MUMBAI: He may now be known as Bollywood’s ‘Yamla, Pagla, Deewana’ but for long, Dharmendra was also seen as the macho hero. The veteran actor Dharmendra recently said that he feels his five decades in showbiz have passed in moments and now, he wonders how it all went by so soon.
“If we see, it has been a long journey and it went by in moments. I now wonder why it went by so soon. I miss my colleagues, the atmosphere. I miss so many things. It was a beautiful journey,” Dharmendra said in a recent interview.
Dharmendra, who traces his roots to Punjab, entered showbiz in 1960 with Dil Bhi Tera Hum Bhi Tere and went on to create an image of Bollywood’s He-Man, after Dara Singh. The senior artist, who will soon complete 60 years in the industry, has entertained audiences with movies of all genres, from the intense Bandini and Satyakam to potboilers like Raja Jani and Pratigya, and even as a comic artist with perfect timing in Sholay and Chupke Chupke.
He proved his skills as an actor with Anupama and Yakeen. In recent times, Dharmendra was seen in Life in a Metro, Apne and Yamla, Pagla, Deewana.
Dharmendra is known for his simplicity, humbleness and staying connected to his roots. The actor says he doesn’t believe in being a “superstar but a super-human being.” He has infused these qualities in his sons Sunny and Bobby Deol too and says that they are taking it forward by teaching the same to the next generation.
“Fame and glamour don’t remain. Being humble and grounded is what will remain (with you). People will say nice things about you. It is not a thought-out action and comes automatically. It came to me from my parents and from me, it has gone to Sunny and Bobby,” Dharmendra stated. “Stressing on your achievements or other things hold no meaning.”
Dharmendra has worked with his wife and Bollywood’s ‘Dream Girl’ Hema Malini in films like Seeta Aur Geeta, Sholay and Dream Girl. Post marriage, the couple was seen in movies like Alibaba aur 40 Chor, Baghavat, Samraat and Razia Sultan.
But the actor is averse to the idea of making a biopic on his life and turns to Urdu poetry to reflect on his journey. The 81-year-old said, “I’m an emotional person, so this (poetry) is a good outlet for me…When nothing is said and done, my silence and my loneliness converse with each other.”
The actor, who is now looking forward to his grandson’s Bollywood debut with Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas, is content with the love and admiration he is getting. “What’s the benefit of writing a book on your life? I don’t want to reach out that much to people. I have reached enough. I have touched their heart. I live in their heart, not in their brain.”
Ask who can be the next Bollywood’s ‘yamla pagla deewana,’ he said, “Only Dharmendra can be yamla, pagla and deewana at the same time.”
On the work front, Dharmendra is working on his first international short film Dream Catcher and will reunite with his sons for the third instalment of Yamla Pagla Deewana too.