By: Screen Weekly, IndiaFM
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
His family loves him best as Wajid Ali Shah in Shatranj Ke Khiladi. "It also happened to be Amjad's personal favourite," says his wife Shehla Khan.
Hum Se Badhkar Kaun is also one of Amjad Khan's films his children, Shadaab, Ahlam and Seemab, watch often, even today. "He played a rural simpleton; the character was so refreshing," says daughter Ahlam, a scriptwriter.
However, the family has no regrets that Khan's Gabbar Singh success was not repeated in his other movies. "Ramesh Sippy spotted him during one of the shows of his play To This Night A Don," recollects Shehla. Amjad read a lot before enacting the role; he even had inputs on how the character should look. All that contributed to the everlasting image of Gabbar Singh."
"Contrary to popular opinion, he's never won a National Award," says Shadaab. "He didn't want to do Himmatwala, so he asked for Rs 15 Lakh. By default, he became the highest-paid character actor of the time."
His children say that often their father's humour crossed limits. "He even encouraged us to bunk school," says Ahlam. "We used to have a great time when we accompanied him to outdoor locations."
Even 15 years after his sudden death, Khan is conspicuous by his absence at his palatial Khar residence-surprisingly enough; there are no photographs of the actor in the drawing room. "I don't want to think he's no longer with us. I don't watch any of his movies," says Shehla.
"His role in Rudaali turned out to be a foreboding," says Shehla. "I had reservations with him in such a mournful character. But fortunately, he never grew old for us."