An Open Letter To Dharmendra
At 78, you are still doing what you love to do. And that is what you could call the 'Grace of God.'
At your age, many are cranky and wondering why life is being so unfair to them. But you, on the other hand, are not only having a hearty time with your sons on and off screen, but also negating any impact reviews [unkind words] would have on your recent home production, YAMLA PAGLA DEEWANA 2.
You seem to sail over all and sundry, without a care in the world. And that is exactly what matters. It matters not what others think of you, but of the belief you have in yourself. And to go on doing what you love doing, no matter what. How can opinions of others be a deterrent to your desire to keep on grooving? That's what I like about you. If you had succumbed to negativity, you would not have survived 54 years in this industry.
That is the belief you had in yourself when you came to the city of dreams [as a 23-year-old] with stars in your eyes. You not only realized your dream (you were a rage yourself in your heyday), but also ensured your extended family was well-cared for. That is what sets you apart from the others in the industry; your desire to spread a dragnet of happiness, not only around your immediate family, but around half the village you came from (so to say).
The good wishes of the people you have helped along the way have kept you going all these years. And their prayers have also seen you through your self-confessed low of 10 years beginning in the year 1997. It can get terribly lonely for a man in the limelight to be without work and fighting a bad back. Your self-confessed strength to struggle and fight the odds is a lesson to many in a similar situation. Giving up comes easy to most when the odds are stacked heavily against them.
Sunny tasted super success at the beginning of his career and then fizzled out. Bobby never made the desired impact. Somewhere you would have felt bad that none of your sons actually rose to the heights you touched in your film career. In your days, "you were yummy" as some women still describe you!
Even today, you are working with the same zest you had when you arrived here at the age of 23. You are getting the Deols back together. Bobby is getting a new lease of life in his career. Sunny can now be superhero. After his antics as a 'Super Sardar' in YPD 2, you could market a whole new character based on him; games, comics, et al...
Fifty-four years and still going strong in Bollywood... your regret of not having been mentioned in Indian cinema completing 100 years is just. How many will be able to last that long?
Yours is an inspiring story for anyone struggling in Bollywood. You mentioned in a recent interview that you were never competitive; "if I was, I would never have lasted so long."
That is exactly what drives people nuts; the desire to be one up above the other. There is enough in this world for everyone. Why people grab what belongs to someone else or try to manipulate, beats me.
You are right; it's not show business any more.
IT IS SHOW OFF BUSINESS!
(This weekly column tries to be as honest as honest can be... )
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