By Omair Alavi
Vinod Khanna was one of the finest and fittest actors Bollywood produced in the last 50 years; he began his career as a villain and slowly graduated to leading roles, becoming one of the few actors who gave tough time to Amitabh Bachchan, the king of Bollywood in those days. After a 5-year hiatus from films, he returned in the late 80s to deliver back-to-back hits and played hero until the mid-90s, making way for newcomers that included his own son Akshaye and Rahul Khanna. He is one of the few actors to play father to the three Khans (Aamir Khan in Parampara, Salman Khan in Dabangg and Shah Rukh Khan in Dilwale). On what would have been his 71st birthday, let’s explore the different moods of Vinod Khanna, the man, the legend.
The Happy Mood – Anhoni Ko Honi Kardein (Amar Akbar Anthony, 1977)
Vinod Khanna played the eldest brother in this lost and found saga and was at his best, even in front of Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor.
The Sad Mood – Zindagi To Bewafa Hai (Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, 1978)
In what was a parallel role in this Prakash Mehra venture, Vinod Khanna played the role of an out of work lawyer who falls in love with the same woman whom Sikandar (Amitabh Bachchan) loves as well.
The Romantic Mood – Jab Koi Baat Bigar Jaye (Jurm, 1990)
Vinod Khanna was on top of his game even in the 90s where he played a cop who is torn between two women – one his wife and the other a witness he is assigned to protect. He aces the role and regains his lost position in the industry.
The Youth Mood – Jatay Ho Janay Jana (Parvarish, 1977)
Amitabh Bachchan and Vinod Khanna played brothers in this cat and mouse chase where Big B is the cop, chasing his gangster brother. In this song, they try to play with their con-women sweethearts who wanted to commit suicide but didn’t have the courage.
The Lucky Mood – Hum Tumhein Chahte Hain Aise (Qurbani, 1980)
Vinod Khanna played the second lead to Feroz Khan in this super hit flick and although he gets the girl, he doesn’t end up as the winner. He dies in the end, entrusting his wife and kid to his friend played by Feroz Khan.
The Action Mood – Hum Premi Prem Karna Chahein (Parvarish, 1977)
Amitabh Bachchan’s cop has shot his brother played by Vinod Khanna and in this well-placed song, they fight about the matter in front of their father Shammi Kapoor. This is the first Mohammad Rafi song in which he isn’t doing the playback for Shammi Kapoor but Vinod Khanna.
The Friendly Mood – Qurbani Qurbani Qurbani (Qurbani, 1980)
This super hit song teamed Feroz Khan and Vinod Khanna together where they don the disguise of Pathans to infiltrate the den of one of the villains. The song is still remembered for its lyrics and simple composition.
The Nostalgic Mood – Lagi Aaj Saawan Ki Phir (Chandni, 1989)
Vinod Khanna falls in love with his Secretary Sridevi in this Yash Chopra flick without knowing that she was engaged to be married to his friend played by Rishi Kapoor. Here he goes in a nostalgic mood to reminiscence about his wife Devika who is no more in this world.
The Melancholic Mood – Koi Hota Jisko Apna (Mere Apne, 1971)
In what can be termed as one of the best college-student flicks in India, Vinod Khanna and Shatrughan Sinha play college ruffians, this song happens in the film when one of them is depressed and Nani Maa (Meena Kumari) overhears him.
In Celebration Mood – Pehli Nazar Main (The Burning Train, 1980)
This film was one of the few disaster films attempted in India and was expected to be a hit due to its ensemble cast; however, being way ahead of its times it could succeed at the box office. The soundtrack by RD Burman became a hit with this song by Kishore, Rafi and Mangeshkar sisters Asha & Usha, still being popular.