His Hum Dono leading ladies, Sadhana and Nanda, could not be coaxed out of self-imposed hibernation even though Nanda, who’d injured her leg, told him that she’d be at Mumbai’s Cinemax theatre on February 3, if he insisted. Ditto Rosy from Guide, though Waheeda Rehman doesn’t attend premieres. Gentleman Dev Anand didn’t want to push anyone into doing something they weren’t comfortable with. “I’ll be there, with my head held high,” he’d said last week, and sure enough, he was the star of the evening.
From the time he walked down the red carpet till he was ushered out, fans were begging for autographs and photographs. Some wanted to touch his feet, some hold his hand and some just wanted a dekko. “I was carried away by the euphoria of the moment as old memories were relived. I missed those who weren’t there and was thankful to all those who came in support,” he asserted.
The Khans were there, Salman and Aamir. “If there’s a Bollywod hero who’s truly handsome it’s Dev saab,” insisted Salman, who like his Partner Govinda left 20 minutes after wishing his idol.
Aamir was preceded by his brother Faisal and mother Zeenat Hussain and accompanied by his wife Kiran Rao. “Hum do aaye hain to see Hum Dono,” Kiran Rao laughed as she settled down to see the classic for the first time.
There was a clamour for him but Aamir refused to step out till the film ended. “It would be disrespectful,” he reasoned. During the interval Dev saab walked up to him and praised him and Kiran to the skies, much to his embarrassed delight.
Ranbir Kapoor came with his Rockstar director Imtiaz Ali and made a quick getaway five minutes before the end credits rolled. Naseeruddin Shah insisted that black-and-white or colour, Dev Anand was charming in every frame.
Javed Akhtar sprouted shaiyari, as his actor wife, Shabana Azmi, went into flashback mode. Shatrughan Sinha introduced everyone around and Jackie Shroff videotaped every moment on his phone. Uddhav Thackeray was seen hanging around, introducing wife and son to the movie legend and touching his feet.
Hum Dono is most memorable for the spontaneous applause that rang out in the auditorium as a monochromatic frame slowly filled with colour and Dev Anand in his inimitable style brought Navketan’s last black-and-white production back on screen 50 years later.
In 1961, the then Lt. General Choudhury was the special guest. Now retired, he returned with the commanding Lt General Sanjeev Chora and a battalion of army officers for whom this film best underlines the futility of war.