Gabbar Singh of Sholay
‘Pachas pachas kos door gaon mein jab bachcha raat ko rota hai to maa kahti hai beta soja ..soja nahin to Gabbar Singh aa jaayega’ booms Gabbar’s voice and the place rings with his manic laughter, his tobacco-stained teeth and the trademark ferocity showing. No one could have done it better than Amjed Khan. And Gabbar is by far Bollywood’s best villain. He is unarguably the most legendary character of tinsel world. ‘Aare Oh samba Kithne aadmi thei?’ Gabbar Singh went on to become the movie’s most memorable character. Post this Amjad Khan appeared in advertisements as Gabbar Singh endorsing Britannia biscuits, and it was the first incidence of a villain being used to sell a popular product.
Mogambo of Mr. India
He is my all time favourite comic-book-villain. The audiences were thrilled every time Amrish Puri glared down at them with his fiercely bulbous eyes sporting an atrocious blond wig and garish knee high silver heeled boots. They came back again and again to hear him mouth possibly the most repeated line of Hindi cinema (post 80s), ‘Mogambo khush hua’. Mogambo has carved a niche for himself amongst Bollywood’s most classic villains.
‘Prem naam hain mera. Prem Chopra’ and a chill runs down your spine as he menacingly looks on. This famous line from the film Bobby gave him his ticket to Bollywood Hall of Fame.
These are my all time favourites. Gulshan Grover, Pran, Kulbhushan Kharbanda who played Shakal in Ramesh Sippey’s Shaan, and Danny Denzongpa of the Burning Train came a close second. In the more recent times there is Kkkkkkiran (Sharukh Khan) of Darr and Bhiku Matre (Manoj Bajpai) of Sathya who are also pretty memorable characters.
Over the years peoples’ tastes have changed, so has the industry. The newer villains are stylish slick and plain cold blooded. Its hard imagining Hrithik, Abharam John wearing garish clothes and delivering semi comical dialogues. I wouldn’t even remember them a fewer years down the lane unlike Gabbar who’ll live forever.