It’s been over 45 years of Gabbar Singh creating menace in Sholay and leaving his imprint on Indian cinema. The movie is well known for a lot of causes, not the least of which is that this iconic character and the person who set the best benchmark for cinema villains – Amjad Khan.
On the twenty ninth dying anniversary of Amjad Khan, we return to when his Sholay co-star Amitabh Bachchan spoke about Khan as his shut buddy, and the way he as soon as needed to signal essential medical papers for him after a severe accident.
In an interview dated 2016, Bachchan had informed Filmfare that Khan addressed him as ‘Shorty’ on their first day on the units of Sholay. Calling him a ‘friend of friends’, Big B recalled the time when Khan had a serious highway accident and the way Bachchan did the hospital formalities.
The incident occurred when each the actors had been to start capturing for The Great Gambler (1979) in Goa. Amjad Khan was driving down along with his household from Mumbai when he met with a horrible highway accident. With nobody coming to his rescue, he managed to pull his injured spouse and two children to a Panjim hospital earlier than slipping into coma himself. Khan had punctured his lungs as a consequence of damaged ribs.
“I had reached Goa earlier and on coming to know of the incident rushed to meet him. The scenario was grave. He was unconscious and breathing with difficulty. He needed immediate surgery. The doctors did not advise shifting him to Mumbai,” Bachchan informed Filmfare.
His household had been taken to Mumbai by then. Now, since no person was able to take the accountability of Khan’s surgical process, Amitabh Bachchan got here ahead. “The document absolves the doctors of any untoward incident during an operation. When none of the production members were willing to give the signature, I took it on myself and signed the paper. I spoke to his family in Mumbai and they gave consent. The surgery went off well. I organised for a chartered flight to take him back to Mumbai soon after. He survived and recovered to be back with us on the set. The incident brought us even closer,” the famous person reminisced.
Calling Amjad Khan “universally loved by the industry,” Senior Bachchan shared how Khan later wrote him “the most emotional and endearing letters” which he has preserved even to at the present time.
Amitabh Bachchan, later confronted the same close to deadly accident on the units of Coolie. That’s when Khan visited him on the hospital and to provide him firm. “We would laugh and joke on the similarities of our hospital episodes. One morning I got a call that he had passed away in his sleep. Shocked and in disbelief, I drove to his house unable to believe that someone so close and full of life was no more. It’s still impossible to believe that he is not with us.”
“A great asset was lost that day and a great friend,” Bachchan concluded.
Due to the highway accident, Amjad Khan had to get replaced by Utpal Dutt in The Great Gambler. Amitabh Bachchan and Amjad Khan labored in over two dozen movies together with Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, Yaarana, Laawaris, Satte Pe Satta, Naseeb, Kaalia, Ganga Ki Saugandh and Mr. Natwarlal.