Dharmendra is one of the most handsome and macho personalities of Hindi film industry. Born on 8th December 1935, he recently turned 83!
As a child, when I watched two of his movies with Amitabh – Sholay and Chupke Chupke – I liked him more than Amitabh! He is not a great actor but very likeable hero.
Another aspect of him which I noticed in recent past because of all social media and TV exposure is that he is not highly educated but he is extremely well-read…he often recites lots of Urdu/Hindi/Punjabi shayari and poems. (Ditto with Manoj Kumar). I doubt if any of today’s stars would be so well read (especially literature and poetry).
I recently saw a clip from one of his recent interviews where he talks about his regret of not spending enough time with his parents – and how he is realizing it now. I was touched by that since I could relate with that thought!
Staying with parents has been one of the goals in my life. It may sound funny, because nobody these days has such a “goal”. I have said “No” to many marriage proposals where the girl was good but she wanted to stay separate and away from would-be in-laws. Nothing against their wish to live their life freely and on their terms – just that they didn’t fit with my goal.
Many decades ago, when my uncle had just separated, a relative had visited our home.
He asked my father: “So XYZ (my uncle) has shifted to new place! How about your parents? Do they live with you? Or with him?”
My father said: “No, we live with the parents!”
He always felt that grandparemts were living where they belonged and it was him who lived with them. Not the other way round.
In October 1992, I was just 12, Amitabh Bachchan turned 50. There were many news articles and TV reports about him. My grandfather (then 75, he passed away just 3 months after that) saw the news and murmurred: “Amitabh is very lucky! At 50, he has both his parents and he is living with them!”
The words of my grandfather made deep impression on me. He didn’t say a word about Amitabh’s stardom, or his wealth or popularity. What caught his attention was that he was a devout family man!
Anyways, do listen to this short clip of Dharmendra where he talks about what his father’s expectation of him was…and how he regrets that now.