Mumbai, Apr 27 (PTI) In the early 80s, his fans were shocked when debonair Vinod Khanna announced that he was quitting Bollywood and following his spiritual Guru Osho Rajnish.
“His spiritual foray coincided with the time the actor and his then wife Geetanjali developed differences. Vinod Khanna chose to shift base from the lights of tinsel town to Koregaon Park (where Rajnish’s ashram was located) in Pune,” veteran film journalist Dilip Thakur told PTI.
“He left the film industry, to make a comeback a few years later with Mukul Anand’s “Insaaf”. But when he announced the decision to quit Bollywood while he was at the peak of his career, his fans, who were in love with his trademark swagger and suave personality, were taken aback,” Thakur reminisced.
“”Insaaf” got a terrific success as Khanna had a dedicated audience,” he said, recalling the film career of the actor who today lost battle with bladder carcinoma at the age of 70.
“He had a flourishing career but decided to follow the path of spirituality,” Thakur said.
Thakur recalled that in 1982, Khanna had called a press conference, alongside wife Geetanjali and sons Akshay and Rahul, and announced to astonished journalists that he was quitting the industry to join the spiritual guru as his disciple.
The actor rechristened himself Swami Vinod Bharti during the period, and also followed Rajnish to Oregon commune in the US. Later, Khanna was candid enough to declare that he made his comeback only to ensure financial security, Thakur said.
Khanna was also among the first crop of actors to endorse a brand, Thakur said, recalling the response his Cinthol advertisement received.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.