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'I never think of how old I am'

December 08, 2023 12:28 IST
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Photograph: Kind courtesy Dharmendra/Instagram

"To be honest, I never think of how old I am. It is important to think young, live healthily, sleep proper hours and think positively," Dharmendra, who turns 88 on December 8, tells Subhash K Jha.

"There is no knowing what will happen tomorrow. Make the best of today."


Photograph: Kind courtesy Bobby Deol/Instagram

"It's all the the blessings of the audience and my film fraternity. They have showered love on me and my sons for 40 years. This year was especially a dream run for us. Sunny had Gadar 2 and Bobby has Animal. I got so much appreciation for Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahani. I couldn't ask for more," says Dharamji.

IMAGE: Sharmila Tagore and Dharmendra in Satyakam.

When asked to name his best performances and films, Dharamji laughs shyly, "Mushqil hai kehna. I have worked in so many films for almost 50 years. Straightway, I can recall Hrishikesh Mukherjee's Satyakam, Anupama and Chupke Chupke. These stand out. In all three, my co-star was Sharmila Tagore. We did quite a few films together in the 1960s. After that, my maximum films were with Hema."

IMAGE: Hema Malini and Dharmendra in Pratiggya.

Dharamji mentions the not-so-celebrated film where he had a difficult role: "I love Dulal Guha's Pratiggya 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 a lot of emotion and drama."

"I had made to make people laugh but there was an undercurrent of emotions. It was a challenge, and people loved me in it," he recalls.

"Pratiggya came in the same year as Sholay in 1975, so it went eclipsed. But let me tell you, Pratiggya was a superhit in spite of competition from Sholay. Just like in 1971, when Naya Zamana clicked in spite of the blockbuster, 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's closing thoughts: "Mujhe aur mere parivar ko issi terah apna pyaar dete rahen (please continue to shower love on me and my family)."

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