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Dharmendra: “There Was Nothing To Celebrate This Year”

The  iconic  star actor Dharmendra who  turned  85 on December  8, says there is  no reason to celebrate his birthday  this year.  “Our country and  civilization  at large  are  going through  the worst  possible crisis, thanks to Covid  and recession. Given the  bleak scenario, I don’t think  there  is any room for celebration this  year. Let us all come out of 2020 and  we shall have a  double celebration next year.”

 Dharmendra who  started his  career as an actor in  1960 looks back with  tremendous satisfaction. “I’ve worked with the best directors and co-stars. When I  came  into the  film industry  I  knew nobody  and the only actor I hero-worshipped was Dilip Kumar Saab. When  I met him in  person it was the proudest moment in my life.”

 Whch among his films are his favourites? “Oh , there are so many. Offhand I am very fond  of Satyakam, Anupama , Devar, Phool Aur Patthar, Naya Zamana,Sholay, Dost  and Pratiggya. I love Pratiggya  the most because it was a really tough role. I had to play a truck driver who masquerades as  a cop. It was like playing a role within a role. It was a layered character with lots of emotions and drama.I had made to make people laugh all the way. But there was an undercurrent of emotions. It was a challenge.And people loved me in it. Though  Satyakam is one of own favourite films my all-time favourite film is Pratiggya directed by Dulal Guha.It  came during the same year 1975 as Sholay, so it went eclipsed. But let me tell, Pratiggya was a super hit in spite of competition  from Sholay.Just as in 1971 when Naya Zamana clicked in spite of blockbuster like Mera Gaon Mera Desh. They were such different films. I am very fond of Naya Zamana because it was based on Bengali literature .The  film had beautiful dialogues.”
 

Dharamji feels  he has much to be  thankful  for. “From a young age I was obsessed about being on screen.God heard me. I was selected in the Filmfare talent contest.And here I am. My endeavour has always been to be in front of camera ,  and from there into the heart of the people. That I’ve succeeded in doing so is just my good fortune.”

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