‘For me, no other role was as big as ‘Veeru’ in ‘Sholay’…’

Dharamendra’ in an exclusive conversation with ‘DivyaSolgama’

Legendary actor Dharmendra marked his debut in the year 1958 and is marking his 60th year in film industry with the release of his latest film ‘YamlaPaglaDeewanaPhir Se’. In an exclusive one to one chat Dharmendra talks about some unheard tales related to his epic films such as ‘Sholay’, ‘ChupkeChupke’ and more.

DivyaSolgama – Dharmendraji, we all have seen you in a very different avatar in the first and second part of ‘YamlaPaglaDeewana’. So what’s happening new and different this time in the third part?
Dharmendra – It will be of course something bigger and better from the previous ones. We all three first came together in ‘Apne’, and witnessed the audience reaction. Although the movie got immense appreciation, but people said that it was quite emotional and they felt like crying. Then we thought to make people laugh this time, and so ‘YamlaPaglaDeewana’ was born. People liked the first part, but the second part was not much successful. So we tried to make it as beautiful and likable for the audience with ‘YamlaPaglaDeewanaPhir Se’, and we hope they will like and appreciate it.

DivyaSolgama – This time you will be seen with Shatrughan Sinha and Rekha after a hiatus, so how was your experience working with them this time?
Dharmendra – Yes Divya, we have one of the hilarious court scene with Shatru in the film. We both are known for our great chemistry, where we were seen together in many movies like ‘Dost’, ‘Loha’ and among few. As a result, people will see that same kind of chemistry of us inhere. Also, as it’s a comedy film, so the chemistry is like give and take between us. If Shatru throws something, then I catch it, and if I throw something then he catches it. It’s something nice and entertaining comic timing between us in the movie.

DivyaSolgama – Talking about ‘Loha’, you gave about 5 super-hit films in one year during that era of late 80’s. So, how was that phase sir?
Dharmendra – It was something nice and great Divya. Life is full of ups and down, and with god’s grace I got some good up-thing during that time which I stretched upto mid-90s. Then the era of youngsters came, because generation changes here in every decade. And I am quite lucky that people from every generation are showering their love on me.

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DivyaSolgama – You are the only one sir who has worked with Trimurti – Devanand, Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar. So how was that feeling working with your three idols?
Dharmendra – I have always used to be in awe-factor whenever I was in company with them. I use to think twice whenever I used to sit near them. As a result, that love, affection and respect which I had for them during those days is still the same and intact.

DivyaSolgama – Whenever I used to see your old-and-rare pictures, I have always noticed that you used to be always in bindaas-mood everywhere. Now-a-days, people think twice to do something freely and everything is said to be a media-game. So what’s your take on that?
Dharmendra – Now-a-days Divya, everything is a commodity. At first it was industry, now it’s a mandi. Those were the days when ‘chalrahe ho tum tohbatanekizaruratnahi, rukgayejis din tohpuchega koi nai, jaantehaijodholwohpeettenahi, chalterehtehai bas mudkardekhtenahin’. Today we have to bang our dhol and we have to play our own trumpet. We gave a chaat and starter to audience before the main course. People started to like it, and so became a habit. On the other side, people also think that if starter or promotion is not good, then the main course or film will also be not good. Hence for that reason, good and effective media promotions have become very much essential and necessary these days.

DivyaSolgama – Sir, I always wanted to know your reaction when you were narrated the script of ‘Sholay’. Did you find the similarities with one of your fantastic film ‘MeraGaonMeraDesh’?
Dharmendra – ‘Sholay’ was more of like a big-business medium film. For the first time we had stunt-director came from a foreign country, and so technically the film was very vast. People asked me as to why didn’t I choose Gabbar or Thakur’s role in ‘Sholay’? But for me, no other role was as big as ‘Veeru’ in ‘Sholay’. It was the most lively, romantic, and naughtiness role in the film. However, it had some sort of similarity with ‘MeraGaonMeraDesh’ – such as like flipping the coin, drunken scene, teaching how to use agun to Asha Parekh ji, and so on. But ‘Sholay’ was made on a big scale and more of like a big-business medium film. For instance, the recent ‘Devdas’ film was much more glamorized than the previous Dilip Kumar saab’s one, where I also feel that the old one was more of like a novel-based film.

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DivyaSolgama – Talking about ‘Devdas’, you were supposed to feature in Gulzaar’ssaab ‘Devdas’. What happened sir? Why it never made it on screen? We all would have loved you to see in it.
Dharmendra – It was my dream role. Also, some films never made it on screen due to financial reasons, and this was one of them. But these days I am thinking what would have happen if it would have been made? People would have still loved me the same to which they are now. Time always cover-up everything with its layer of sand, and so what you are doing now is more important than anything.

DivyaSolgama – Being a superstar of that time, you have done so many experiments with your respective characters in your different movies like ‘Razia Sultan’, ‘Gazab’, ‘Shalimaar’, and so on. So, how that thing happened sir? Was it a conscious decision or something else?
Dharmendra – I didn’t plananythingDivya, and in fact never knew how to plan things. Whatever was coming in front of me, I used to do that with full conviction. I am in just love with this profession, where I always call it as my ‘mehbooba’. I never had a second thought to do any role, where sometimes I have also signed film for the sake of friendship or just to help someone. Also, some roles were not sounding nice to me but still did it. I never feared to do or accept any role, and thought that whatever will happen, will happen for good. Even today I consider myself as a newcomer in this industry, and I am still open to learn and gain something new.

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DivyaSolgama – Talking about comedy film, then ‘ChupkeChupke’ is still being considered as one of the landmark film in the entire Indian history. So if you can share some anecdote related to that?
Dharmendra– ‘ChupkeChupke’ was made in just 27-days. And in comedy, there’s nothing fixed and many a time it comes spontaneous, where anything can come out at any point of time. So, each and every scene was quite easy to shoot, and we didn’t take time to complete the film.

DivyaSolgama – Sir, you have completed almost 60-years in the industry and now generation-next is ready to come. So, any message would you like to give them?
Dharmendra – I pray for everybody. Every father wants their child to do and grow more, where Sunny (Deol) wants the same for his son. But then it depends on how one performsin the end. If one does good, then their work will surely speak.

DivyaSolgama – Lastly, you are seen to be fond of shayaris these days. How this thing happen sir?
Dharmendra – Yes, Shayari has also become my ‘mehbooba’ these days. I never thought of to write or pen down shayaris, and just happened all of a sudden. It just came from my within. If you are an emotional person, many things can come from within you. Only thing you should have is emotion. If you know the language and know how to shape it, then it becomes quite easy. It’s basically a pain that you bring out from within.

DivyaSolgama – So are you planning to pen down a book on that?
Dharmendra – My planning never got completed, but maybe an audio-book or video-book of mine that can come out very soon.

(Source – Bollywood Times)