Veeru Devgan's Demise: Bollywood Legends Pay Tribute

On the death of Veeru Devgan, Ajay Devgan's father, Bollywood legends remember the late action director
Veeru Devgan's Demise: Bollywood Legends Pay Tribute
Ajay and Veeru Devgan

There was much more to  Veeru Devgan than being Ajay Devgn’s father and Kajol’s father-in-law. He did to action direction in Bollywood what Saroj Khan did to choreography. Because of  Veeru Devgn action direction became known as an art form. Sham Kaushal who is seen as the true inheritor of Veeru Degan’s action mantle breaks down and says, “I am in Cochin shooting.I heard the news here and I wept like a baby. He was an Action Director ahead of his time and a human being par excellence. He ruled the action films in from mid-seventies to nineties. On a personal front, I owe everything to him as I became a Stuntman with his blessings assigned my application form in August 1980 and became a stuntman. He made me a part of his team. My first day’s shoot as a stuntman, as a stunt double and my first outdoor shoot was under him. He fed me at his house when I did not have anything to eat. I will always be indebted to him. One of the best human beings I have come across in my life.”

During the  two decades when he  was active he composed some  of the most  audacious and  daring action pieces  for  our leading men. Says Shatrughan Sinha, “He was the greatest action director. I worked with him in some of my biggest hits like Kranti and  Dostana. In Kranti he even played a  role. He made all of us look larger than life. The fights looked real when Veeruji composed them. Just like  every  heroine wanted Lata Mangeshkar to sing  for her, and  Saroj Khan to choreograph for her,  every hero of  my generation wanted  Veeruji’s fights to look  heroic.”

Veeru Devgan did the maximum number of films with Amitabh Bachchan.  Devgan started his career as an action director with  Amitabh  Bachchan in Desh Premee. They proceeded to collaborate in several films including Lal Badshah  Shahenshah,  Aaakhri Raasta,  Inquilaab, Khoon Pasina, Do Aur Do Panch, among others. The Bachchans were very close friends of the Devgans. On Veeru  Devgan’s death,  Mr Bachchan could only respond with abject grief, “Right now I am unable to say anything. He was a friend and a colleague.”

In 1999 when  Veeru Devgan turned director  Amitabh Bachchan did an extended cameo in the film. “I am honoured that I  was part of his directorial venture,” says the Big B. Rakesh Roshan for whom Veeru Devgan composed stunts regularly is overwhelmed with grief. “Very sad to hear about Veeru a very dear friend from the days when I was leading and he used to be my body double for stunts. When I  turned producer-director with Khudgarz he composed the fights and was with me since then. We had a great understanding and in a way, we were best friends. He was a person full of love and a great technician. My condolences to the family .”Boney Kapoor has the last word on  Veeru Devgan. “He was a fighter, a stunt man and action director the master of all things rugged. Yet he had the softest heart.”

Comments