Vijay Anand’s heroines Hema Malini, Asha Parekh, Vyjayanthimala, Waheeda Rehman, Mumtaz recall his legacy – Times of India

The inimitable Vijay Anand directed his leading ladies to immortality. Here is what they have to say about this master creator who gave us the timeless classics Teesri Manzil, Guide, Jewel Thief, Johnny Mera Naam, Tere Mere Sapne and more.

Asha Parekh: “I think Vijay Anand was to first direct me for another film under the same banner (Nasir Hussain, Baharon Ke Sapne). Then, Vijay Anandji was given Teesri Manzil and Shammi Kapoor was the hero. I remember shooting the film with Shammi Uncle — that was what I called him — was a picnic. And all those lovely RD Burman songs… oh my my! Vijay Anand shot the songs so well. He was a master storyteller and no one could touch his song picturizations. We didn’t know we were making an all-time classic. We had so much fun.”

Vyjayanthimala: “Jewel Thief is a very important film in my career. All of us, including Ashok Kumar, Dev, his brother Vijay Anand had a great time shooting the film. I had not worked with Vijay Anand before. And it was such a pleasure to be directed by such a brilliant director. He was among the best directors we had. Technically he was so well versed that he could edit every shot in his mind before it was filmed. My dance number in Jewel Thief, Hothon Pe Aisi Baat was unique; it was shot like no other dance of mine. Hats off to Vijay Anand for pulling it off. Was I offered Guide? I would rather talk about the work that I have done.”

Hema Malini: “When I did Johny Mera Naam with Vijay Anand I was very, very new. Vijay Anand and Dev Anand took me under their wings, guided me through the shooting. I especially remember the shooting of the song Pal Bhar Ke Liye Koi Humein Pyar Le. There were so many windows on the screen of all sizes and shapes. I would close one and Dev saab would peep out of another one… Great fun! Years later, I worked with Vijay Anand again in Rajput. This wasn’t as successful as Johny Mera Naam. But I enjoyed working with him again.”

Mumtaz: “Vijay Anand’s Tere Mere Sapne was the toughest role of my career. Playing the supportive wife of an ambitious doctor I was required to be natural throughout. Screen pe glamourous hona bahot asaan hai, natural hona bahot mushqil. Vijay Anand would shoot Dev saab and I in tight close-ups. I felt very selfconscious. I think I deserved an award for Tere Mere Sapne. We shot two lovely duets Hey Maine Kasam Lee and Jeevan Ki Baghiya Mehkegi. I don’t think any other director had Vijay Anand’s music sense.”

Waheeda Rehman: “Guide is not just my most iconic film. It was also Dev’s most celebrated work. I almost didn’t do Guide. Hua yun ke, shuroo mein director Raj Khosla the. Raj Khosla and I had a difference of opinion during an earlier film. I never worked with him after that. And I wasn’t willing to change that for Guide or any other film. But you know how persuasive Dev was. He called up and said, ‘Come on, Waheeda. Let bygone be bygones. Everyone makes mistakes.’ But I refused to budge. I asked Dev why his brother Goldie (Vijay Anand) wasn’t directing. But Goldie was busy with Tere Ghar Ke Samne. Eventually, Raj Khosla was replaced by Chetan Anand. But he didn’t want me! I laughed. Yeh to achcha hua. One director I didn’t want and the other director didn’t want me. I think Chetan Saab wanted Priya Rajvanshji. But Dev was adamant. They needed a dancer. And Priyaji couldn’t dance. Eventually, Goldie directed Guide. That’s how I got ‘Guide’. It’s a film I’m very proud of. Vijay Anand was a brilliant craftsman. I don’t think I could have played Rosy without his guidance. And the way he shot my songs and dances Piya Tose Naina Lage Re, Aaj Phir Jeene Ki Tamanna Hai, Saiyyan Beimaan… Simply brilliant!”

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