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'The gentleman of the industry'

May 25, 2005 17:16 IST

Leela NaiduLeela Naidu starred opposite Sunil Dutt in Yeh Raaste Hai Pyaar Ke, directed by R K Nayyar.

She recalls the actor in a conversation with Lata Khubchandani.

Oh my God! Each time I read about him, I just feel what a wonderful father, husband and human being he has been. He has looked after his family so lovingly, and suffered with them.

I met him through R K Nayyar, for Yeh Raaste Hain Pyaar Ke. I recall I had this horse-riding scene. My horse skid and Sunil was trying to save me -- I kept trying to tell him not to save me; I could ride a horse! He was so gallant.

He was so kind to me. He had such a good heart. He was always so fair with everyone. The way he remained by his wife's side all throughout her illness was something to watch.

I remember he knew I took payment only by cheque -- no black money. The schedule of Yeh Raaste Hain Pyaar Ke extended and extended, and he said 'keep taxi-meter time for Leela!' And I remember we laughed till we cried.

I see him as the gentleman in the industry -- he was kind and good, and soft and gentle, and ultimately, fair as a human being.

My condolences to his children.

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Lata Khubchandani