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Rest in Peace Vinod Khanna…
Deepika Bhan
Last Updated : 28 Apr 2017 02:27:25 PM IST
File Photo : Vinod Khanna
File Photo : Vinod Khanna

Hero is not meant to die. He lives forever in the hearts of his fans. The image never goes away because the imprint is deep enough. Vinod Khanna, was too handsome to be ignored.

He had everything in him that put him in the category of a macho man who had the charm to mesmerise anyone anytime, age and gender no bar.

A steely fame of over six feet, big shoulders, broad face with chiseled eyes, perfect nose and a smile that could be either a romantic expression or a villainous feel and yet carry an innocent childish and shy effect that made Vinod Khanna extremely impressive.

It was early eighties when my school classmate showed me her collection of pictures of Vinod Khanna. She had maintained an album and had watched many of his movies in the cinema hall. This made me bit jealous not that I hated to share the hero with my friend but she had an album and I did not.

She was also lucky enough to have met him in a beautiful hill resort of Kashmir. I too wanted to meet him and since I wasn’t fortunate enough, the only thing I could was to have fantasies with sometimes Vinod Khanna or Amitabh Bachchan or Rajesh Khanna (of younger version) as my hero-buddies.

But my wish was fulfilled when as a journalist I met him in his office in Delhi for a small interview in 2002 when he was a Union Minister for Culture and Tourism. While standing next to him, I felt small. I wanted to seize his arm and hug him slightly.

I also wanted an autograph but I was no longer a star-struck child but a journalist and this breed is supposed to be impartial and not to exhibit emotions. Even though I had multitudes of emotions going on in my heart and mind, I maintained the journalistic facade.

He was so cool to talk to and I left his office with a great feel. After that I saw him sometimes in Parliament. He was a natural, never pretentious about his looks. He was what he was, that is very original. But then who can fight the travesty of time. Nature has its own courseand what comes across has to be endured. Perhaps, Vinod Khanna believed this and did not hesitate from clicking the picture that shocked the country.

It was totally an unbelievable moment that the mighty and towering person was looking like an emaciated self. Still he had the ‘deadly slanted’ smile on his lips and compassion on his face. For a moment we all felt that the photograph was one of those cruel jokes which are often played around in the social networking world.

Vinod Khanna by consenting to release the picture showed his honesty towards us fans. He probably was preparing us for his end to come. In movies where he acted as a mean bad man, the end would be relief and in the movies where he was a hero, the end was beginning to a happy journey.

While watching Vinod Khanna’s movie clips and listening to the songs like “ruk jana nahi.. tu kahin haar ke..kanton pe chalke milege saaye bahaar ke…” there is something inside that makes you feel for him.

Perhaps, he was the first Hero of my childhood that I have grown with and like me there must have been lakhs of young fans who have seen him in different roles in reel and real life: a villain, a hero, a sanyasin, a politician and a human being.

Sure Vinod Khanna will be missed. Memories do fade with time but a whole generation will keep remembering Vinod Khanna.

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