Suneil Anand on trip to NY with Dev Anand
Suneil Anand recalls a memorable trip to father Dev Anand’s favourite American city, New York
As told to Ankit Ajmera (MUMBAI MIRROR; October 14, 2012)
My dad, the legendary Dev Anand and I often travelled together overseas. This picture was clicked in 2007 in New York, dad’s favourite American city. It was taken by Ravi Adhikari, a US-based photojournalist at Times Square. He had taken an appointment with dad to shoot some pictures for his personal collection. What you see here is a candid shot.
We were staying at the Radisson Martinique, near Times Square. Dad liked to get away for short spans on his own. Although he wanted to walk the streets with anonymity, someone would spot him and he’d be back to signing autographs and posing for photographs.
He’d catch up on the latest Broadway plays and he loved to browse through New York’s many stores. Shoes, caps and mufflers were his weakness. He preferred small boutiques to branded stores.
We were walking past the Waldorf Astoria Hotel and he told me about his meeting there with Hollywood producer David O. Selznick, known for Gone With The Wind (1939). Sometime during the end of 1964, Selznick had planned to cast dad opposite Oscar-winning actor Jennifer Jones, in his next venture. Unfortunately, the project never happened, as Selznick passed away the very next year.
Dad was fond of music. He was a huge fan of Kishore Kumar, who first sang for dad in Ziddi (1948). Frank Sinatra was also a favourite.
Dad had gone to NYC back then to work on a screenplay. He had written a script titled Song of Life. We registered the script with the Writers Guild of America, East, and even consulted a lawyer. We were told that the story resembled the life of singer Norah Jones and her father Ravi Shankar, Dad did not write the script with Norah Jones in mind. We contacted Jones’ managers, but they never got back to us. We were there for only 15 days, so the film was never made.
By this time, he had started work on Charge Sheet. He was in his element when he was writing. So we’d pick up pens and notebooks on our jaunts through the city. We’d go back to our hotel room and he’d write. I realised that making movies was important for him. Being able to ‘do’ was what made dad the giant that he was.
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