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Tribute to Vinod Khanna: Debonair star and unparalleled aura

Debonair star, memorable strike of acting, spiritual man and down-to-earth cum relatable demeanor gliding on-screen, superstar Vinod Khanna was all that in delivering stupendous performances that makes him ‘Amar’. It came as a rude shock and very saddening to hear that one of the most loved stars of the 70s and 80s, perhaps the only one that could match the Amitabh Bachchan mania and histrionics breathed his last today.

Veteran Actor Vinod Khanna Dies at 70 After Battle With Cancer
Image credit: Google

I was introduced to the Vinod Khanna’s movies while growing in the late 80s and remembering watching his Jurm and Dayavaan that made me relate to the actor. He was the quintessential hero, effortless in his delivery of stupendous performances during the heydays and a charm that many would envy. It was bliss watching him serenading his love lady with a sensitive touch. Who can forget the song, Jab koi Baat Bighar Jaaye tab Koi mushkil Pad Jaaye? He belongs to an era that saw many of his pairs fading away and sad to see that after we lost Om Puri Saab, another light eclipsed today. He was Vinod Khanna. I loved his pairing with Amitabh Bachchan, be it in Naseeb, Amar Akbar Anthony or Parvarish. The aura and charm that he displayed was unparalleled and probably hard to emulate by the six packs and biceps flouting new millennial stars. He would wade his way effortlessly on-screen and calm composure in delivering lines made me in awe of this amazing star that rules the hearts of our parents and us.

Vinod Sir was quite the ladies man and his unique sex appeal vis-a-vis them made it his USP. A man who choose to leave Hindi cinema at the peak of his career to embrace spirituality. He was a follower of spiritual guru, Osho. It speaks a lot of his ability to disconnect, something very few could have done. A legacy that stays forever, beautifully captured in the acting histrionics on the big screen. I was so amazed by his portrayal of the gangster in Dayavan, making it sexier than ever that the film stayed with me forever. A huge risk taker, he didn’t shy in kissing the diva Madhuri Dixit in the film which was shot in an aesthetic manner. In the late 80s, kissing on-screen was still taboo. He was known to have a big heart and according to publications, film crew would work in chappals in those days and he bought 100 pairs of shoes for a film crew in the 90s.

There was a certain vulnerability behind that dashing look, a softness that wooed and won hearts. His sensitive portrayal of the romantic roles in Qurbani and Chandni, angry young man cum cop portrayal in AAA, Satyamev Jayate and Jurm, the teacher in Imtihan, army officer in Achanak, don in Dayavan and villain in Purab aur Pachim or bond of friendship in Muqaddar Ka Sikander, Hera Pheri and Khoon Pasina all with Bachchan. Both shared some crackling chemistry and were direct competitors and at the same time good friends who recited their dialogues together. It’s such a lesson to the current crop of actors when today arch rivals slug it out publicly in an ugly manner.

The charisma and magnetism in his personality spoke to the audience directly and one of the rare actors who had complete control over his character, dialogues, scene and audience alike. The aura is what makes Vinod Sir relatable to the hilt and watching his movies gives the feeling that your dreams are realized on screen. I could be one of the characters made so much believable by him and which he immortalized on the silver screen.

I remember a very elder cousin who was a huge Vinod Khanna fan and me being a die-hard Bachchanalia telling me how during the AAA, audience were split in opposite camps and in the fighting sequence, seethis and taalis were thrown when both superstars wriggled it out with fists. The fists and jabs were counted and fans cheered on who won the battle. It’s the iconic scene in AAA, helmed by Manmohan Desai when Bachchan and Khanna met for the first time.

Vinod Khanna was always a composed and gentle soul who believed no job is too big or small, abandoning everything to follow his Master Osho. It’s one thing that I have in common with Vinod Sir: Osho.  He is a man who made a comeback as an actor who lost every penny and started from scratch in the 90s. The magic of the silver screen is that it captures live the histrionics of an artist who ruled for decades in the heart of admirers and swearing by cinema. The legacy be it as an artist, spiritual man or politician-cum Minister from Gurdaspur lives forever in our heart.

Perhaps, this sensitive song from Imtihan which is one of my favorite sums up when words fail. Ruk Jana nahin tu kabhie har ke….O Rahi o Rahi! A huge void and loss to the entire industry to see this polished diamond taking a bow.

Forever alive and taking a bow Vinod Sir for decades of love and entertainment. You shall be missed forever.




Work-in-progress, seeker and bundle of contradictions. Stubborn and Refusal to grow up and constantly in search of myself, I blurt it out on my space. Drop in and share some love. Indian by choice.

