On the birth anniversary of late actor Vinod Khanna, veteran actor Saira Banu recalled her bond with 'Aarop' co-star.
Taking to Instagram, Banu shared a poster of 'Aarop' and clips from the sets along with a lengthy note.
One particular memory that stands out in the recollection of Banu, the iconic actress of her own era, is a day on the set of Guru Dutt's film 'Aarop' directed by Atmaramji, at the legendary 'Natraj Studios'.
She wrote, "Vinod loved Sahib incredibly. He was a very thoughtful man. Once, he and I were shooting at "Natraj Studios" for Guru Dutt's film "AAROP" directed by Atmaramji. On the very same day, Sahib was headed to the airport and I had requested him to stop by the Studio before his flight to Delhi. As Sahib arrived, Vinod, Johnny Walker Bhai, and I were rehearsing a scene. While Sahib walked in, Vinod disappeared somewhere. Soon after, Atmaramji sent assistants to look for him so that we could go ahead with the shot. Vinod took pretty long to come onto the set and Sahib had already left. As soon as Vinod appeared I asked him "Where were you for so long?" Vinod laughed and said "Oh! Boy! Do you think I can act and perform while Dilipji, "The Master Of Acting" is watching? I would be shaking with nervousness! So I absconded!"
"Vinod, at the peak of his career, had become a disciple of Osho and from 1975 onwards, he had taken a break from films to follow his Guru. At that time, I told him many times, "You are one of the brightest stars of today and everyone knows you will scale tremendous heights in your career. You are too promising. Please don't go. Why are you intending to take this hiatus?"
The entire industry was crestfallen at this move."Beyond his acting prowess, Vinod Khanna was a gentleman who cared deeply for those around him. Saira recalls how he always ensured the comfort and safety of the ladies on the set, "Vinod always ensured that we ladies on the sets had comfort levels while going home from the studio. One day, I sent my car back home for some important work, and unexpectedly director Atmaramji finished shooting much earlier than expected. He had a perky tiny Volkswagen and saw that my car had not arrived, he then looked at all the paraphernalia of needy things I carried with me and immediately offered his car to drive me home safely. I said, "Mera Itna Saaman Kahan Aayega, Tumahari Beautiful Choti Si Gaadi Main". So he said I will wait until your car arrives. Such a chivalrous man he was!"
She added, "I remember it was a joy to see him and his wife Geetanjali while we shot outdoors at Lonavala, all of us lived together and had fun times. Later on, when he married Kavita, his second wife, they always visited us on occasions, particularly on our "Silver Wedding Anniversary" and mingled so wonderfully as one of our own family.We miss him!"
Vinod Khanna, was one of the actors who could mould his persona into any character whether being a villain or charming everyone with his heroic persona in the films. It was just hard to take our eyes off when he was on screen.
It's hard to describe his contribution to Indian cinema in words.
Bollywood lost its strongest pillar in the form of late actor Vinod Khanna on April 27, 2017. He had delivered some of the most iconic performances, making him one of the best performers the industry has ever seen.
From a dacoit to a policeman, from a lover to an angry father, Vinod never failed to impress with his acting range. Vinod Khanna's presence, both on and off-screen, is deeply missed. His legacy as a versatile actor and a kind-hearted soul lives on, cherished by those who had the privilege of knowing him.