6. DANCE MOVES: Dustedoff mentioned this in the comments to my last post, and I absolutely agree. There is something so cute, fun, carefree and almost childlike about Dharam’s dancing. And he always looks like he’s enjoying it just as much as we are. He is not a good dancer, not by a long shot, but who needs good dancing when you could have this instead?
Many thanks, Dustedoff, for bringing that one to my attention.
7. LEAN ON ME: It’s tough to put into words, but there’s something very, very comforting, reassuring and... solid about Dharam onscreen. You always feel like you can trust him to be there for you. Perhaps it helped that many of his characters have allowed him to be so caring and protective – whether it was to a love-interest ('Anupama'), a mentee ('Guddi') or a buddy ('Sholay'). You just always feel that here is a guy who would come through for you in a pinch, without even stopping to think about it.
8. HUMILITY: For all his hunkiness, here is something so personable, ‘real’ and down-to-earth about Dharmendra – which I suppose is why he is such a favourite among the ‘aam junta’ – he doesn’t seem to have any airs or graces – and this comes through really well onscreen. He never seemed to let his star power overwhelm his characters the way some of his contemporaries did (*cough* *cough* Rajesh Khanna). And he seems really humble in real life as well... his colleagues in the industry always have such wonderful things to say about working with him. I was quite touched when Amitabh Bachchan recounted how Dharmendra invited him to an event (I think it might have been the music launch of ‘Yamla Pagla Deewana’), and even with all the activity around him, Dharam kept calling Amit ji to tell him to take his time and not to leave home too early.
9. GLASS BREAKING: Now this is one of those random things... I really, really like it when Dharam gets all mad, but instead of lashing out, he tries to control the angst as much as he can, until he just loses it and breaks some glass with his bare hands. This I don’t even know why I like – I just do. Probably slightly twisted, but there you go.
10. VERSATILITY: I really like how Dharam tried so many different things onscreen – slapstick comedy, family drama, action thrillers, social commentary, romance... and he did well in every department. The great thing about him is that he’s got something for everyone – a ‘The Burning Train’ for the adrenalin junkies, an ‘Aaya Sawan Jhoom Ke’ for the romantics, a ‘Satyakam’ for the philosophers... and of course a ‘Sholay’ for those of us that like a little bit of everything in our masala mix.
What are some of your favourite things about Dharmendra? I’d love to hear them....
I’ll be back soon with the second instalment of my ‘Questionnaires’ – this time my subjects will be Bobby, Esha and Abhay.