Prem Ahuja was of a stocky,
squarish built with his hair in the front stylishly rolled up in
a puff. He was known to be a smooth charmer and a polished high
society playboy. The suave Rehman matched him in physical attributes
and the facial structure. To essay Prem's charm in wooing women
would be easy for Rehman, a consummate actor.
Years later, in 1973,
Gulzar directed a sensitive story in Achanak which had echoes of
the Nanavati case but with a twist in the tale.
The film, Vinod Khanna's second with Gulzar after
Apne established Vinod Khanna's reputation as a sensitive actor
in Bollywood. His co-stars in the movie were the Tollygunge actress
Lily Chakraborty and Bollywood's favourite policeman Iftekhar.
Here again, Vinod Khanna with his well-built physique,
his height and good looks was a throwback to Commander Kawas Nanavati.
Vinod Khanna is an Army man. He returns home after
the hard fought and bloody 1971 war. He floats on a joyous reverie
during the entire train journey as he heads home and relives the
happy moments spent with his wife, eager now to meet her.
He remembers the way he stood and watched her dress
up - applying her makeup and her lipstick and that naughty episode
which the lipstick triggered off
The memories are so tangible
that he laughs out aloud - and the reverie is broken as he discovers
that he is still traveling.
But, very much like Commander Nanavati, he returns
home to discover that his wife loves him no more. She is intimately
involved with another man
who is a close friend.
Betrayal and anger cloud his rational thoughts and
in a fit of emotion he shoots his wife and her lover.
He is sentenced to death. For some time he is in
the hospital recovering from a fatal gun wound got when he was trying
to escape the police.
The massive public sympathy for Commander Nanavati
and the favourable attitude of Provost Marshall Samuel towards the
Commander finds an echo in the police chief played by Iftekhar and
the sympathetic nurse Farida Jalal.
Vinod Khanna as the soldier is scripted as a goodhearted
young man. While in hospital, he makes sure that young Farida Jalal
always sincere in her duty is able to keep her rendezvous with her
On the field, he is a jawan of extraordinary courage
and an inspiration for the other soldiers. He has been outstanding
in his duty towards the nation. And his deep sense of patriotism
and loyalty has been exemplary. To his wife he has been a loving
husband. But the nature of his work has demanded long periods of
absence from the family.