“Kitne aadmi the?”
This line echoing in the baritone of Gabbar Singh was enough to give sleepless nights to many. Like Gabbar Singh said onscreen, “…Maa kehti hai so jaa warna Gabbar aa jaayega”. There is definitely no replacing the legendary actor who immortalised Gabbar in our minds as the most ruthless villain Bollywood had ever seen. On the birth anniversary of the iconic actor, here are five things that make him the best bad man Bollywood will ever have.
1. He was cunning.
Amjad Khan had that aura to play the classic villain. His body language and his expressions were too lecherous and guilt-free to be true. Between 1970-1980 Amjad Khan ruled the Indian cinema as the favourite villain, with films like Sholay, Suhaag, Mr. Natwarlal and Himmatwala.
2. His baritone resonated ruthlessness.
Can we forget Amjad Khan as Gabbar, walking on big boulders dragging his belt and plotting against Thakur? Even when he isn’t in the frame, his voice sent a chill down the spine.
3. He was impulsive.
Amjad Khan managed to play every part with utmost conviction. His smile that turned into a sneer before it vanished and he shot someone was a scene we all remember.
4. His laughter gave us chills.
Blame it on his peculiar style of laughter or his head tilt when he did that, Amjad Khan had a style of his own. Though he had a tough competition from his contemporaries like Ajit and Danny Denzongpa, he managed to carve a niche for himself. One major factor was his style of laughter, which was as scary as you can imagine
5. His epic anecdotes.
We refuse to give full credit to his dialogue writers, for if it wasn’t for Amjad Khan’s conviction while delivering those lines, they wouldn’t have sounded as extraordinary. In fact in the 90s when the remix culture was booming, there was an entire album cut titled “Gabbar Mix”, that included songs with his famous lines.
Believe it or not, Sholay was the first major film Amjad Khan signed, the first handful being as a child actor. Infact, he was not even the first choice for the role of Gabbar. it was Danny Denzongpa. It was also heard that Amitabh Bachchan wanted to play that part. So much so that he agreed to do it in Ram Gopal Varma’s remake of Sholay — RGV Ki Aag. But nobody has managed to recreate his aura.
Gabbar was just the beginning of his milestone career. In the times when actors struggle to grab the lead roles, here was one name who made a mark as the baddie. The vacuum that he has left will never be filled, at least not anytime soon.
Here’s wishing Amjad Khan a very happy birthday!