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Actor Viju Khote, of 'Tera kya hoga, Kalia?' fame, dies at 77

Viju Khote was part of more than 300 films in Hindi and Marathi, including the iconic roles of Kalia in Sholay (1975) and Robert in Andaz Apna Apna (1994).

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Our Correspondent

Veteran film and theatre actor Viju Khote died of multiple organ failure in Mumbai today. He was 77. The actor was best known for the iconic role of the dacoit Gabbar Singh's henchman Kalia in Sholay (1975). He had performed in more than 300 films and plays. 

"He passed away today at 6:55 am peacefully in his sleep at the residence. He has been unwell for quite some time. He had multiple organ failure," his niece, actress Bhavana Balsawar, told the Press Trust of India (PTI).

"He did not wish to die in hospital so we brought him home a few days ago. It is a great loss for all of us," she added.

Khote's last rites will be performed around 11 am at the Chandanwadi crematorium in south Mumbai.

After making his debut in Yaa Maalk (1964, Marathi), directed by his father Nandu Khote, Viju rose to nationwide prominence with the brief but memorable role of Gabbar Singh's henchman Kalia in Ramesh Sippy's blockbuster Sholay (1975).

The role saw Khote being part of what is easily one of the most memorable introduction scenes in a Hindi film with an equally memorable exchange of dialogue. When Amjad Khan's Gabbar Singh asks his henchman, "Tera kya hoga, Kalia?", the burly but quivering Khote responds, "Sardar, maine aapka namak khaaya hai, sardar!" To which Gabbar retorts coldly and deliberately: "Ab... goli kha."

Viju Khote went on to be a part of several hit films like Karz (1980), Qurbani (1980), Nagina (1986), Andaz Apna Apna (1994) and China Gate (1998). He also acted in a number of Marathi films like Ashi Hi Banwa Banwi (1988), Aaytya Gharat Gharoba (1991), Dhamal Jodi (1995), Majha Navra Tujhi Bayko (2006) and Ventilator (2016).

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

His role as the bumbling henchman Robert in Andaz Apna Apna was a testament to his comic timing. The line "Galti se mistake ho gaya" in the film has become a byword for errors, even leading to a popular song with the same words in Jagga Jasoos (2017).

Viju Khote, nephew of the great yesteryear actress Durga Khote, one of the pioneering actresses in Hindi and Marathi cinema, was the son of theatre artiste Nandu Khote. His elder sister, Shubha Khote, is also a prominent film, television and theatre actress.