There’s been much hype around the title track of Rohan Sippy’s Dum Maro Dum featuring the sizzling Deepika Padukone. Only Dev Anand, in whose Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971) the song first appeared, is unimpressed. "My Dum maro dum… is an eternal phenomenon thanks to the RD Burman-Asha Bhonsle magic. How could they just take away my song on the basis of some clause in the contract? It disturbed me for days and I even wrote an open letter to the producers. I don’t want to stir up faltu ka (unnecessary) controversies. If you can write original stuff, then why would you need to copy someone else’s work?" grouses the veteran actor-producer-director.
Dev Anand, whose 1961 black-and-white classic released in colour as Hum Dono Rangeen recently, has been working on half-a-dozen scripts, including Hare Rama Hare Krishna Aaj.
"It’s too premature to disclose much. All I can say is that the new Hare Rama Hare Krishna will showcase today’s issues just like the earlier film, touched on the decadence of the hippie culture and the dangers of drug abuse,"says Anand.
He was inspired to make the original Hare Rama Hare Krishna after coming across some hippes in Kathmandu where he had retreated following the furore over Prem Pujari (1970).
The earlier film had starred Dev Anand and Mumtaz, with Zeenat Aman in a supporting role as a sister who died in the film but was immortalised as an actor. “The new film will have different characters and younger actors. But who knows I may be able to bring Zeenat back in a different role,” says the 86-year-old.
“Perhaps I will go back to Nepal to shoot it. There’s so much left to do. But one thing’s for sure, I will never borrow from anyone. I may have been inspired but I’ve never imitated. Every Dev Anand film is an original,” concludes Anand.