Even at 84, Dev Anand lives up to ‘evergreen', the epithet he's always been associated with. And he's set to live up to that reputation in the months to come.
In the middle of active creative involvement with his studio Anand at Pali Hill, Bandra, he says, "People my age normally settle down to retirement but the medium I'm in doesn't allow me to retire. I have a strong creative instinct and as long as I'm here, I'll keep surprising my audience."
Next on his plate is his old black-and-white hit, Hum Dono, which he's working on releasing in colour. "What makes it special is the fact that Hum Dono was the last black-and-white film from my production house, Navketan Films," he says.
With all those years of cinema behind him, he gets nostalgic, "I'm the only actor actively involved in the business for so many decades. I came to Mumbai without a penny in 1945 and this is my 62nd year here and I'm still making movies."
<b1>What about news of Anil Ambani's Reliance Adlabs toying with the idea of taking over Anand's studio?
"This studio is my baby and I've nurtured it for decades. Why would I give it away to anyone? I recently spent crores importing some machinery. After a period of lull, my studio is again doing good business," he smiles.
He then reminds you it's the only studio located in the heart of the city.
"It's a studio on a hill. What more can a creative person want?" he asks.
His last movie, Mr Prime Minister, was released in 2005. On September 26, apart from celebrating his 85th birthday, Anand will start work on two movies and release his autobiography .
He says, "The script of Charge Sheet, a murder mystery, is complete; we'll have a month-long schedule at a hill station. I want to release the film with my autobiography, Romancing With Life, on my birthday ."
Anand will then work on his next project, Hearbeats Are the Same, to be made in Croatia. On a parting note, he brings up the hit song from Hum Dono, ‘Har fikra ko dhooyen mein udata chala gaya' and says, "It'll be a treat for today's audience to watch it in colour."