Veteran Bollywood actor Vinod Khanna died at 70 at Mumbai's Hospital. He was suffering from advanced bladder carcinoma (bladder cancer).
Vinod Khanna had acted in more than 100 films in his career. He shocked everyone in the 1980s, when at the peak of his career, he quit the glamorous world of Bollywood to join Osho's ashram. In an old interview with TOI Vinod had talked about all the ups and downs of his life.
Partition Forced Us To Leave Pakistan
''I was born on October 6, 1946, in Peshawar. My father, KC Khanna, was a businessman who dealt in textiles, dyes and chemicals. My mother, Kamla, was a housewife. I am one of five children, with three sisters and a brother; ours was a joint family. Shortly after my birth, India was partitioned and we fled Peshawar.''
I Was A Good Student
"We reached Bombay, where my father had an office. Initially, we stayed with friends and relatives. I was a good student and a favourite with the teachers. In 1957, when I was in class VI, we moved to Delhi."
When I Watched Mughal-E-Azam
''We settled down in East Patel Nagar. School at DPS meant a lot of studying, a lot of sports and also a bit of theatre. While in class IX, my family moved back to Bombay and I was admitted to boarding school in Devlali. It made me tough. Around then, I watched Mughal-E-Azam & I was swept away.''
The Reason Why I Turned Into A Rebel
''I always confronted my father: My father never asked me what I wanted to do, he just told me what I had to do. Even when I was in college, I had to confront my father to be allowed to party on weekends. This turned me into a rebel. My mother frequently made peace between father and son.''
I Had Many Girlfriends
''I was a science student and a good one at that. While I wanted to become an engineer, my father was determined that I take up commerce and join the family business. But college life was fun I was into theatre and had many girlfriends.''
When He Met Sunil Dutt At A Party
''It was in college that I met Gitanjali. We liked each other and started going steady. I almost lost my chance to enter Bollywood.''
''While at a party, I chanced upon Sunil Dutt, who was in the process of making a movie with two heroes, one of whom would be his brother. He offered me the other role.''
When His Father Threatened To Shoot Him
''I was game but my father held a gun to my head and said he would shoot me if I ever entered Bollywood. Finally, my mother convinced him to allow me to join the industry and try my luck for two years if I didn't click, I would join the family business.''
When He Decided To Get Married
''Reel life was a cakewalk, real life wasn't: After my first movie, Mann Ka Meet, was released, I got rave reviews. Within a week, I had signed 15 films! Since I had become successful, Gitanjali and I decided to get married. But buying a house was tough. Nobody wanted an actor as a neighbour.''
When He Left Bollywood
''I have always been a seeker. In the film industry, I had money, glamour, fame but wondered now what? Initially, I visited Osho's ashram in Pune every weekend. I even diverted shooting schedules to Pune. I was finally initiated on December 31, 1975. When I announced my retirement from films, nobody believed me."
I Was Osho's Mali
''I was Osho's mali: I am one of the few Indians to have stayed with Osho in Rajneeshpuram, the city he built in America. I spent four years with Osho. I was his gardener, I cleaned the toilets, I did the dishes, and his clothes were tried out on me because we were, physically, of the same stature.''
The Reason Why His Divorce Happened
''Gitanjali couldn't take it any more. While I was at Rajneeshpuram, I was in touch with my family over the phone. But those were terrible times for my sons as they didn't have me around and people said, Tumhara baap apne guru ke saath bhaag gaya.''
''Reports of what I had done never bothered me until they started bothering those I loved. But by then, it was too late. Gitanjali and I settled for divorce. When I returned to India, I had nothing.''
When He Joined The Industry Again
''I went back to Bollywood. Returning to the movies was the easy part. It was leaving my guru in America which was an almost-impossible decision so much attached was I to Osho. He asked me to run the Puna ashram, but I said no. That is the most difficult no I have ever said in my life.''
He had added, ''I wanted to return to my work, to my family, to my friends. Fortunately, when I came back to the movies, I was accepted once again. I love the good life: The first car I bought with my own money was a VW Beetle.''
''I have spent my money on what I enjoy. I believe in having the best of everything a" be it apartments, cars or food. But I have never ever squandered my money.''