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Jeetendraji has been a rock, a mentor and guide to me, says Anand Pandit

The Chehre producer hailed the veteran actor's wisdom and simplicity on his 79th birthday.

Our Correspondent

As Jeetendra turned 79 today, producer Anand Pandit reminisced about how the veteran actor guided him when he first arrived in Mumbai.

“When I met Jeetuji, nobody knew me in Mumbai,” Pandit recalled. “I literally arrived in the city of dreams with nothing but dreams. I was fortunate that at that time, Jeetuji came into my life, took me under his wing, motivated and inspired me, and gave me the confidence to reach where I have today.

“He is a self-made man who knows how hard it is to make it in this industry, but his own example proves that it is possible to succeed with dedication and hard work,” he added.

Jeetendra broke through with V Shantaram's Boond Jo Ban Gayee Moti (1967), but it was with the spy film Farz (1967) and the song 'Mast Baharon Ka Main Aashiq' that he gained popularity and earned the nickname 'Jumping Jack' for his dance moves.

Jeetendra is now retired but continues to be a prominent presence in Pandit's life. He said, "Jeetuji has been a rock, a mentor and guide to me. To date, when I need advice or some insight, I turn to him and he always gives me a very incisive point of view. He turns 79 this year, but he is forever young and still as simple and full of life as when he first started his career all those decades ago."

Pandit's next project, the Abhishek Bachchan-starrer The Big Bull (2021), is due to be released tomorrow on Disney+ Hotstar. His other film, Chehre (2021), starring Amitabh Bachchan and Emraan Hashmi, has been delayed because of the rise of COVID-19 cases in the country and the curbs that have been imposed on film exhibition in several states.