31 thoughts on “Tribute to Vinod Khanna: Debonair star and unparalleled aura

  1. He wAS definitely a legend.. Reminds me when I met him in uk years ago, he had come for the launch of his son’s movie to one of the local cinemas.

    very decent man and good to speak to..


  2. God he was so debonair and handsome – I could never understand the craze for AB when this guy was there with his suave good looks- I loved him in Chandini – he could do the understated act so well!!! RIP

    Visit my blog for the Pergrination Chronicles as I meander through the AtoZchallenge where I am telling travel tales by the alphabet!!

    ​Wish upon the stars

    1. Thanks Shalz. I am a huge AB fan and I think he provided the alternate or actor Action hero like some has put it. In fact, I lost some 200 words while saving and you might see it as incomplete. I love him in Chandni and Dayaavan. I will try to update and soon visit ur blog.

    1. That’s an interesting bit to share. Vinod Khanna followed his Guru in US for 4 years where he cleaned, washed dishes and did gardening. It was spiritual awakening in his own words for whom no job is too small. Guess, things differ for humans and he separated with his wife after he left for the ashram. For Cohen, seems to be the opposite. We are humans, after all.

      1. Oh, I wouldn’t be surprised if Cohen had separated before and after. Loved his music, and he had quite the reputation as a ladies’ man. On the other hand, I have a lot of respect for people who can truly humble themselves. Those are the ones I’m more likely to look up to than someone who will just stay at the top and shout from the rooftops how great and powerful they are. I’ve had bosses who mucked in with the rest of us, and bosses who would not even dream of doing it. No prizes for guessing who were the better people.

      2. Sorry for the late reply. Cohen has quite a reputation. I agree with you. It’s better to let our work do the talking. I have two amazing lady bosses, one my mentor and current one who means business. It’s great working with them. In between, interacted with an asshole caretaker boss who was clueless and boasted of his political networking but without much ado as an editor. He couldn’t kick up a magazine in 6 months.

      3. Ugh. Had the same type of boss, when I did a small magazine for a very small outfit. And she’d try to manipulate people. The guy who took over from her was even worse, but his tactic was that of so many others: put you down so you want to prove yourself. I’m all for critique and criticism, and not everyone will like what I do, but that’s what the dialogue is for. My philosophy is, these people make us really appreciate the good ones.

      4. One of the reasons I shall be grateful to my mentor is that she pushed to the edge and it worked. I learned. But, that other guy never believed in dialogues and suffered from childish complex. Quite a story. Guess, different bosses have tactics to extract the juice but yes, being strict works.

      5. Yes, but there’s strict for the sake of showing power, and being strict because that’s just who you are. The first one is pointless, childish. The second I may not like too much at times, but if it’s fair, I’ll accept it and even embrace it. Your mentor sounds like a top person. The other guy, all I can do is roll my eyes and try and remember that we learn from that type as well.

      6. I’ll go for the second one to encourage growth and improvement. She is one of the most amazing person and responsible for my writing skills and love for journalism😀

  3. I remember as a young girl thinking Vinod Khanna is too handsome wondering why people thought Amitabh Bachchan was better. I had no sense of acting capabilities at that time. But, he is definitely good considering his role in Chandni which was very restrained. Also his role in Qurbani as a father was equally good. He is definitely the best looking dude who has been around.

    1. He is amazing as an actor and both him & AB were good in their respectibve ways. I also liked him during his comeback for US where he acted in movies like Jurm, starting all over again, with no money and staying in one room. I think the song, Ruk Jaana Nahin from Imtihan best describes his life.

  4. Indeed a legend. I always think if he hadn’t taken a break in his career, Bollywood would have had him as the biggest icon. Beautiful ode to the superstar Vishal.

    1. In fact, the competition would have been very interesting between him and AB. In fact, both of them were competittors but very good friends at the same time, something sorely lacking among the younger gen. But, power to him for being able to leave all glamor in the quest for spirituality.

  5. Vinod Khanna was truly legendary! He fitted the tall, dark and handsome criteria set by women so well. His intensity reflected through each of his performance. I personally like him in the song ‘hum tumhe chahte Hai aise’ with Zeenat Amaan. Your tribute to him gave justice to his larger than screen persona. By the way, people whose name sounds like ‘Vinod’ or somewhat similar are always great people! 😋

    1. Indeed, Vinodini he was such a craze and legend that belted out hits after hits, the only competitor but also good friend of Bachchan. How Iove this song but my favorite was from Imtihan, Ruk Jana Nahin and a humble tribute to the man, Oh! Yes! I know tha and we need to end it with ini…Vinodini 🙂 Stay awesome as you are.

    1. I mean his fan following was super huge and the only one who could give Amitabh Bachchan a hard time in terms of box office hits, film budget and money on his shoulders or fans. Thanks Paromita and glad you dropped in.

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