“My Childhood Idol…”
This week my hero has turned 76 and it’s been a big dream to pen a few lines on “Big B- The living legend”. Am sure you all have read about him and know about him. But this is a tribute to him in my own way. He has been a hero of mine from the time I remember. I still have a few vague memories of my childhood days. I used to tag along with my parent’s hands and go for his movies and I remember how I cried when he dies in Deewar and Sholay. I never understood that it was a scene on the screen. I used to keep pondering how he came back alive when his next movie was released. As I write this now and rewind through those memories, a big smile comes on my face. I am a big die hard fan of Big B and its sheer admiration and hero worship of the living legend that is making me write this blog.
Amitji was born on 11th October in 1942 to Harivansh Rai Bachchan, a Hindi poet, and Teji Bachchan. He was to be named Inquilaab -long live the revolution. But his father’s friend Poet Sumitranandan Pant suggested putting his name as Amitabh -the light that will never die. Amitji adopted his father’s pen name Bachchan instead of Shrivasta. And that later stuck on as his surname. His mother was a big influence on his career. She insisted him to take the center stage because she had a keen interest in theatre and was even offered a feature film. He later married his co-star Jaya Bhadhuri.
He made his debut in 1969 in Bhuvan Shome as a voice narrator. And acted as one of the seven protagonists in Saat Hindustani. Anand, in 1971 got him the Filmfare best-supporting actor for the role as a doctor alongside Rajesh Khanna. He had 12 flops and two hits to his credit. At the age of 30 his career took a turn, he gained popularity in the early 1970’s. The Duo screenwriters Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar(Salim -Javed) wrote the story script and screenplay of Zanjeer (1973). The trends changed from romance films to crime action films. It pioneered a new image of Big B as an explosive person who fights back. Thus the “Angry Young Man was Born” was considered the most iconic performances. He received his first Filmfare award for Best Actor. I still remember Zanjeer, the white horse bracelet that kept haunting Amitji in the movie did have a great impact on my mind too as a small kid. The screen name Vijay became his favorite screen name in about 20 odd films. Deewar and Sholay followed. He worked with top Directors Prakash Mehra, Yash Chopra, Manmohan Desai, Hrishikesh Mukherjee etc and later on with Aditya Chopra, Karan Johar, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Ram Gopal Varma, etc.
He became one of the most successful heroes in the film industry. I was learning in school when he met with the major accident at the sets of Coolie in Bangalore. A splenic rupture required an emergency splenectomy. He remained critically ill, I used to light candles and pray on my knees for his recovery. I never missed a day of prayer for him till he recovered completely. Everyone who saw me do that thought I was crazy. I admired, loved and adored him, the prayers that were said for him by the people were overwhelming. Amitabhji dominated the industry throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s
#My favorite movies of Amitabhji *…
*Zanjeer-a star is born, a new trend changed the film scenario to crime action films. An honest cop was being featured for the first time with the ruthlessness that was never seen before.
*Deewar-a superb movie had a very good screenplay, story, and was backed up by power packed performance. It has been ranked as the top 25 must-see films of Bollywood. It was famous for its dialogues and the last death scene.
*Sholay -An all-time favorite of mine, a classic in its own way. It was declared the film of the millennium. When Jai breathes his last in Veeru’s arms, Jai walks away with the complete sympathy. It is also ranked as the top 25 must-see films of Bollywood.
*Kabhie Kabhie-a new dimension was brought to the angry young man when he played the romantic hero. The theme was much ahead of its times of mismatched couples and in the nature of love. The film was well received by both critics and the audience.
*Amar Akbar Anthony-where he plays a rogue with a big heart, he proved himself to be a master of masala entertainment.
*Don-he plays a double role, its based on a leader of the underworld gang and his look alike Vijay.
*Shakthi-he was personified as the angry young man and was accepted by the masses. He co-starred with veteran star Dilip Kumar, in the movie they engage in a war of words.
*Agneepath-he portrays as a mafia don the dying Vijay seeks his final redemption in his mother’s lap.
*Piku-its an outstanding and brilliant movie in every aspect with an absolutely brilliant performance by Bachchanji. It was exceptional and was worth watching him as an old cranky man suffering from chronic constipation. One of his best performances of his career.
*Paa-Amitji’s performance got him favorable reviews, the character Auro makes you laugh with his witty one-liners on life and love. And does give a few gentle tugs at your heart in the subtle emotional scenes.
*Pink-was a brilliant movie and his brilliant performance. He appeared in the women-centric courtroom as a retired lawyer suffering from bipolar disorder. He shines as always in a restrained but powerful performance.
*Black-was a superb movie, he was portrayed as an aging teacher of a deaf and blind girl. His performance was unanimously praised by critics and audiences.
*Baaghban-is a picture very close to my heart, an emotional story which portrayed the emotional bond of parents and children.
As an actor, he continued to perform a lot of characters that received critical praise for his performances. He also acted in a Malayalam movie Kandahar with co-star Mohanlal. And made his debut in a Hollywood movie “The Great Gatsby” in a special appearance.
In 1984 he won the elections with the highest victory margin in the history of general elections. He resigned after 3 years. He was framed in the Bofors scandal and falsely alleged. Life changed for him when he joined politics. He joined politics to help his friend Rajiv Gandhi but that was the wrong step.
He acted in 190 films. He is regarded as one of the greatest and most influential actors of Indian cinema. He won many awards and accolades in his career including 4 national film awards as Best actor and 15 Filmfare awards. He was honored with the Padma Shri in 1984 Padma Bhushan (2001) and Padma Vibhushan in (2015). He was the first artist to receive the Filmfare lifetime achievement award established in the name of Rajkapoor (1991). And was crowned as the Superstar of the Millenium (2000). He was voted as The Greatest Star of Stage or screen by BBC. He became the first living Asian to have been modeled in a wax at Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. (2000). Statues were installed in Newyork, Hongkong, Bangkok, Washington DC and in Delhi.
His voice has always been a big blessing. The deep baritone voice gave him an opportunity to become a narrator and presenter for many programmes. And he became a playback singer too. He first sang for Mr.Natwarlal. He has lent his voice to big films like Bhuvan Shome, Shatranj Ke Khiladi, Lagaan, March of the Penguins. Jodha Akbar, Parineeta etc.
In 2000 KBC was hosted by Amitji and it brought back all the charm and glory he much deserved. The show became a massive hit with audiences and TRP broke records The show grabbed all major awards. The love and admiration every person had for him were expressed when they met him at the show. What else could a person want in life? The blessings and good wishes that kept on coming for him were boundless. Big B was a hero and a great human being in everyone’s hearts. Now KBC is in its 10th season and the love and admiration have increased many a fold.