The year was 1969. Amitabh Bachchan was looking for a break in Hindi films; Vinod Khanna had already bagged his first role.
“I was struggling to get a role, any role, anywhere,” Bachchan, 74, wrote in an emotional blog today.
“He was working in the Ajanta Arts film, ‘Man ka Meet’,” Bachchan wrote, recalling his first meeting with Khanna, his old screen partner who died yesterday.
Their first meeting was in the office of actor Sunil Dutt, who also gave the two their first screen space together in “Reshma Aur Shera” in 1971.
“A most good looking handsome young man; a body in elegant frame; a swagger in his walk. And a gentle smile as he looked towards me,” Bachchan wrote. “It was 1969 …” He mourned the end of a 48-year-old friendship with Khanna, recalling his “infectious charm” and “optimistic swagger”.
“His confident charm was infectious. There was always an optimistic swagger about him, a smile, a laugh, a casualness,” Bachchan wrote, punctuating his words with a string of ellipses to indicate his frame of mind.
“Nothing seemed to disturb him, one felt … the relaxed ‘cool’ of today’s times.”
Khanna, he believed, was one of a kind.
“No one walked the way he did…No one had the presence he had in a crowded room…No one could lighten up the surroundings he was in, like him … No one,” Bachchan wrote.
The mega star said soon after their first meeting, they got a chance to work together in Dutt’s production and became life-long friends.
“Spending time in each other’s make-up rooms, sharing our lunch, just biding time and talking of all kinds of talk…
The late shoot pack ups and the beyond midnight drives to Juhu Beach, to just sit with our directors — he to have a drink, and I mine (I used to in those days),” Bachchan wrote The actor toasted the “amazing chemistry of the several historic films” they did together, the “association that was so loveable and considerate.”
Bachchan and Khanna worked in several memorable films such as “Hera Pheri”, “Parvarish”, “Amar Akbar Anthony” and “Muqaddar Ka Sikandar”.