The release function for Dev Anand's autobiography Romancing With Life proved a tremendous success in London, drawing some of the top names in the city as well as celebrities who came all the way from India. Despite the fact that Anand's last successful film may have been two decades ago, the crowd he drew rivaled that of similar gatherings for the likes of Amitabh Bachchan and Shahrukh Khan.
The audience at the Courthouse Hotel, where the function was held, included Anil Ambani and his wife Tina, Jaya Bachchan and Amar Singh, who had travelled from India, apart from a number of British peers, MPs, corporate honchos and leaders of the Indian community in Britain.
Tina Ambani, who released the book, recalled how Anand launched her career with Des Pardes , during the shooting of which, in 1976, she visited London for the first time. " I feel so honoured to launch his autobiography in London where I first came as 16-year-old for that film," she said. "My experience at Dev Saheb's Nav Ketan Films shaped my life and see what I am today."
Even Anil Ambani turned lyrical. " My late father Dhirubhai Ambani never missed a single film of Dev Saheb," he revealed.
"It was Dev Saheb who introduced me to Tina," he added. "I am grateful to him for it."
"It was all Ishq, Ishq, Ishq to start with, then it was Lootmar, followed by Heera Panna and then came a time when it was Hare Ram Hare Krishna, me praying to God that I should be able to marry her," he went on, effectively using the names of various Dev Anand films, amidst much laughter. " And now its Ishq, Ishq, Ishq all over again."