Mussoorie, December 4
The town was gripped with grief as the news of the demise of Dev Anand in London trickled in today. Dev Anand died in his sleep late Saturday night at the Washington Mayfair Hotel in London where he was staying at the age of 88.
Members of the Mall Beautiful, an organisation, paid tribute to the iconic actor by playing songs from his films on the public address system installed on the Mall Road the whole day.
Local Historian Gopal Bhardwaj said, “Dev Anand frequently visited the town as his wife Kalpana Kartik, formerly known as Mona Singha, lived near Christchurch in Library Bazaar. Her father was a commissioner of Garhwal and found Mussoorie to his liking. Another reason for Dev Anand’s visit was that his two children, Suniel and daughter Devina, studied in Woodstock School around mid-sixties.
Gopal Bhardwaj further said Dev Anand visited them frequently. Later he also bought a house near Char Dukan in the Landour Cantonment Board and gifted it to his daughter Devina who still lives in it with her daughter.
Care taker of the house Shiv Singh said the whole house was in mourning after hearing about the death of Dev.
Dev Sahib was fond of vegetarian food and use to walk for several hours watching the panoramic view of the Himalayas along with his children, added Shiv Singh.
Gopal Bhardwaj reminiscing one incident said Dev Anand was so popular that one day a housewife, who was strolling with her litle baby lying in the pram on the Mall Road, lost her senses after seeing him and left the pram which was later caught by some tourists downhill on the Kulri Bazaar road.
According to another resident from Mussoorie Madan Mohan Sharma, Dev Sahib, on his visit to Mussoorie, attended pageant contests that were held during those days. It was in one such pageant contest that he discovered the famous actress, late Nutan, who had won the Miss Mussoorie Contest in 1960s and later cast her in one of the films that became a hit.
Rupali, a resident of Sisters Bazaar, opines that Dev Anand can never die and will live in their hearts as he was the human being who taught others to live with style and finesse and with an optimistic approach.