Amitabh Bachchan remembers Veeru Devgan: He would greet me in the typical Punjabi stylehttps://indianexpress.com/article/entertainment/bollywood/amitabh-bachchan-tribute-veeru-devgan-blog-post-photos-5752771/

Amitabh Bachchan remembers Veeru Devgan: He would greet me in the typical Punjabi style

Amitabh Bachchan wrote a heartfelt blog post for veteran action-director Veeru Devgan who died on Tuesday due to ill health. The legendary actor fondly remembered Devgan and the time he first met him.

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Veeru Devgan and Amitabh Bachchan at the music release of Hindustan Ki Kasam. (Photo: Express Archives)

Amitabh Bachchan paid a tribute to veteran action choreographer-filmmaker Veeru Devgan who passed away on May 27 in Mumbai. Bachchan, who has worked with Devgan in several films, wrote a special post on his blog, remembering their first meeting and how his sudden demise came as a shock to him.

Amitabh began by revealing how from his humble beginnings of a stand-in, Devgan went on to become one of the leading stunt directors in Bollywood.

Sharing a story from the sets of his 1971 film Reshma Aur Shera, where Veeru Devgan was a stuntman, Amitabh Bachchan wrote, “The legendary Action Master and Director, Khanna Saheb was conducting a dummy rehearsal for the scenario which involved Sunil Dutt Saheb the leading man of the film, being beaten up by the negative character of the village .. and he was demonstrating the action on a stand in for the leading man. The negative character was beating the leading man with a thin whip like stick, and the leading man was taking it all in and not retaliating. Khanna Saheb was using a stand in for the leading man and was renowned for his authenticity when conducting stunts .. he was lashing the stand in, whip like and with each lash I could see the pain and agony on the stand ins face, but he continued to complete the scene dummy rehearsal, to perfection. The stand in getting the lashing was Veeru Devgan. This morning we lost him.”

Not only did Devgan choreograph the stunts in over 80 films, he even directed Amitabh and Ajay in his only directorial Hindustan Ki Kasam.

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In the same blog post, Amitabh Bachchan also shared how the news of Veeru Devgan’s death came as a shock to him when he was shooting for his upcoming film Chehre.

“He had been ailing, but within control. His death came as a sudden shock on the sets of Chehre. I stopped work, made an announcement held a minutes silence to honour him and continued work. He would have wanted it that way! After the work was over I went to the cremation,” Amitabh shared.

Also see: Veeru Devgan funeral: Amitabh Bachchan, Vidya Balan, Riteish Deshmukh and others pay last respects

Sharing some clicks from Veeru Devgan’s funeral on Tuesday, Amitabh Bachchan ended his post with emotional words – “You sit in front of the burning pyre .. and wait for the dust of the ash to be collected .. and the visuals of the dear ones gone by, flash .. Babuji , Maaji ..… and tomorrow is another day .. and another work”

Check out the photos shared by Amitabh Bachchan in his blog:

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Amitabh Bachchan on the sets of Chehre. (Photo: Amitabh Bachchan/Tumblr)
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Amitabh Bachchan held a minute of silence for Veeru Devgan while shooting for Chehre. (Photo: Amitabh Bachchan/Tumblr)
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Amitabh Bachchan consoling Ajay Devgn at Veeru Devgan’s funeral. (Photo: Amitabh Bachchan/Tumblr)
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Amitabh Bachchan and Ajay Devgn at Veeru Devgan’s funeral. (Photo: Amitabh Bachchan/Tumblr)

Read the entire blog post by Amitabh Bachchan on Veeru Devgan here:

I saw him for the first time on the sands of Pochina, a small village in the Rajasthan desert, a 2 hour wild drive from the city of Jaisalmer, where I had just arrived along with some of the other members of the film on shoot , my second film ‘Reshma aur Shera’ ..

The legendary Action Master and Director, Khanna Saheb was conducting a dummy rehearsal for the scenario which involved Sunil Dutt Saheb the leading man of the film, being beaten up by the negative character of the village .. and he was demonstrating the action on a stand in for the leading man ..

The negative character was beating the leading man with a thin whip like stick, and the leading man was taking it all in and not retaliating ..

Khanna Saheb was using a stand in for the leading man and was renowned for his authenticity when conducting stunts .. he was lashing the stand in, whip like and with each lash I could see the pain and agony on the stand ins face, but he continued to complete the scene dummy rehearsal, to perfection ..

The stand in getting the lashing was Veeru Devgan ..

This morning we lost him ..

Veeru Devgan .. action director and co ordinator extraordinaire .. who from those humble beginnings as a stand in stuntman, went on to become one of the most prominent Action Directors of the film industry .. who brought in innovative action sequences and executed them to perfection .. who created job opportunities for innumerable stuntmen to work with him in his action team – many of whom in the years to come became independent action directors and Producers of film ; Veeru ji himself maturing on to becoming a Producer Director .. and most importantly raised, groomed and gave to the industry, another fine talent – Ajay Devgan , his son !

Veeru ji and I came close .. we worked together in most of my films where he did the action .. his team was one happy lot, ever smiling ever helpful ever servile to their master ..

Veeru ji himself was a learner each day .. no matter what the circumstances he was always keen to learn camera positions, operations, lenses ; at times knowing more about them than the DOP themselves .. and ever keen to operate the camera himself ..

He took in his roots from Punjab with earnest and dedication .. and knowing my antecedents , would on my arrival on set greet me with ..

‘Amitabh Singhya ..!!! pronounced in the typical Punjabi style .. Amitabh Sinyaan .. Followed by ..’jo bole so nihal sat sri akaal’

A gentle caring human .. ready to help another in any situation .. warm, receptive .. and proud of his progeny Ajay who he used to bring along on set often when he was a kid ..

He had been ailing, but within control .. his death came as a sudden shock on the sets of Chehre .. I stopped work, made an announcement held a minutes silence to honour him and continued work .. he would have wanted it that way .. !

After the work was over I went to the cremation ..

… time and moments flash by .. occasions when there was work interspaced with the laughter and humour that Veeru ji and his team invented .. teasing a fellow stuntman .. urging one of them to go for a rather difficult stunt .. coaxing me with confident goading of high cheer to do it, because he felt it could be done by me .. such times go by and never return .. and the memories are fresh as yesterday ..

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You sit in front of the burning pyre .. and wait for the dust of the ash to be collected .. and the visuals of the dear ones gone by, flash .. Babuji , Maaji ..

… and tomorrow is another day .. and another work”