Rakesh Roshan remembers Veeru Devgan: A great technician, the ideal family man

Updated: May 28, 2019, 08:36 IST | Rakesh Roshan and Shakti Kapoor | Mumbai

Rakesh Roshan, Shakti Kapoor remember their friend, action director, Veeru Devgan

Ajay Devgn with father Veeru
Ajay Devgn with father Veeru

We worked together in movies like Khoon Bhari Maang, King Uncle, and Karan Arjun, which were blockbusters. When he was a fighter, Veeru would be my [stunt double]. Then, he became a fight director, and we worked together. We were the best of friends. He was a fine technician.

[Despite not being] well-read, he would surprise me with his suggestions for action sequences. They were overpowering, and he would execute them with a confidence that would baffle me.

Rakesh Roshan
Rakesh Roshan

Veeru was a thorough gentleman; lovable and among those I'd count as my good friends in Bollywood. Whenever we met, we did so with warmth. It was shocking to hear of his demise. I could not attend his funeral because I wasn't in a state to do so, hence, I left a message for Ajay, and spoke to Kumar Mangat to give my condolences.

Shakti Kapoor remembers Veeru Devgan

When it comes to fight masters, Veeru paaji was the only superstar in India. People would stand in long queues to get his photograph, and arrive on sets to watch him [in action]. Behind the screen, he was as big a star as Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar. He was among the best technicians, and well-versed with the camera. He knew many action tricks, and all the directors in the South would ask him to shoot their scenes.

Shakti Kapoor
Shakti Kapoor

He taught me many tricks, including how to break and cover a fall. He was the highest paid [fight director], and among the most stylised. He would be given a business class ticket, and would stay in big suites in Chennai and Hyderabad. He had a style of his own. His technical knowledge was great, the kind that other action masters didn't have. He would carry his own whiskey, and pay for his dry-cleaning bills.

Salim Khan at the funeral. (right) Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan. Pics/Nimesh Dave, Sneha Kharabe
Salim Khan at the funeral. (right) Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan. Pics/Nimesh Dave, Sneha Kharabe

He had the best cars, and was a family man. He loved Ajay a lot. When Ajay was not in the film industry yet, he would ask me why he was so shy. He would tell me to talk to him, because I was bindaas. He was a great cook, one who made the best sookha mutton.

As told to Upala KBR

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