Chit Chat

Hema is still my dream girl: Dharmendra

We caught Dharmendra for a candid chat about his films, life and, of course, Hema Malini.

Tell us something about your upcoming venture, Yamla Pagla Deewana 2?
First of all, It’s not a sequel of Yamla Pagla Deewana, but a totally different story. In this film, Bobby and I play two goons whom Sunny tries to take on. There are some beautiful situations in the film. We shot for three and half months in England and everything went very well. I hope this film will do better than the last one.

How do you feel working with your sons? Do you still guide them?
I guided them when they needed it. Now they’ve grown up and can take their own decisions. Still, I’m very lucky that both of them are deeply rooted in our culture and tradition. They also give me utmost respect and still feel cautious when I’m around. But, while we’re on the set, we act like professionals. Then Bobby doesn’t feel awkward saying dialogues like kameena and all (laughs).

You started your career with romantic roles, but then turned into an action hero. Which avatar did you enjoy the most?
I have played and still play a variety of roles, not only action or romantic ones. But we Deols definitely have some advantages over others when it comes to doing action flicks (laughs). But in my heyday, I was lucky to have the physique for an action hero.

You are still known as the He-Man of Bollywood, how do you take it?
I am honoured with many titles and I am happy that even today people have kept me in their hearts. Sohrat to ek nasha hai jo utar bhi jata hai, lekin pyaar-mohabbat aisi chiz hain jo dil main baith jate hain. However, people often strive to attain glamour and stardom, which I never believed in. I just wanted to be a good human being and that’s how I loved to be remembered, rather than a superstar.

We heard that you are regularly hitting the gym even if you are 77. From where do you get this energy
Oh, I absolutely love it. Basically, from childhood I believe that my body is god’s gift and it’s my duty to maintain it. So, I treat the gym as temple. I try to exercise for at least half an hour every day and usually jog or cycle too.

Among current Bollywood stars, who do you think can match your looks?
I think Salman is very much like me. I was very naughty in my days. But I was also very emotional. And I think he has these qualities too. Salman, Aamir and Shah Rukh give me a lot of respect and whenever they meet me, they touch my feet. Their genuine emotions make me happy.

How do you feel about the changing trends in Bollywood?
Change, as a concept, is very good. But, there’s a growing vulgarity in today’s Hindi films. Even if my daughter has to say obscene dialogues, I hate it. We had the most rich culture in the entire world. Unfortunately, it’s getting ruined. However, good films are still getting made like before. But they are being made as per the changing trends of the society. That is unavoidable.

You have acted in around 247 flicks. Which one do you think was the best one in your entire career?
I think I am yet to give my best. But I loved Satyakam. My role and storyline were very strong and natural in that film. Apart from that Chupke Chupke is also very special to me.

Is Hemaji still your dream girl?
This is something very close to my heart. So, if I speak about my feelings, it’ll lose its impact. Main apni dil ki batein dil mein hi rakhta hoon. She is a wonderful person and of course she is still my dream girl — I can say only this much.

How did you feel visiting Odisha for the first time?
I got amazing vibes from Odisha and it’s people. I regret the fact that I haven’t come to this place before. I wish Odisha remains as it is. Isko nazar na lage.

What punishment do you think should be given to the Delhi gang rape convicts?
Make me a dictator for at least two years and I will erase all kind of rapes. Not only physical rape but people even get raped mentally. There is a lot of filth in our society that I want to clean up and then people can taste the sweetness of democracy.

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