Dev Anand said of his first love, Suraiya, “Had I gone to her, my life would have been different.”

On the occasion of late superstar Dev Anand’s 99th birthday, we recall the times when the actor discussed his first love, Suraiya. They had collaborated on several films, including Vidya (1948), Jeet (1949), Shair (1949), Afsar (1950), Nili (1950), Do Sitare (1951), and Sanam (1951). (1951). Vidya, they fell in love while working on their first film together.

Suraiya gave in to family pressure and ended up having a filmy love story with her. She was unmarried until she died at the age of 74.

Dev Anand opened up about their love story in his autobiography, Romancing with Life. While talking about the book, he had said, “It was destined that way. Had I gone to her, my life would have been different. Had I married her, life at her end would have taken me to a different course. Then may be I would not have been the Dev Anand I am today.”

Dev Anand and Suraiya fell in love after he saved her from drowning during the film Vidya’s shoot for the song Kinare Kinare Chale Jayen Ge. Dev jumped into the lake to save her after she slipped from the boat. Suraiya had previously stated in interviews that she would not have survived if he had not saved her. This drew her to Dev Anand.

Despite opposition from Suraiya’s grandmother, they met, and the actor eventually relented. Suraiya is said to have planned to elope with Dev Anand, but her grandmother found out and ruined her plans. She was opposed to their interfaith romance.

Dev Anand accepted his destiny and said, “I fell in love for the first time. We all know what first love does to a human being. Then the agony of not getting it. Suddenly hope was aroused after being encouraged, but again disillusionment crept in when nothing happened.”

In 1954, Dev Anand married Kalpana Kartik. They had two children: Suneil Anand, a son, and Devina, a daughter.

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