Ajay Kumar Sharma
In the eighties, Acharya Rajneesh had a great influence on the country and the world. Many wealthy foreign film personalities associated with Indian and Hindi cinema were under his influence and contacts. The biggest name among them was the actor Vinod Khanna. Principal Mahesh Bhatt first came under the influence of Rajneesh aka Osho and then his circle of friends including Vinod Khanna, Vijay Anand and Parveen Babi etc. also started visiting Rajneesh’s ashram.
The fact that Vinod Khanna retired from the world of cinema and settled in Rajneesh’s ashram in America also became a headline news because at the time he was at the peak of his career and had achieved superstar status with Amitabh. But at the age of four, when the US government took legal action against Rajneesh for practicing drugs at the ashram, all the followers were forced to return to their first world out of fear.
When Vinod Khanna also returned, he met his friend Vijay Anand aka Goldie. Their friendship deepened during his stay at Rajneesh’s ashram, though Vinod Khanna harassed Goldie a lot during the Rajput performance. But forgetting this, Goldie invited Vinod Khanna to his Union Park house in Bandra. Vinod Khanna started crying bitterly as soon as he met Goldie. Goldie let him cry for a long time and didn’t say anything. When Vinod’s mind became light as he cried, Vijay Anand asked him to go back to the cinema again. So Vinod Khanna’s question was: would you like to make a movie for me? Goldie immediately agreed.
Vinod Khanna was afraid whether the public would like to see him on the screen again or not. But Goldie realized that even after four years away from the world of American cinema, Vinod Khanna’s beauty was intact and he was still capable of becoming a hero. Yes, there was definitely a drop in his confidence. Goldie wrote a special story to bring Vinod Khanna’s career to life. The theme of the story was Krishna-Arjuna. It means achieving success by leading one person and following faithfully by another. For the role of Arjun, Vinod Khanna, and for the role of Krishna, he needed the best seasoned and experienced artist who could give great support to the film as well as Vinod Khanna.
In such a situation, the name of Dilip Kumar first appeared in front of him. Years ago, Dilip Kumar agreed to work with Goldie but the matter had come to an end. Dilip Sahab was an admirer of Goldie’s work. Steeling herself, Goldie took the time to join him. He was decided to meet at the Bandra Arts Club as they were both his partners. Dilip Kumar was producing Subhash Ghai’s film Vidhaata when this conversation took place. Goldie said that the film is based on the Arjun-Krishna relationship. Your role will be Krishna and Vinod Khanna who will be recast will be Arjun. Although Dilip Kumar was skeptical about Vinod Khanna’s return, he agreed to listen to the story. While listening to the story, Dilip Kumar stopped him many times and told him that his story is going very fast. Take it easy. At the end of the story, Dilip Saheb said that the script is very well written, but in my opinion it should not be so tight. Otherwise there will be no time or space to act. Then Goldie said that you know all my movies run fast, but because the song and the fight are also at the same pace, the interest of the audience remains.
Dilip Sahab kept silent on this argument and asked Goldie to speak to his secretary John. He had all of Vinod Khanna’s dates with him and wanted to start filming as soon as he got them. Meanwhile, he discussed money with Dilip Saheb, so he said to ask Subhash Ghai to give him as much as he has given to the Creator. Goldie agreed to do the same, but did not respond when called for a shooting date.
When all this lasted for a month and a half, Goldie contacted Saira Banu and told her everything. The next day he called Dilip Kumar and apologized saying that the story is very fast and I am used to working a little slow. That’s why we won’t be able to work together. In this way, Goldie’s dream of playing Krishna-Arjun was left incomplete.
In this regard, Goldie has written in his autobiography that the main reason he did not work on this film was that the way he used to interfere in the directors’ work was not possible with him. Because even as he narrated the script, he immediately rejected the suggestions he was given to complain to Lord Murthy or fight God. If any other producer had been the director, anyone would have engaged in greed to work with Dilip Kumar. But Goldie was unique. She never accepted interference even from her brother Devanand, who was also the producer of those movies.
(The author is a senior art critic.)
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