Shubha Khote remembers her brother Viju Khote who passed away on 30 September 2019.
Contrary to popular belief Shubha and Viju were not twins. “No, we looked so much alike everyone presumed we were twins. But, Viju was actually five years younger to me. I prayed and prayed for a brother and God blessed me with Viju. Even as a child I looked after him like a mother. Now he is gone far away.”
Her voice breaks as she remembers the good times that the siblings had. “He loved my cooking and he insisted that all our friends have a meal cooked by me. Viju lost his wife quite early. After that, I looked after him and his two children. He was my biggest support. I was a national-level swimming and cycling champ and he encouraged me to pursue these as much as possible.”
As actors both the siblings were born into the profession. Says Shubhaji, “Our father Nandu Khote was a professional theatre and film actor. He did films in the silent era as well. Viju and I were born into the profession. Whenever we worked together in a film like Waqt Hamara Hai or in the serial Zabaan Sambhal Ke we ceased to be siblings. We were thorough professionals on the sets.”
She feels her brother was underrated as an actor. “People recalled him by the Sholay dialogue when there was so much more to him. He was really good in films like Kasauti and Andaz Apna Apna.”
Viju Khote’s death has left his sister bereft. “We were not twins. But were as close”.