the same way for him. At a party, when he witnessed Zeenat’s proximity to Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand was shattered. He saw a drunken Raj Kapoor throwing himself on her and flirting with her outrageously, and she, on the other hand, was okay about it and reciprocated his embrace. Despite his love for Zeenat, he stepped back after realising that the actress was in awe of Raj Kapoor. The actress, on the other hand, claimed that she had no clue about Dev Anand’s feelings.
Dev Anand had a way with women that there are many stories of the actor’s linkups. Even before becoming an actor, Dev Anand had a crush on his History professor’s daughter, whom he never proposed. Later, he was allegedly linked with a Czech interpreter while he was married to Kalpana Kartik. He once said in an interview with Aaj Tak’s programme Seedhi Baat:
“Har jawan ladki achi hai.. agar wo jawan ladki aapki script mein baith jati hai toh aur bhi sundar lagti hai."
Dev Anand often projected the diverse emotions of romance with ease as the actor had personally experienced both the good and the bad phases of a relationship. No wonder he is still called the ultimate romantic hero.