I was briefly in Pune for 3 years after the ’65 war. The war had been spent in Adampur and the Air Force was sending Dad all around the country on different assignments. He was at the time looking forward to life in the civvy street. When I was in Dastur High School, a kid in my class would frequently come up to the front of the class if some teacher were absent and regale the class with his favourite songs. This one was his top favourite. At this stage, I think more than 80% of the class hadn’t seen the movie but thanks to Rajeev , everyone knew the song. https://youtu.be/BXp0mPoU2rQ
I imagined Dev Sahab in Rajeev’s place, Rajeev’s darker complexion, his unruly mop of hair that would invariably tumble forward onto more than half his forehead (a strict no-no in our school), his left leg with its deformed shin (the effects of osteomyelitis after a compound fracture as I would discover almost a decade later) firmly planted in front as he launched into Kishore Kumar‘s immortal ditty from Jewel Thief, and transport the class into a different place. As fame of his singing prowess spread through the school, encore performances followed even during some classes. Dev Sahab’s movie’s viewership, popularity and Rajeev’s singing followed parallel paths.
The years spent at Dastur left a deep imprint on me in more ways than I had imagined at the time and undoubtedly contributed to my varied interests. Boxing is a skill I sadly lost soon after we migrated to Mumbai. A minor miracle was responsible for my not breaking my nose during the many bouts I was part of during the period. Incredibly this was imparted as part of our course. The PT teacher was a retired army man who had served during WW II.
Dev Sahab’s slightly dreamy song from Jewel Thief took me back nearly 60 years to a more carefree period, a time, truly of hopeful and genuine innocence. https://youtu.be/OG86VR9pTGc
Stay safe folks, stay happy and healthy. Have a wonderful week ahead and join me at 1120 am for the 20th of my fortnightly programs focusing on one of my most favourite singers. See you in about three and a half hours.