Mumbai. While watching the Pakistan vs. Kenya match last night, the evergreen Dev Anand suddenly realized that his 1990 movie “Awwal Number” starring Aamir Khan and himself was remade into “Lagaan” by Aamir without any due credits. At the hastily called press conference in the middle of the night, the immaculately dressed Dev Saab addressed the media in his own customary style.
“While watching the match, I realized that the script sounded familiar, and then it struck me like a bolt of lightning that I had seen a similar film starring Aamir Khan,” said Dev Saab in crisp, clear properly enunciated words, “I immediately woke up Sunil (his son) and asked him to fetch the DVD’s of both Awwal Number and Lagaan. And oh my my! Didn’t Aamir get the idea of Lagaan when he acted in my movie?”
Most of the journalists present at the conference made notes but had no questions to ask because either they were half asleep or had not seen Awwal Number, but the 87-year-old actor reiterated that the theme of a cricketing underdog with a passion to do or die for his country was originally showcased in his movie.
Dev Saab then announced that he has decided to re-release “Awwal Number” in black-and-white.
“You see, most of my audience remembers me for my Black and White films. I also realized it last night that ever since I started making color movies, except a few, most of them were not seen by anybody including my own family members,” he said pointing at a sleepy Sunil. Main Solah Baras Ki, Love in Time Square, Mr. Prime Minister, Censor and Chargesheet are some of those movies.
When asked what could be the reason for this, Dev Saab was candid enough to admit that all his movies were way ahead of its times and the audience was not that mature or sensible to understand complex scripts and real life characters. For example, in Mr. Prime Minister, the Prime Minister of India sings a rap song at the Gateway of India.
“How can the audience appreciate that when they have a Prime Minister who hardly speaks?” Dev Anand strongly defended his movies.
So why does he think Awwal Number in black-and-white would be a success when it was originally a failure in color?
“World Cup fever!” Dev Saab quipped, before adding, “Furthermore, I’ve been watching MTV Roadies auditions. The society is changing and the IQ levels are changing dramatically; guess they’d now appreciate my earlier movies.”
Meanwhile Aamir Khan refused to comment over this latest controversy of credits to hit him after 3 Idiots and Peepli [Live]. But author Chetan Bhagat has come out in support of Dev Saab and offered to write a book with a numeric friendly title “Nau Do Gyarah”, which is also the name of an old movie of Dev Anand.