No six pack abs, not much of a dancing sensation, just a charming face and a vibrant personality which made ladies of the 70’s go OO LAA LAA!
In 1970’s when Vinod Khanna made a DHAAKAD entry in Bollywood, the public of India knew just one ‘Mard’, Amitabh Bachchan.
Despite the deep-rooted Big B biasness, people couldn’t resist Vinod Khanna’s Charm for too long.
This man had his own swag.
His ‘Hero Vali’ entry in his movie Amar Akbar Anthony made him a Super star then and there. Amar( his character) was the most straightforward of the three — the classic no-nonsense cop.
But when he finally gets to slip out of uniform, Khanna doesn’t miss any chance to show off his versatility, taking on every single musical instrument possible as if to prove a point.
He was the only actor to hold his own against Amitabh Bachchan in the 70’s. This film revolved around religious tolerance and became a landmark in Bollywood masala films.
It also had a lasting impact on the pop culture, with its catchy songs like ‘Anhoni ko honi karde ..Honi ko anhoni’.
It’s almost impossible to read these words without humming the music along.
Watching three most handsome dudes of Bollywood sharing the same screen, that was when I felt the excitement of seeing three stars fight and the power of multi-starrer dawned upon me.
On screen this Guy burned up the dancing floor with Rakhee to the Carefree beats of Pyar zindagi hai in Mukaadar Ka Sikkandar and off screen he just acted the way he looked, a complete gentleman.
My earliest memory of Vinod Khanna is his Cinthol commercial which was like my favorite advertisements of all the old stuff that use to run in Doordarshan.
And why wouldn’t it be anyone’s favorite?
After all Vinod Khanna’s looks were mesmerizing in it.
It’s like the gods had fussed lovingly over his chiseled features — cleft chin, soulful eyes, sharp nose and strapping machismo, so flawlessly captured in those 30 seconds.
‘A blue sea. A horse. And a deadly-looking man, atop that stud with his flying mane’
In a no-Internet world of the 1980s, thirty seconds of TV happened to be a big deal.
And, more so, if it was a colored one, and you had a sexy-looking man taking giant strides.
Collective sighs followed as the denim-clad man moved to a more suave, tux look by the time the commercial ended. With these looks, no wonder why this man was once called Bollywood sex God.
While most actors today are insecure about signing on two-hero projects once they hit the top league, VK’s resume is chockfull of multi-starrers.
The emotionality and vitality he projected through his innate elegance struck an enduring chord across various genres of storytelling.
Though his work in Gulzar’s creations ranks among my personal favorites. He did films in his own style, he lived life on his own terms.
He chose his roles with carefree abandon – and that showed in his courage to team up against a tsunami’s like Big B and Rajesh Khanna.
He made a style statement with leather jackets and khaki pants in one of his film and thus was named the king of swag.
His ‘bhaari- bhaari’ Hindi dialogues like –‘Maar bhi deta toh kya farak padta? Fauladi aadmi ho, goli takrake wapas chali jaati‘ made us all love our own language more.
As the news of his passing away comes to me, I choose to remember him at his fittest, fabulous best. Till the end, Vinod Khanna lived by his own formula. Fearless and going with the flow.
Much like the sexy man that wowed us in that Cinthol ad.
Rest in peace, Sir. You will always be our HERO!