Legend of Dharmendra lives on”¦ in Punjabi

dharam and manju








Manju Mittal met up with much more docile Dharam not the ”˜Garam Dharam’ of yesteryears when he came to Sydney in August with his first wife Prakash Kaur leaving behind Hema Malini his second wife. Out of all the old flames two actors have survived well ”“ Amitabh and Dharmendra both having evolved as they aged. Dharmendra the most handsome man of the Bollywood film industry proved his versatility from He-man roles to romantic hero and one who was a natural while doing comedy. Here he talks to TIDU about his new release Punjabi film ”˜Double di Trouble’ as Dharam forays into pure Punjabi cinema and it would be fun watching him in his new Avatar”¦

In Sydney Sheraton hotel he sat in his room, dressed in a casual outfit, he looked as handsome as ever as he talked about his first love that is films:

Could you say a few words about your upcoming Punjabi movie Double di Trouble and you are the lead in a movie, how was your experience working in Punjabi film?

Being a Punjabi I always wanted to act in Punjabi films. It took more than 50 years to fulfil my dream to act in a Punjabi film. My dream has finally been fulfilled with a film ”˜Double di Trouble’ especially this movie made under the banner of Subhash Ghai’s Mukta Arts. The movie is based on one of Shakespeare’s well known play. It’s a comedy, Gippy Grewal and I play double role in this movie. The comedy starts when a father and his son discover their duplicates in a different country. It’s a totally different movie and I hope audience love me in the movie and hope to see me often in Punjabi films. I had a wonderful experience shooting in Punjab from start to finish. I belong to Punjab and I have thoroughly enjoyed shooting in Punjab villages where I spent most of my childhood which  brought back lots of old memories.

You have been in Film Industry for almost 55 years, how difficult the journey has been and what has been your greatest achievement in your career?

I arrived in Mumbai in 1958 after completing my college degree to try my luck in the Hindi film industry. I won the new talent contest conducted by Film Fare. I have always been very passionate about my work. I struggled but remained confident.   In 1997 I received the Film Fare life time achievement award and was awarded in Padma Bhushan in 2012. For me the greatest achievement is the love and support of my fans, which I always get.

Dharam ji you have starred more than 300 films, I am sure you get this question asked all the time but for our Bollywood readers in Australia I must ask which movie you enjoyed most in your entire career?

I enjoyed doing all my films and all my films are close to my heart however, Sholay was magical film for me.

How do you manage family and fame? Who has inspired you in your life?

I have been very fortunate as my family has always been very supportive and always allowed me to grow. My audience inspires me. I have always given my 100 per cent effort to entertain the audience.

What is your message to your fans in Australia?

I would like to thank all my fans who have watched my films that I have been in. I am happy that even today people have kept me in their hearts. I just wanted to be a good human being and that’s how I want to be remembered rather than a superstar. Being human is the greatest thing –  love each other, care for each other, live with peace and harmony so you can make the world more beautiful.

It has been pleasure interviewing Dharam ji. My favourite and proud moment was when he held The Indian Down Under and actually looked at it with keen interest. The 79-yearold veteran actor has been blessed with strength and energy and one could clearly see he has not showed any signs of slowing down. ”˜Double di Trouble’ is an upcoming Punjabi venture which releases on August 29. The film has been made on the scale of any big Hindi film, the only difference is the language. The project also casts Poonam Dhillon, Kulraj Randhawa, Manisha Lamba and Gurpreet Ghuggi in pivotal roles. Directed by Smeep Kang, produced by Mukta Arts’ Ashok Ghai and co-producer Kenny Chhabra . One of the song in the film is sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. I am sure it will be great to watch Dharamji in his first full-length Punjabi film.

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