From Aamir Khan-Kiran Rao to Shabana Azmi-Javed Akhtar, Shatrughan Sinha, Naseeuddin Shah to Ranbir Kapoor...the entire who's who of the film fraternity turned up for the premiere of Dev Anand's Hum Dono on Thursday night. Except for the two leading ladies. While one of them Nanda begged off saying she was unwell when Dev Anand called her personally, the other leading lady Sadhana apparently didn't even take Dev Saab's call!
It is an unwritten rule in the Indian film industry that no one ever says no to Dev Anand. That rule just changed. Two of Dev Saab's former co-stars,the legendary but alas reclusive Sadhana and Nanda who played the two heroines in the 1961 blockbuster drama Hum Dono declined to attend the premier of the classic's colorized digital version of the classic that is being revived with much fanfare and gusto.
Most excited of all was of course the film's leading man the indefatigable Dev Anand who plays a double role opposite Sadhana and Nanda. Apparently the ebullient evergreen hero personally called up his two Hum Dono divas asking them to be present by his side at the joyous revival of the classic, not thinking for second they would turn down his invitation.
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To Dev Saab's shock and annoyance both Sadhana and Nanda declined the invitation to attend the premiere.
A senior actress, who is close to both Nanda and Sadhana, defends her colleagues' elusiveness. "Dev Saab personally invited them. But neither Nanda nor Sadhana is attending. I tried to convince them to go since it's a big moment for them both. Hum Dono was a turning point in their careers. But they are much too nervous of crowds. Unlike Dev Saab who enjoys public appearances and interaction with fans Sadhana and Nanda are away from the limelight. Sadly they missed out on this glorious moment."
Euphoric with the attendance and ovation at the premiere Dev Saab expressed regret at his two leading ladies' absence from the premiere.
Said the indefatigable star, "The turn-out was heartwarming. All four screens were packed. It's a pity that Nanda and Sadhana could not be there. Nanda said she was unwell…I think they were shy. When you're away from the limelight for so long the clamorous adoring crowds can become a bit too much to handle. I intend to send them a bouquet each. After all Hum Dono is a triumph for them as well."