The demise of veteran actor and filmmaker Dev Anand elicited expressions of shock and sadness from his Indian-American fans and those who knew him personally, with many terming his passing away as a "sad day" and an end to a generation in Indian cinema.
The legendary actor, who starred in as many as 100 films over a career spanning 65 years, passed away at the age of 88 in London on Sunday.
Sangeeta Singh, associate director in a Manhattan school, recalled that her first memories of the legendary actor were of his movies like Hare Rama Hare Krishna.
"After Shammi Kapoor, Dev Anand's death is another great loss for Indian cinema. He was a legend and people imitated him for him," Singh told PTI.
She fondly recalled Anand's distinctive style, particularly his way of wearing his cap and scarf around the neck. His movies were "unparalleled and while they became a little eccentric later, they were always loved and respected".
Filmmaker Deepa Mehta too paid tributes to the thespian and said "to your vibrancy and belief in immortality - well you will live on and on and on."
Vivek John, Senior Business Analyst at a global FMCG firm said the demise of Dev Anand marks "almost the end of a generation of actors and film makers who struggled to build the great Indian movie industry, which the modern film fraternity has taken for granted."
"The optimism and stubbornness to act only as the lead despite criticisms until a few years ago, makes him a mysterious icon of optimism and self confidence that first generation Indian migrants to America can easily relate to, as it is the same that gave them the encouragement to chase their American dream and prosper," he said.
The Indian Americans, who over the years came to know him personally, be it in New York – the city he loved the most – or California where he made frequent visits because of Hollywood, remember him as a man "young in his outlook and full of energy".
While not much is known about when he travelled to the United States for the first time, old timers remember his trip to the US after the release of his ward-winning movie Guide.
Waheeda Rahman in fact received the Best Actress Award at the Chicago Film Festival for the English version of the movie Guide, recollects his family friend Kenya-born Indian-origin physician from Los Angeles, Pravin Syal.
"It is a major personal loss. He was not only a mentor, but he was a very very close friend and family member," Syal told PTI.