It’s a common knowledge that Rendezvous with Simi Garewal was a much popular talk show in the days it was aired. Dressed in pure white with elegant pearl and white gold jewelry, on the set which had purity of white and water, Simi Garewal interviewed some of the most reserved and less heard stalwarts of their own fields in a unique manner.
Not succumbing to current trend of cheap publicity by creating controversies deliberately or interviewing only those who are taste of the season, she managed to get Laxmi Mittal with wife, Anil Ambani with wife Tina in what was their first talk about their marriage after all the years of gossip and drama, Sachin Pilot with wife, Sanjay Dutt with sister Priya Dutt and Priya Dutt with her husband, Omar Abdullah with father Farooq Abdullah, and Benazir Bhutto and Wasim Akram with wife Huma from across the border on her sets.
It was her talk show where Rekha famously denied having an affair with Amitabh ever while Jaya agreed to some of the nasty things Amitabh had said to her in Bangalore just before his Coolie accident. It was one season when Aishwarya Rai openly showed her affection for Salman while in the other season she gave the reasons of her ugly break-up.
With innumerable fond memories of people who graced her set and our television, she recalls interviewing Dev Anand as her fondest memory and best session for Rendezvous.
As I watched the episode on the you tube, boy, I was blown away by the astuteness, elegance and beauty of Dev’s words. Could anyone imagine he was from Punjab, and that too Gurdaspur? Through his words he conveyed the maturity the man had and how he was actually much ahead of his times.
As the interview progressed with Simi reading out sentences from his personal diary, it was a pleasant experience watching the man talk about how he had seen Hitler invading the world and Bush invading Iraq, all in one life time. He talks about Bombay being a regal city in 1945-46 when he went there in British Raj and how things changed. Memories of the juice shop in Hall Bazaar near Golden Temple in Amritsar (it still is there and even I have gone there to savor the yummy fruit juices many times) and fond memories of his lady loves make the interview too smooth as compared to our recent louder talk shows.
The most admirable thing in the whole interview was that he never denied any affair of his life unlike many of our other stars who start suffering from selective amnesia when the names of their exes pop up anywhere. His love story with Suraiya was like a dream, and he talked about Zeenat Amaan with much respect than the jilted lovers talk about the girls who break up to start a new life.
A thorough gentleman, his Rendezvous with Simi Garewal is an experience which can only be felt.
Rest in peace sir – one of the first superstars of Hindi cinema who lived long enough to share his memories. I also think that basic education at the school or college level for those who managed to go to colleges was better under British raj, for Dev’s command of English language and eloquence can leave much of our today’s generation sweating.