Charming and sometimes seemingly routing to be an escapist, like the man himself, Romancing With Life: An Autobiography by Dev Anand reveals his larger than life perception of himself. With characteristic abandon, he makes light of his failures while focusing with pride and joy on his achievements. In all seriousness, he makes quaint statements opining that his failed Awaal Number is similar to Lagaan, or that his film Censor ought to have been picked for the Oscar.
Dev Anand acknowledges, candidly and without any sadness or resentment, his obsession with Zeenat Aman and disappointment at her lack of reciprocation. His unsuccessful love affair with Suraya is replayed in depth, disclosing an intense setback that he optimistically turned into a strengthening experience. He alludes to several of his heroines whose rise to glory was scripted by him and recaptures his time with Guru Dutt, Raj Kapoor, and Dilip Kumar.
He talks about how he engineered the rise of a new wave in cinema with his brother Chetan Anand, and refers to his film Guide with great pride, while reminiscing on how the critics of his time had predicted a dismal reception for the movie.
Portraying himself as an eternal romantic who longs for love and adulation, he floods his memoir with anecdotes of his encounters with women across the world and his unending quest for young starlets. Not bound by a chronological format, the book enables the reader to pick and enjoy incidents from any part of its contents.
Romancing With Life: An Autobiography was released in 2007. This edition was published in 2011.
About Dev Anand
Dev Anand was an award-winning actor, writer, director, and producer of Indian films in Hindi.
Although his autobiography has been his only work, Dev Anand penned the story for 13 of his own films.
Anand’s writing style is pacy and effervescent, as he keeps the readers hooked to his every word.
Anand’s full name was Dharam Dev Pishorimal Anand. He was born on 26 September, 1923, in Gurdaspur. He graduated in English Literature from Government College, Lahore, and started his career as a Clerk in Accountancy. He then joined his elder brother Chetan Anand in the latter’s theatrical engagements, from where he moved on to Hindi films. In a career spanning over sixty five years, Dev Anand acted in 114 films. He played the lead role in 104 of them.
Anand received the Padma Bhushan in 2001 and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2002. He received several Filmfare awards and international honors and recognitions during his lifetime. Due to his resemblance to Hollywood star Gregory Peck, Dev Anand was accepted as one of Hindi cinema’s best looking actors. Anand succumbed to a cardiac arrest on December 3, 2011, in London.