Mumbai: Sharmila Tagore says Deven Verma was one of her best friends in the industry and that they shared a good rapport. However, later in his career, he became quieter, she says.
"If I have to select who my friends were in the film industry during my heydays, it would have to be Yash Chopra, Thakur Lulla, Tanuja, Shashi Kapoor, Gulzar saab and Deven," she said
"Deven was a lot of fun. I remember laughing a lot with him. There were lots of happy outdoor shootings with him. Deven directed me in 'Besharam'. Amitabh Bachchan was the male lead in the film. Deven was also my co-star in some of my best films like 'Devar' and 'Anupama'," she said.
"Deven had also produced 'Besharam'. I remember the film mainly because I was expecting my elder daughter Sabaa. I already had Saif and we had to complete it before I started showing....There was a bit of dancing in my delicate condition, which I had to be careful with. We did a lot of outdoor shooting in Bangalore."
"Like Hrishi-da (Hrishikesh Mukherjee), Deven would joke and keep the atmosphere light even while directing. So shooting with him wasn't tedious. I had fun shooting 'Besharam'. I remember, I impersonated a beggar in the film. Amitabh and Deven would constantly joke around," she said.
Later, Deven shifted his base to Pune and Sharmila says that the effervescent actor became quieter.
"I spoke to Deven a couple of time after he shifted residence to Pune. He had changed. He had become quieter. I remembered him as always being funny and filled with laughter. I think in his later years he had become...different, sober and quieter," she said.
Sharmila says that Deven, who died Tuesday following a heart attack and kidney failure, played prominent roles in some of her films.
"Deven had a very prominent role in 'Devar', which also starred Dharmendra. I remember we did a lot of night shooting at Mohan Studios. Dharmendra was very busy those days, so Deven and I would spend a lot of time together. That's when we got friendly."
"Deven was very close to producer Thakur Lulla, who produced 'Anupama'. Deven was also very close to Yash Chopra, whom I was close to. So, the four of us became very close friends."
"With Deven I became closer when he married Dada Moni's (Ashok Kumar) daughter Roopa...you know, the entire Bengali connection....The fact that Deven got along with my husband Tiger also helped. Sometimes when only one of a couple is friendly with an individual, it becomes difficult to keep up a relationship. Fortunately, Deven got along famously with Tiger. We had a lot of fun times in Carmichael Road. We remained friends for a very long time."
"Deven moved away from the film industry and from cinema. You have to realise there is a life beyond work. There is a lot more to do in life. I am sorry Deven has passed on. Lately, he had moved away. I did call him a couple of times. But it wasn't like old times. I will always remember him fondly."