Today the Bollywood industry lost a veteran actor Vinod Khanna. He took his last breath at Sir HN Reliance Foundation hospital in Mumbai at 11:20 am. As Bollywood celebrities mourned the loss of the superstar, we got in touch with the producer Mukesh Bhatt, who was a long standing friend of Khanna. “I have lost a friend, a brother; his demise has created a vacuum in our lives. We shared a great bond. We used to spend many evenings together and have dinner at each other’s house. I have spent some of the greatest times of my life with him,” he said.
Mukesh Bhatt revealed that although the news of his ailment came out few weeks back but he was actually suffering from cancer for the past couple of years. He seemed to have recovered at one point but then he relapsed his sufferings. The last time Mukesh met Vinod Khanna was six months back.
Both have worked together in several films. But many of us might not know that Mukesh worked as Vinod ji’s businees executive for as long as four years before turning a producer. He said,”When I was about 22-23, I used to work for him and handle his business. I worked for him for four consecutive years after which I turned to production. The first film we did together was ‘Jurm’ (1990).”
Lily Chakraborty,Vinod ji’s co-actress also mourned his death. Lily Chakraborty says- “I was new to the industry (Bollywood) when I was working with him (late Vinod Khanna) in Achanak. He was a down-to-earth person who was good to everyone. He never treated me as a newcomer, rather, was always there for me whenever I needed any help,” says Chakraborty, who has also worked in films such as Chupke Chupke (1975), Alaap (1977) and Ek Din Achanak (1990).
Sharing more memories of working with the late actor, Chakraborty adds that he was a jovial soul. “He had this unique quality of getting close to people. On the set, he usually spent time chatting with the cast and the crew. I remember how we all laughed at his jokes,” she says.
Chakraborty shares that when she was offered Achanak, the fact the film is being directed by Gulzar and had late Vinod Khanna in it got her interested all the more. “It was not a regular film and he played his part really well. He was immensely talented as an actor. I feel today we have lost one of the best we had,” says Chakraborty.
According to Saira Banu, she first met Vinod Khanna on the sets of Purab aur Paschim in which he had a very small role. He was very young, good lookinh and calm in his nature. Manoj (Kumar) ji had given him the best role in that film, and he did that really well. From then on, they worked in several films in which he was the villain or had a small role. So, she didn’t get the chance to spend time with him.
Many actors and actresses have also tweeted about the actor’s demise.
Deeply saddened to hear about the loss of legendary actor #VinodKhanna ji. My condolences to the family. RIP
— sachin tendulkar (@sachin_rt) April 27, 2017
Will remember #VinodKhanna ji for his larger than life performances & his graciousness. There r very few people like him. Will miss u Sir.?
— Anupam Kher (@AnupamPkher) April 27, 2017