An Affair to Remember

The look is only a couple of seconds long and, you can only see it in profile, but the wealth of longing conveyed in that brief time is enough to make you wish you were there instead of Zeenat Aman, being loved by this impossibly handsome man. And who could argue with that? In movies such as Muqaddar ka Sikandar, Qurbani and Chandni, even with the smallest gestures — the slow spread of smile, the unbuttoning of a shirt, the quick glance of longing — Khanna conveyed a knowing sexiness that was a far cry from the boyish charms of his contemporaries. Khanna was one of two heroes from the ’70s and ’80s Hindi cinema, Dharmendra being the other, who defined a certain kind of masculinity — a brawny, milk-fed, earthy masculinity that made many a female (and male) heart ache with desire. It’s that moment when, Amar, played by Vinod Khanna, turns and looks at Sheela (Zeenat Aman), as the two stand listening to the fisherfolk’s love song. They were both beautiful men, but while Dharmendra frequently tapped into his goofy side for roles in Chupke Chupke and Shola, Khanna’s signature was his brooding intensity. 2017-04-28T13:44:39+00:00″>
Updated: April 28, 2017 1:44 pm

Vinod Khanna with Zeenat Aman in Qurbani
There is one moment, right at the beginning of the song Hum tumhe chahte hain aise from Qurbani(1980), when your breath quickens. For all the latest Entertainment News, download Indian Express App now You wanted to be looked at the way he looked at Zeenat in Qurbani and, if you survived that, embark on a passionate affair, the memory of which would make you tremble years later. The plot of Qurbani requires Amar to make the titular sacrifice and give up his life and love for Feroz Khan’s Rajesh, but thanks to the desire and tenderness conveyed in that single look, you wish it had been Amar who had won the girl. It was a sympathetic role, no doubt, but one wonders whether any other actor — unaided by Khanna’s unique charms — would have managed quite as well. This intensity and his pin-up worthy looks — which couldn’t even be marred by the awful ’70s hairstyles and side burns — won him a fan base that anointed him as the sexiest actor in Hindi cinema. You didn’t want to run around trees and sing songs with this man.