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Dharmendra: “God Sent me To Spread Love”



India’s  handsomest actor  Dharmendra turned  a young sprightly  84 on December 8. And  his fans  and well-wishers  kept him  busy throughout the day.

I finally caught up  with one of the most affable human beings in the entertainment industry late in  the evening when  Dharamji was exhausted. “But how can I not take your call even if I’m  tired? You’ve always been  so warm and  loving , not only to me but also to Hema. My birthday wouldn’t be  complete without your  good wishes,” says Dharamji.

 The  only other actor who had the  ability to make me feel so special was Dev Anand. Dev Saab is gone. I  miss him.

Thankfully Dharamji is with us, and in good health. Touch wood!

“I was down with dengue for a  while. Now  there’s  just some pain  in my knees. Othewrise I am fine. I  forced the dengue  out of my knees,” he jokes.

Always, that  perfect comic  timing. Remember  Chupke Chupke , Pratiggya and Yamla PaglaDeewana?

Dharamji confesses he  misses the camera. “I belong in front  of  the camera. I haven’t  done  a  film in  some time. But I am planning to get  back (to acting) . My fans  and well-wishers miss me. Unka pyar ne mujhe  zinda rakha hai. They’re my oxygen.”

I remind him of how  much positivity and joy  he spreads by just being himself.

Laughing shyly Dharamji says,  “God sent me  down here to spread happiness, to  put smiles  on as  many faces as  possible during my lifetime. When you  say I’ve succeeded  in doing that I feel my life is fulfilled. I can’t thank the Almighty  up there and my well-wishers  down here  enough for all the love that  I  get. If I’ve been able to give back even a fraction  of  that  love that I’ve got I am a happy man.”

I ask Dharamji  about his unfulfilled  dreams, and he says,  “I want to see  every human being  freed of pain. I want to see  diseases corruption and discrimination  eliminated from our country. You say it’s impossible? I’ve always dreamt  of  the impossible. I was  a boy from  a small village in Punjab. Who would have  thought I’d be loved by everyone?”

Does Dharamji have any favourite films  from his oeuvre?  “So many… They’re all special. But Hrishida’s (Hrishikesh Mukherjee)’s Anupama , Satyakam and  Chupke Chupke were  special.”

Coincidentally his co-star in all the three favourite films was Sharmila Tagore who is born  on the   same day as Dharamji.

So is Sharmila Tagore his favourite co-star?

“One  of  my favourites. But my most favourite co-star is Hema,” he says shyly.

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