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PM Manmohan Singh releases Anand's autobiography

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

New Delhi (ANI): Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday released an autobiography of 'evergreen" Hindi movie star Dev Anand here. Interestingly, the book release ceremony coincided with both Anand's and Singh's birthdays. The actor's memoir titled “Romancing with Life" narrates tales of his journey through life from a young aspiring actor to becoming the evergreen hero of Indian cinema.

Singh lauded Anand calling him one of the India's most 'enduring romantics in the last half century'. "At 84, he is not only young at heart, but also youthful to look at. I am sure that for several generations of his fans, he will always be remembered as a delightfully romantic and endearing artist," Singh said.

A vegetarian and a teetotaler, Anand said: "A book which is in my hand, my autobiography I call it romance with life, romancing with my joy, with my sorrow, with my highs, my lows, an honest depicting of man, of himself, with all my strengths and weaknesses."

With a green scarf draped over a navy blue jacket, his hair dyed black and his skin still taut, Anand retains the charm of a mischievous romantic – the image from his heyday that he has cultivated over a career spanning 60 years. Credited with introducing several actresses to Bollywood, Anand lived his lover-boy image to the fullest, wooing heroines with songs late into his 50s. When he was too old for that, he turned to making romantic films.

Anand, considered the epitome of the suave, urbane gentleman, was seen as one of the most handsome men in Indian cinema and looked strikingly similar to Hollywood hero Gregory Peck. The puff in his hair and collared shirt became a rage among Indian men, and his trademark singsong delivery and penchant for nodding while speaking were all heavily copied.

Many accused his acting of being all style and little substance, but he produced some of the biggest cult hits in Bollywood, won best actor awards several times and was given India's highest award for cinema. His personal life was equally dramatic. He fell in love with a beautiful Muslim actress he saved from drowning while shooting a film. After her grandmother opposed the relationship, the actress retreated from public life and never married. Anand has acted in, directed and produced more than 110 films. Anand will tour India with his 465-page book, which he will also take to Frankfurt, London, Stockholm, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta and Canada.

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