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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

‘He is being looked at from the heavens’

Autumn leaves here have lived longer this year,way into the winter’s unusually balmy beginning.

Written by Bhawesh Mishra | London |
December 11, 2011 12:37:18 am

Autumn leaves here have lived longer this year,way into the winter’s unusually balmy beginning. At a crematorium in south London this morning,some of these leaves,still green,rustled in wait of a man on his last journey: a man cherished as evergreen by millions. Dev Anand,who died on the night of December 3 at 88,was consigned to flames at the Putney Vale crematorium in his “beloved city” at noon on Saturday.

The funeral was meant to be private. But many came,some famous,mostly not.

At the site of the last rites,a limestone chapel with vaulted ceiling and gothic arches,stood Hamidullah Keshtmand,an Afghan of 54 years. “I am here to pay my respect to the man who made Hare Rama Hare Krishna,” he said. He watched the film in Kabul,three times,he said.

Among those inside were son Suneil Anand,dressed in black,and Kalpana Kartik.

The son’s goodbye was moving and brief: “He is being looked at from the heavens. The spirit of Dev Anand will live forever.”

Outside,watching the funeral service on a screen was Anoushka Dave,33,a research scientist based in Brighton.

“The spirit of Dev Anand was no myth. When I met him here in 2008,I saw how he talked to young people as one of them,” she said.

After a minister read psalms from the Bible and a Hindu priest read his eulogy,people sang some of the timeless numbers from Guide and other films.

After a minute’s silence and chant of Sanskrit mantras,the blue velvet curtain drew over the shiny casket encasing the small frame of that large life. A lone bagpiper played a spirited tune.

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