Ali Zafar pays tribute to Dev Anand with Gambler song
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Ali Zafar pays tribute to Dev Anand with Gambler song

Zafar croons late actor’s Dil Aaj Shayar Hai and uploads the video on YouTube, wanted a haircut like Raju Guide as a child.

music Updated: Dec 10, 2011 19:25 IST
Roshmila Bhattacharya
Roshmila Bhattacharya
Hindustan Times

On Sunday, Pakistani singer-actor Ali Zafar woke up to the news that Dev Anand had passed away in London. The news came as a “sad shock”, and as a tribute to his childhood idol, Ali sang one of his favourite Kishore Kumar tracks from the Dev Anand starrer Gambler (1971), Dil Aaj Shayar Hai, Gum Aaj Nagma Hai and uploaded the video on YouTube.

It’s been getting a lot of hits and Ali’s confident the man who contributed so much to popularising cinema in the continent will never be forgotten.

“It’s a difficult song to render,” he admits. “But I liked the way it had been picturised with Dev saab sitting in the chair and looking at the girl, his eyes reflecting his intensity.” Interestingly, his ‘hero’ and he both studied at the Government College, Lahore.

Dev Anand graduated from there with a degree in English Literature, and though there are no pictures of him during his pre-Partition term there, Ali revels in the fact that they had the same alma mater.

Dev Anand

"Unfortunately, I never got a chance to meet Dev saab," he sighs. "But I remember watching Guide (1965) at the age of 12, prodded by my parents, my mother in particular, because they were both huge fans. Even though I was still a child when I saw the film, every word and cinematic moment loaded with romance left a lasting impact, as did stories about the man himself… His passion for cinema and his will to live life to the fullest. The next week, I went to the barber asking for a haircut like Raju Guide’s."

The film also revealed to Ali’s family his talent as a singer. "I loved all the songs of Guide, and one day, when I was humming, Kya Se Kya Ho Gaya, my father heard me and was surprised to discover that I could sing pretty well," he reminisces.

Today, Ali not only sings live at music concerts and gives playback for his films, he has also turned music director with his Fox Studio and Rose Movies film, London Paris New York. "It was tough shooting for a film and scoring the music simultaneously, but the gamble seems to have paid off with Dev saab as my Guide."

First Published: Dec 07, 2011 12:30 IST