The side villain

Sudhir on the left in both pictures
We know about the big names, we remember the characters they essay, the titbits about their personal lives that make it to the gossip columns.

We remember the clothes they wore, the way they styled their hair and made up their faces. We remember the good guys and the bad guys who made the good guys look good. This was before grey became trendy. It was all black and white. The black bow-tie, the white shoes, the white jacket. Or the velvet gown that reminded of last night’s sins.

It was a world of sin. The flesh beneath the flounces of voluptuous molls. The dark lips chomping on cigars or blowing smoke rings into other eyes. And in this world, somewhere behind the curling smoke was Sudhir. I do not know his real name. It is there somewhere, but I don’t care.

He was the leering presence in neon-lit rooms, the one with the lighter, the guffaw, the fake laugher. And the sneer. He was the sidekick with so much attitude that you could not forget him. He spoke as though he was biting right into his gums or chewing or sarcasm had lodged itself on his tongue. You knew what he would do and how he would do it. No surprises. It was just like the formula you expected from a hero.

It set me thinking about those who stand and stare who we rarely notice. Each time a Sudhir dies, a satellite that circles the centre disappears.


  1. FV,

    Sudhir was never part of Ranjeet's league. But the two of them successfully channelled the bad, the wicked and the leacherous which is present in every man, vociferous denials thereof notwithstanding. (Blame it on the incredibly superior beings that women doubtless are). We can go on and on about how their characters reinforced the objectified prototypes of women in male minds. But that would be being unfair to them as actors. Sudhir had his share of screen moments and we men do find occassions to rephrase his lascivious lines from various films, delivered with a grin, while some hapless buxom girl cowered in front of him.

    Stand-up anchor (now a filmmaker) Sajid Khan used to frequently invoke "Shudhir" dialogues to great comic effect in his shows.

    Recently, David Dhawan's CHASHME BADDOOR remake paid a tribute to the Sudhir-Ranjeet brand of villainy by making its lead actors dress up and speak like them in the climax scene. The dialogue went something like:

    "Buzurgo ne kaha hai, paapon ka prayschit kar lena chahiye."

    "Haan Bhai, lekin pehle paap to kar le..!"

    Sin never rocked so much. RIP Sudhir.

  2. F&F:

    Thanks for sharing instances of the parodies.

    Agree with the objectification of women, but then the hero saving the woman would be doing the same.

    Not sure if these villains channelled the bad, for they remained on the periphery. Ranjit did make it as solo bad guy; Sudhir did not.


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