Punjab village mourns its son who never returned

Pathankot: The nondescript village of Gharota in Punjab`s newest district of Pathankot has never forgotten its most famous resident - legendary film actor Dev Anand.

It is another matter that Dev Anand himself could never find time from his film career, spanning over 65 years, to visit the village or the nearby district headquarter town of Gurdaspur, nearly 300 km from Chandigarh.

Born on Sep 26, 1923 as Dharam Dev Pishorimal Anand in Gurdaspur district of then undivided Punjab, he graduated in English literature from the Government College, Lahore (now in Pakistan) before moving to the city of dreams - Bombay, as Mumbai was then called.

The actor`s well-to-do family lived in Gurdaspur town, where his father practiced law. He spent his early years in Gharota, Gurdaspur, the hill stations of Dalhousie and Dharamsala and later studied in Lahore.

"We always thought that he would someday return to his village but he never came. Our wish will remain a wish only now," Gharota resident Sanjeev Kumar said.

The family used to come to the village during vacations in the late 1930s and early 1940s.

After settling in Bombay, Dev Anand and his brothers, Chetan Anand and Vijay Anand, never visited the village again.

"He was our famous son even though he never came back here. It is unfortunate we could not meet him," a village resident rued.


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