As the World celebrates World Tourism Day today, who else but a Dev Anand’s birthday precedes this day that evokes the travellers to travel and explore self through exploration of the places!
Dev Anand indeed was the man who single-handedly was instrumental in kindling the latent urge among the Indians to travel to the different nooks and corners of the world as also to different nooks and corners of the countryside through the cinematic oeuvre that he left behind when he left the mortal world.
With the launch of Navketan Films, his own production house Dev Anand took it on his own to go on a wanderlust and unravel to the moviegoers the majestic beauty that this earth is endowed with through his panoramic lenses. Even before the convention of shooting songs on foreign locales became an accepted norm, Dev Anand had dabbled with the template in PREM PUJARI and through one song- Phoolon ke rang se, he took the fans of cinema on world tour.
The enigma of Mumbai that entices the dreamers to just roll down to this city of dreams and seek their realization has its nodes of inspiration in CID- Aie Dil Hai Mushkil. USP of the encapsulation of references of travel and creation of memories with these touch points lay in the fact that Dev Anand used to merge his character into the landscape and invoked the audience to fantasize about it and take their chance to actualize it.
Dev Anand was also an epitome of ultimate traveller who could convincingly use fascinating modes of transport to create the aura of romance as he did with a cycle repeatedly beginning with BAAT EK RAAT KI’s- Akela hoon main is duniya mein to romancing on a cycle- Ae maine kasam lee from TERE MERE SAPNE to taking it a bizarre end in Ruk Jaana O jaana in WARRANT where he even rode a road roller to serenade Zeenat Aman! Nobody else has been able to emulate the feat! Or for that matter a hay stacked bullock cart to romance Tanuja in JEWELTHIEF.
Obviously Dev Anand could do all of this with such conviction as he had amazing music to build upon the narrative across the oeuvre of films with which he was associated from the time he made his debut to the time when he hung his boot. Travel is all about seeking music and musicality of the area one travels to and a particular node of music brings that element of nostalgia with the location and music team that Dev Anand was endowed with ensured to create such images of permanence.
A case in point for this premise is the music of JEWEL THIEF that brought in the succinct nuances of Budhist musical nodes and deconstructed them to make it a part of the popular film songs, be it in Dil Pukare where the internodes have the distinct Buddhist musical influence or the same echo in Hothon mein aisee baat from the same movie.
His arrangement of music always had a distinct local flavour and this is what endeared Dev Anand’s music to the fans of cinema and endeared them to continue to keep the flame of travel alive in their hearts inspite of all kinds of hardships. Dev Anand’s birthday and World Tourism Day following it indeed is epitomised in the epochal song from JEWEL THIEF- ye dil na hota bechara to kadam na hote awara.
Till the time he was alive and even after he has gone, Dev Anand is no more, his spirit of injecting an awaaragi into the footsteps is what WORLD TOURISM DAY invokes and perhaps Dev Anand’s contribution through his monumental work should be integrated as a part of celebration of WORLD CELEBRATION DAY henceforth.