Dharmendra wins hearts in Melbourne

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Melbourne: The He-man of Bollywood and a popular name in Indian cinema since the 1960s, Dharmendra won many hearts and warmed up the otherwise chilly weather here. He was here to promote his latest Punjabi film ‘Double Di Trouble’ along with Director Smeep Kang and actress Kulraj Randhawa. The mesmerising colourful event at the Thornbury Theatre and later opening the ‘Mumbai Spices’ Indian restaurant at Baronia saw nothing short of a tsunami as fans thronged to have a glimpse and get photographed with the romantic hero of yesteryears.
The humble and smiling 78-year old actor opened ‘Mumbai Spices’ and blessed the new business. As he chatted away with fans and the media freely, posing for a snap with Dharam-Garam was no issue.
Speaking to the Indian Weekly, Dharmendra said the only regret he has is that humanity does not love each other and human beings do not have an understanding as humans.
On the question of launching his grandson, Arjun, Dharmendra said, “Whenever the time comes it will happen. Hopefully, very soon.”
The question-answer sessions with the fans both at the Thornbury Theatre and Mumbai Spices were lively, with Dharmendra giving candid answers. In fact, no one was disappointed.
Since his debut with Arjun Hingorani’s ‘Dil Bhi Tera Hum Bhi Tere’ (1960), Dharmendra has appeared in over 250 films. This living Bollywood legend became a household name with ‘Sholay’(1975) in which he starred with Amitabh Bachchan and Hema Malani. ‘Phool Aur Paththar’ became the highest grossing film of 1966. He has acted with most top actresses but his most successful pairing was with Hema Malini, who went on to become his future wife. Some of their films included Raja Jani, Seeta Aur Geeta, Sharafat, Naya Zamana, Patthar Aur Payal, Tum Haseen Main Jawaan, Jugnu, Dost, Charas, Maa, Chacha Bhatija, Azaad, and Sholay.
Dharmendra was BJP member of the 14th Lok Sabha of India representing the Bikaner constituency in Rajasthan. In 2012, he was honoured India’s third highest civilian honour Padma Bhushan by the Government of India.
Given such a rich legacy and having been in the film industry for 54 years, Dharmendra was naturally welcomed by Indian and other subcontinent people at the Thornbury Theatre and at the Mumbai Spices. The humble actor left no stone unturned to please his fans. With smiles he willingly posed for photographs with people at each table and shook hands with them.
By Neeraj Nanda