I’ve only skimmed through it so far, and on current evidence I’m almost convinced that it really was written by Dev Anand himself - sentence by sentence, with only basic editorial interference. This would not be very hard to believe anyway, if you know about the pride he takes in doing things himself and being active on various fronts at his advanced age (often to the point of lunatic stubborn-mindedness). But the book bears it out: it’s full of the cheerful floridity that marks everything the man does, and that no ghostwriter would have been able to simulate. Every page I’ve randomly opened has contained gems like these:
For every second of my life that I have breathed, I have been moving on, speeding ahead, faster than the American missiles in Iraq.
Those I am closest to, those who like and love me and I them, call me “Dev”, just “Dev”, short and sweet and possessive, godly and sexy, and intimate to the extreme, in bedrooms, in drawing rooms...
The evening sun that was still aglow threw the special ray it reserved for me in my direction. It brightened my face anew.On his first sexual encounter (with an older woman, in a train):
She had now completely uncovered her femininity. I closed my eyes.On trying to escape an army of female fans:
“Come, here!” She offered me the opening to her ecstasy.
And I came.
“You young boys of today!” she gasped frustratedly. Did you see that man who got off at the last station? That Anglo-Indian? They are strong! What a capacity. And you..."
Hands struggled, and a sensuous mouth lunged forward to rub her lipstick on my laughing but bashful face, with a smooch that engraved the moment forever in my memory.But what an actor, and what a star! It’s been a long time since I’ve seen most of his old films, but from what I remember his best work holds up better than that of the other two superstars of his time, Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor. He integrated panache with substance more adeptly than most other Hindi-film actors have been able to, which is just one reason why his early work remains appealing to modern audiences. And despite most of his films of the last 20 years being targets of mirth (or, at best, acquiring cult-movie status among viewers who believe 1980s Bollywood can only be appreciated for its kitsch quotient), it’s hard not to marvel at the conviction and self-assurance when he casually informs us that turkeys like Awwal Number and Censor were “ahead of their time”.
Details about the memoir here.