From Sholay to Andaz Apna Apna: Viju Khote’s notable acts

A character artist is someone who aids in narrating a story but seldom gets any credit. He or she gets overshadowed by the lead characters or the villains. Viju Khote is one of the most loved character artists whose career spans over 40 years. Today the veteran actor celebrates his 75th birthday. On his platinum jubilee, let’s have a look at his most notable characters in Hindi cinema. 

Keyur Seta

Andaz Apna Apna (1994) – Robert 
Rajkumar Santoshi’s Andaz Apna Apna flopped when it released. But over the years, the film has acquired a cult status after its numerous telecasts on TV. And with the film, Viju Khote’s character of Robert too has become popular, along with his favourite line, ‘Galti se mistake ho gaya.’ His chemistry with the character of Bhalla succeeded in providing pots of laughter. 

Sholay (1975) – Kalia 
Viju Khote has the honour of being part of one of the most famous scenes of Indian cinema of all time. He wouldn’t have thought of this when he was signed to play Gabbar Singh’s sidekick, Kalia. His dialogue, ‘Humne aapka namak khaya hai sardar’ is the highlight of the sequence. Sholay was one the films during the earlier times of his career, when he was mostly seen playing serious roles. 

China Gate (1998) – Ghanshyam 
Rajkumar Santoshi’s China Gate is a rare film to star an ensemble cast of veteran actors, led by the likes of Om Puri, Amrish Puri and Naseeruddin Shah. Their mission was to finish off a dacoit Jageera (Mukesh Tiwari). Viju Khote was one of the team members. Despite it being a serious character, the veteran actor added his touch of humour to it.

Dulhe Raja (1998) – Todnaar 
This one might be Viju Khote’s most under-rated performance. It deserved to be more well-known because it was not only funny but also since it was based on a real character – GR Khairnar, an officer in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation known for demolishing illegal structures. In Dulhe Raja, Khote gave a funny twist to the character and named it Todnaar, which in Marathi means, ‘I will break.’ 

Ghayal (1990) – Boxing coach
Rajkumar Santoshi’s Ghayal is the highlight of Sunny Deol’s career. The film is a classic that's remembered even today. In the film, Sunny’s character, Ajay Verma, is a tough fighter, mostly because he was a boxing champion. Viju Khote played his coach in the film. The veteran actor’s character also gets hit unintentionally by Sunny. He seems like one of Santoshi’s favourite supporting actors.