What would you say are the chances of women writing thousands of these letters to a short, stubby man with pimples and a haircut that looks as if it is from New Paramount Haircutting Saloon?
My point is this. We ladies are a picky lot. After all, there’s blood involved here. So, you may be the greatest superstar, an acting legend; your films may have raked in gadzillions, declared as immortal classics, your waxwork might be rubbing bottoms with Cary Grant’s at Madame Tussauds. But if you don’t make our hearts (and other regions too) throb, go boompity-boom and dhak-dhak, if the knees ain’t turning to delicious moony mush, if you don’t start a conflagration in our sweet, womanly jigars that would light a million beedis, if there isn’t a sudden and insane urge to rush into our boudoirs (yes, we all have one) and slip into something more comfortable at the mere sight of you, then sirjee, we ain’t wasting a drop - forget blood, not even drool.
Also, beefcake palls after the first two nibbles…
Now I’m not one of these khoon-bhari-khat (KBK) types. (For one, e-mail doesn’t fell any trees. For another, I can’t stand the sight of blood.) But if I were, there is only one man to top my list. Vinod Khanna. Even now, pushing sixty-two, on the wrong side of burly, thinning hair et al. They say that if he hadn’t suddenly taken “sanyas” in 1982 at the peak of his success, Amitabh Bachchan would’ve had serious competition for the post of Uberstar. Well, I for one am glad he did because otherwise, I’d be writing so many of dem damn letters - all the way from Reshma Aur Shera to Leela and Risk - that I’d have needed blood transfusions by now…
And his most gasp-‘n-reach-for-my-khoon-bhari-pen moment? Well, I’m going to skip the obvious one - which is the kissing scene in Dayavan because according to me, there’s almost no one who can fill a uniform quite so, er shall we say, satisfactorily as Vinod Khanna. (I take a moment to compose myself and wait for knees to solidify.) So, for me, it’s Achanak (the entire film) and of course, the scene in Amar Akbar Anthony when he and Amitabh Bachchan meet for the first time. When Khanna starts unbuttoning his shirt and growls, “Dekhte hai tum main kitna dum!“? ….. Oh my goodness gracious me. (I take 5 minutes to compose myself.) Did I say “uniform”? Make that dhoti, lungi, shorts jeans, tuxedo, bath towel, bandit jewellery, shorts, Rupa baniyan…. Oh, the heck with it. The man would make lace garters look like regulation jock wear. Not to mention orange caftans with rudraksh malas. On any other man - even Vincent Chase - you’ll bust your boob job laughing. On Vinod Khanna? I need a whole week off to compose myself…..
(Vinod Khanna’s other KBK films - Mere Apne, Hera Pheri, Mera Gaon Mera Desh, Shaque, Rihaee and Imthihan)
And coming a very close second to the Sexy Sanyasi is Jackie Shroff. Even now; fifty, silly pudding-basin hair-weave et al. And I don’t care how many of you jeered, “wooden! Wooden!”. And it’s not what you are thinking though how many men do we know who can make a bandhini dupatta look as macho as …well, as Vinod Khanna in an orange caftan? You see, it’s like those liqueur filled chocs. What separates mere beefcake from a prime cut of KBK is a soft, delicious, heady centre that makes every woman feel that she is this maddeningly irresistible goddess-sex-kitten-houri….. and reach feverishly for her trusty blood-dipped-nib. And we always know. With just one bite…er, I mean one look into the fella’s eyes and by the feeling of a 60-piece orchestra playing somewhere our nether lumbar regions.
And our Jaggu Dada has that stuff by bucketfuls. Just watch him in Parinda, Gardish, Aina, Kaash, Saudagar (to name only a few) and even as the utterly ch-se-chunky-hunky “Chunnilal” in Devdas, even though he ch-se-hammed it to the hilt. But the highest point of our Shroff‘s KBT-ness was (and is) as the swoon-a-licious “Raj Kamal” in Rangeela and what on earth was that Urmila thinking?! I mean, Aamir was cute but if I wanted cute, I’d get myself a Care Bear.
That’s just Jackie on screen. Off screen? The man should ring a warning bell or something five minutes before walking into the room. Because when he does, there isn‘t be a dry female ...er saliva gland inside a 10 mile-radius. Sigh
Now I know I said “list”, but I’ll have to stop here because after Vinod Khanna and Jackie Shroff, I‘m almost clean out of blood and what’s left I have to save for the man who really did get KBK’s by the sackfuls. Sada Jatin-Kaka a.k.a Rajesh Khanna. Pimply, yes. Stubby, short body, yes. Haircut from New Paramount Haircutting Saloon, most definitely. Guru kurtas, retch-yetch-yes. But the eyes, oh the eyes. Look into them and you feel you are drowning into a tub…no make that a jacuzzi full of that soft, delicious, heady stuff that makes you feel that you are this maddeningly…..you get my drift. Baharon ke Sapne, Aradhana, Khamoshi, Kati Patang, Amar Prem, Mere Jeevan Saathi, Daag, Aap ki Kasam, …. so please don’t ask me to pick the most KBK of this lot because ….
Oh wait a minute.
There is one - Aavishkaar. For weeks, nay months afterwards, there was nothing I wanted more than be “Mansi”, married to “Amar” and live in a house outside which a lamp glowed this message of conjugal bliss - “Ghar Mansi Amar ka”.
And I can’t think why I didn’t dash off a KBT….