There are times when success, popularity and stardom may influence a star’s attitude, either in a positive way, or a negative one. But, there are some people from the tinsel town, who keep surprising us with their humility, be it their behavior with their fans or with the inconspicuous members of their film crew. Among them, Bollywood’s original He-Man, veteran actor Dharmendra is undoubtedly one such person who has left an deep impression on the minds and hearts of everyone he has worked with, in his five-decade long career. Recently, we came across a television program where noted scriptwriter and lyricist Javed Akhtar, recalled an incident when superstar Dharmendra had apologised to him. Surprisingly, that time Javed Akhtar was far away from being famous and was working as an assistant director. Yes! You heard that right.
It was during the television program ‘Classic Legends’, which was hosted by Javed Akhtar, when he shared this incident, which took place during the shooting of ‘Yakeen’. This Brij Sadanah directorial featured Dharmendra in a double role, playing Rajesh and Garson. The character of Garson was the one carrying villainous shades and the only difference between him and the hero Rajesh was the colour of his eyes, which were blue in former’s case. While playing this role of Garson, Dharmendra used to wear blue contact lenses. (Also Read: When mere posters of Dharmendra’s movies cured his mother)
And one fine day, while the unit was setting up the shot, Dharmendra arrived on sets with his makeup done as Garson. After coming on sets, the actor asked for the scene that had to be shot. Listening to this, Javed, who was an assistant director then, hurried and gave the dialogue sheet to the actor. But, it was due to his hurry that he committed a mistake. He did not open the stapled pages to the sheet of the scene that the actor was supposed to perform. The actor had one look at it and he got irritated. In the same manner, he thrust the pages back at Akhtar, saying, “Aree! Yaar sahi page nikal ke do.” [sic] Akhtar, who was feeling thoroughly guilty at that point, immediately complied and found the right page, and gave the sheets back to the star. After some time, the spot boy called for Javed and told him that Dharmendra has called him. At this moment, Javed was a bit scared. He went to the actor’s makeup room and knocked on the door. The actor said, “Come in” and Javed entered the room.
What followed next took Javed Akhtar by surprise. Dharmendra said he was feeling bad the way he spoke in a slight rude manner and apologised to him for the same. He stated that after wearing those blue contact lenses, he feels uneasy as they cause irritation to his eyes due to which he spoke with him in that tone. Feeling guilty now, Dharmendra didn’t have any qualms in accepting his mistake and in apologising to Javed Akhtar who was only an assistant director then. Though this incident had happened in the year 1967, Javed Akhtar said (in his show) that he still remembered it due to the utmost inherent nobility that Dharmendra had in him as a person. Being on the stature of a superstar, this was something that showed his humble nature.
Indeed, this was an incident to remember.
Later, Javed Akhtar went on to become one of the most eminent scriptwriters in Bollywood along with his partner Salim Khan (Salim-Javed), and wrote films like ‘Seeta Aur Geeta’, ‘Yaadon Ki Baaraat’, ‘Chacha Bhatija’ and the most revered one of them being ‘Sholay’ that all starred none other than veteran actor Dharmendra in one of the lead roles.