15 June, 2021

Agent Vinod

Tall, taciturn, he rode his cougar-like beauty like the meanest gunslinger in B-town

Vinod Khanna (1946-2017)
Agent Vinod

The mere mention of Vinod Khanna conjures up ima­ges of a Bollywood hunk with the looks of a Greek god—the best prototype, perhaps unmatched, that could do both shifts in office with equal elan. That is, be a manly chevalier straight out of a Mills & Boon rom­ance that every girl could swoon over; and, at the same time, have all the cold steel and feline sinew needed to be the last man standing in any scrappy curry western shoot-out. The one every guy in town would imitate. With his John Wayne swagger, flowing mane, unbuttoned shirt and disarmingly endearing smile, the West Punjab-born stud farm thoroughbred had everything it takes to make a successful hero. And yet, he had to begin his celluloid journey as a villain, often getting beaten up by a hero who could be his sidekick in real life.

That’s how the roulette spun for him. Impressed with his personality, Sunil Dutt, who was launching his younger bro­­ther Som Dutt in Man ka Meet, had picked him for the negative character. A string of like roles followed, where all he had to do...

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