Just like millions of people across the globe, city-based Yuvaraj Shah too has been an ardent fan of the late actor Dev Anand. Six months ago, when it came to deciding the name of the garden which he started over five years ago, he zeroed in on the name Sadabhaar Dev Anand Udyan. “Sadabahaar means evergreen; just like the works of Dev Sahab, who will live in the hearts of his lovers through his works forever,” says Shah, secretary of Mahavir Jain Vidyalaya, the location of the 3.5 acre garden which was inaugurated Friday by Suneil Anand, the son of the late actor who passed away on December 3, 2011 at the age of 88 years.
Although it is situated in the premises of Mahavir Jain Vidyalaya, the garden is open to public. Though only officially inaugurated Friday, it has been used by the public for morning walks, jogging and relaxing for quite a while. Painting a lush green picture in the city, the garden houses a number trees and plants of various varieties. “Six years ago, when I started building this garden, I had released an advertisement in the newspaper wherein I asked builders to dump unwanted mud of their project here on our land. Over a period of time, more than 4,000 trucks of mud was collected which was later leveled at regular intervals. I created a reservoir to collect rainwater and used it to build the garden,” says Shah, who was awarded the Harit Pune Puraskar from Pune Municipal Corporation for his efforts in the year 2005.
The idea of naming the garden on Dev Anand’s name struck Shah nearly six months ago when he had organised a musical programme that featured famous songs from Dev Anand’s films. “I remember the programme’s chief guest was Jackie Shroff. He mentioned during his speech that Pune is the city from where Dev Anand began his career and hence the city should have something in his memory; the words were engraved in my mind,” says Shah. Suneil Anand shares that his father came to Pune when he was 19. “He started his career from this city and hence it always remained close to his heart, even when he shifted to Pune. Some of the places that he frequented here are Lucky Restaurant and Good Luck Café. His friendship with Guru Dutt was strong; they had met first at Pune’s Prabhat Studio. I believe both of them would often climb the hill near Mahavir Jain Vidyalaya and sit there chatting endlessly,” he says, adding that he is thrilled to see a garden dedicated to his father.