I Khan't Keep Track!
a brief ramble on bollywood's many khans

by Faizan Qureshi
© bollywhat.com 2003-2004

   Bollywood is virtually ruled by "The Khans." Most new Bollywood addicts often ask, "Are they all related?"  Well, yes and no. Khan is a common Muslim surname in India, and there are lots of different film families who share it.

  Let's start with one of the very first, and most famous, of the Khans: YUSUF KHAN, a legendary actor better known by his screen name of Dilip Kumar. During the 1940s, the decade which saw the mass bloodshed of Partition and the birth of Pakistan, strife between Hindu and Muslim communities was at an all-time high. Yusuf therefore decided it would be a good career move to adopt an identifiably Hindu name. One of his most famous movies was "Devdas" by Bimal Roy (a film remade in 2002 by Sanjay Leela Bansali, starring another Khan, Shahrukh). Dilip Kumar later got married to the famous 60's Bollywood actress Saira Banu. Unfortunately, they had no children.

   Dilip Kumar has a nephew in the film industry, AYUB KHAN , who acted in some of the light romances of the 1990s. If you're not sure who he is, watch Farhan Akhtar's "Dil Chahta Hai", in which he plays Preity Zinta's macho boyfriend.

   Next on my check list is AMJAD KHAN, another celebrity considered the "villian of all time" thanks to his role as Gabbar Singh in Sholay. He has now stopped acting, but the family tradition continues via his son SHABAAB KHAN, who starred opposite Rani Mukherji in her first Hindi film, "Raja Ki Aayegi Baraat."

Fardeen Khan  FEROZ KHAN? I knew you'd be wondering about him. Feroz acted in some of the great hits of the 1970s, and has since produced and directed a number of films, the most successful of which was the blockbuster "Qurbani" (famous for the songs sung by the late Nazia Hassan, and the great dance skills of Zeenat Aman). Feroz is now back to directing now; his next project is a film called "Jaanasheen" starring his son, up-and-coming screen idol FARDEEN KHAN.

  Oh, did I forget to mention that Feroz's brother is none other than SANJAY KHAN? Sanjay is now best known for being the father of Suzanne Khan Roshan, the wife of (Hindu) superstar Hrithik Roshan.

  KADER KHAN is a famous comedian who can be seen in some movies as an extra. As far as we know, he is not yet related to anyone.

   The most famous Khan of the century, sometimes called the King Khan, does not need an introduction. SHAHRUKH KHAN has a style all his own. He has played different kinds of roles, from romantic to negative, from shy lover to psycho killer, comicShahrukh Khan to serious, and everything in between. His fans usually like his "jodi" (pairing) with actress Kajol; his hits with her include Karan Arjun, Baazigar, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham. Shahrukh is married to a Hindu, Gauri, and they have two children, Aryan & Suhana. We've seen Aryan in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (playing SRK's character in a flashback to his childhood). Remarkably, Shahrukh is not related to any other Khan in filmdom. He's a self-made superstar.

  SALMAN KHAN was once famous for his great romantic and action hero roles; thanks to several brushes with the law, he's now better known as the Bad Boy of Bollywood. His father is SALIM KHAN, who co-wrote some of Bollywood's biggest hits in the 1970s. Salman has two other actor brothers, SOHAIL and ARBAAZ, the latter of which can be seen alongside Salman in "Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya". Salman's mother, Salma, is Hindu; his step-mother, Helen, was the biggest screen vamp of the 1960s and 70s. This large, unconventional family lives together in a VERY BIG HOUSE.

Aamir Khan (with co-star Gracy Singh in LAGAAN)  AAMIR KHAN is a well respected actor, technically the best of the current generation. Aamir is the son of famous director Tahir Hussain, and the nephew of another great director, Nasir Hussain. But back to the Khans... Aamir's cousin is director MANSOOR KHAN, who directed smash hit "Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander", as well as the Shahrukh Khan-starrer "Josh."

  Aamir Khan's brother FAISAL KHAN also acts but hasn't met with much success. His only film of note was one in which he starred with Aamir — the poorly-received "Mela."

Saif Ali Khan   SAIF ALI KHAN is the son of famous actress Sharmila Tagore and the Nawab Pataudi, a well-known cricket player and aristocrat. Saif is married to Amrita Singh and has two children. To judge Saif's acting skills, you should watch "Dil Chahta Hai", one of his best films.

   SAHIL KHAN, a newcomer, made his acting debut in "Style" — not a very good choice, in my opinion.

  Thus draws to a close our lecture on the world of Khans. Next time someone asks, "Are all these Khans related?", feel free to volunteer your expertise. But don't rest too comfortably on your laurels: in Bollywood, the only thing surer than a dance across the meadow is a new Khan lurking in the trees!

(Thanks to Kalpana, ScreenQueen and other BollyWHATers for providing me with the facts.)

Faizan Qureshi



bollyWHAT? bios:

aamir khan
fardeen khan
salman khan
shahrukh khan


This filmi ramble was
written by Faizan.

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