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It was as if his soul had entered my body: Dev Anand ‘junior’ remembers his idol

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New Delhi, Sept 26: (PTI) He was 11 when a schoolmate told him he resembled Dev Anand. That stray comment set the tone for his career and much of his life, says Kishore Bhanushali who went on to mimic the screen idol’s loose limbed walk, floppy hair, affectations and over the years came to be known as Dev Anand junior.
Bhanushali, who has worked in over 100 films across Hindi, Bhojpuri and Gujarati cinema, sometimes regrets he could not establish his separate identity but memories of his few meetings and conversations with Dev Anand have kept him going.
On Tuesday, the 100th birth anniversary of the superstar, who died in 2011 at the age of 88, the actor, singer, host and stand-up comic said impassionedly that it was as if Dev Anand’s soul had entered him.
“I may have started my journey in cinema by mimicking Dev sahab but I always wanted to become Kishore Bhanushali. Ironically, that is exactly why no one would give me work in the beginning,” the 61-year-old told PTI.
“I may not have been able to get work but people slowly started recognising me. I didn’t realise when I started behaving, sitting, standing and moving like Dev sahab. It was as if his soul had entered my body and I became Dev Anand,’ said the actor, who currently stars in the TV show “Bhabi Ji Ghar Par Hai!”
Bhanushali recalls in vivid detail his meeting with Dev Anand after his impersonation of the star in the 1990 blockbuster “Dil”.
“I still remember his one leg was on the table, the sweater was tied, and there were four-five people standing behind him. When I wished him good morning, he said ‘Good morning, Kishore’ in his inimitable style. ‘That’s your name, right?”
“I said, yes sir. He said ‘I saw your film ‘Dil’ and had a good time. You were looking more like Dev Anand than me! How many films are you doing right now?’ I said ‘Sir, around 10-12.”
“Oh baap re! You’re so busy!” he said. The Mumbai-based actor said seeing Dev Anand in person left him spellbound and he even asked if they could work together in a film. (PTI)

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