Daily O

Why Kader Khan was much more than just a comedy star

Khan acted in more than 300 films and wrote around 200 of them. He understood, and shaped, a lot of the popular culture of his times.

The experience of watching films in modern-day urban India has mutated such that its counterpart from the late 1970s may not be recognisable any longer.

In the late 70s, the multiplex was more than 15 years away. Many film advertisements on radio tried to ensnare viewers with amusing promises. A frequently recycled one-liner in these ads declared that an upcoming release was ‘'action, emotion, drama, melodrama sey bhharpoor' (packed with action, emotion, drama and melodrama).

The best theatre seats in Patna, the capital of Bihar, could be had in a section known as Dress Circle. An entry ticket, printed on cheap porous paper, cost a princely sum of five rupees. I was a primary school student when I had occupied a Dress Circle seat to watch Manmohan Desai’s rollicking film, Amar Akbar Anthony (1977).

AAA was also my introduction to Kader Khan’s

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