Remembering Ajit Saab on his 19th death anniversary.

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Hamid Ali Khan (27 January 1922–21 October 1998), better known by his stage name Ajit, was a prolific Hindi film actor. He acted in over two hundred movies in almost four decades. Ajit is also credited for starring as a lead actor in popular Bollywood movies such as Nastik, Bada Bhai, Milan, Bara-Dari, and later as a second lead in Mughal-e-Azam and Naya Daur.

Ajit, who ran away from home to Mumbai after selling his college books, started his career in films in the 1940s. Luck did not favour him in the initial stages. He began with the 1946 movie Shahe Misra, acting opposite Geeta Bose, and also did films such as Sikander (van mala), Hatimtai (1947), Aap Beeti (Khursheed), Sone Ki Chidiya (Leela Kumari), Dholak (Meena Shori) and Chanda Ki Chandni (Monica Desai) as leading hero, but flopped. He did most of films (15) with Nalini Jaywant. Ajit switched over to play the villain. His first movie as a villain was Suraj, followed by films such as Zanjeer and Yaadon Ki Baaraat.
His famous dialogues included the ‘Mona darling’ bit inYaadon Ki Baraat, ‘Lily don’t be silly’ in Zanjeer and the ones about a ‘Lion’ in Kallicharan. Ajit’s other well known films were Naya Daur, Nastik and Shikari to name only a few. In his four decades of film career, Ajit had acted along with the legendary Prithvi Raj Kapoor, Sohrab Modi, Amitabh Bachchan, I S Johar, Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, Shami Kapoor, Dharmendra and many actress, both young and old.
In the mid-seventies he had acted in over 57 films, mostly as a villain. His dialogue delivery remains popular even to this date. His colleagues in the film industry — leading personalities who have acted with him, grown seeing him in Mumbai — have expressed deep sorrow over the death of the legendary actor.
Writer Javed Akhtar, who scripted Zanjeer, said: “Like Bachchan, Ajit found a new image as villain after Zanjeer. He started a new innings in his career though he was an established hero in the fifties. His villainy started a new trend. Here was a new villain who was soft-spoken yet forceful. We wanted to give a different image to villainy which matched the hero.”

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