The scenic locales of Nepal have attracted many Hindi filmmakers prompting them to shoot significant portions of their movies like Khuda Gawah, Love in Nepal, Mahan, Gharwali Baharwali, Yudh, Bekabu and Ek Hasina Ek Diwana.
But none of them were able to encapsulate the country like Dev Anand, Hindi cinema’s evergreen hero, who shot three of his films — Johny Mera Naam, Ishq Ishq Ishq and the path-breaking Hare Rama Hare Krishna in this Himalayan nation.
Through these films, he showcased Nepal to lovers of Hindi films in his own unique way. Dev Anand used to comment about his emotional involvement with Nepal, and the citizens of this country also showered their love on him by honouring him with an award in 2005.
The legend’s last trip to Nepal was in 2008 when he reached Kathmandu to launch his autobiography, Romancing with Life. The ever youthful filmmaker was very excited and even announced plans for another trip to shoot a film in the country.
But fate played spoilsport.
Last week, Hindi movie buffs and fans of Dev Anand got a chance to pay tributes to this friend of Nepal courtesy a two-day event organised by the Indian embassy and the BP Koirala Nepal-India Foundation.
The first day of the event saw young Nepali dancers performing on popular numbers from Hare Rama Hare Krishna, a documentary recollecting Dev Anand’s days of shooting in the early 70s and singers crooning a medley of his evergreen songs.
“He was very much in love with Nepal and deeply touched by the affection and resonance he found here. Dev Anand also helped nurture the people-to-people bond between Nepal and India,” said Indian ambassador to Nepal Jayant Prasad in his address.
Celebrations continued on the second day with screening of Hare Rama Hare Krishna and Johny Mera Naam. Both events witnessed impressive participation from Kathmanduites.
The maverick may have gone, but the love for him and his creations still resonates beyond boundaries.