October 24, 2008

Amitabh Bachchan- Sorry, Scar(ry) is Scary

Posted in Men in News at 5:26 am by kailash

‘Service to mankind is service to God and not the other way’

Amitabh Bachchan is a well-known film actor from India. He entered the Hindi film industry in the mid 60s of the last century. He shot into fame as ‘babu mushai’ after the film ‘Anand’, where he excelled in the role of a doctor treating a cancer patient. ‘Namak Haram’ followed to establish him as a character actor of remarkable caliber. ‘Zanzeer’ proved his mettle as an action hero at the box office. And after ‘Sholay’ (1975) he became a super star and ruled the Hindi film world for over a decade. When he was accidentally stabbed during the shooting of an action scene for ‘Coolie’, people all over India prayed for his health crossing the barriers of caste, language and religion. He survived, but not for the Hindi filmdom. He took to politics and became a member of  the parliament during late Rajiv Gandhi’s time. Politics was not his cup of tea and so he remained a non-entity during his tenure. Then he initiated the Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Limited (ABCL) for corporate entertainment, but the company ended up in losses. When he was almost written off on all counts, the Star Plus TV channel chose him to anchor a quiz program ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’, on the lines of ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’, a popular TV show in the United States. Amitabh excelled as an anchor and the show was a mega hit. And then onwards there was no looking back for him. Amitabh reentered the film industry with a bang, though to play roles that suited his age. Interestingly he overshadowed the youthful stars and regained super stardom. During this period his son Abhishek Bachchan also entered the Hindi filmdom as ‘Refugee’, slowly gained a firm foothold and ended up by 2007 as the ‘Guru’ (Master). His, and the family’s charm was attractive enough for Aishwarya Rai, the 1994 miss world and the present heart throb of millions all over the world, to accept the proposal of marriage with him and enter Amitabh’s family fold. ‘Luck favors the brave’ is an oft quoted proverb, but Amitabh’s story suggests replacement of the word brave with talented. However, Amitabh is modest and attributes all this to God’s will. After his son’s marriage he paid a gratuity visit to quite a few religious places. It seems he placed a cheque for 5 million rupees at the feet of Lord Venkateshwara of Tirupati.

His talent, fate and actions make him look divine to many of his fans. Like any popular person, he too had his detractors from time to time. If one takes into account his recent utterances on his blog, where he referred a TV show ‘Kya Aap Panchvi Pass Se TeZ Hain?’ (meaning ‘are you better than a fifth class pass student’, and on the lines of a popular American TV show) as ‘panchvi (fifth class) fail’. The remark gains importance as the anchor person of that TV show happened to be Sharukh Khan, his rival and younger super star of the Hindi filmdom. Even many of his supporters (including our reporters) consider that the comment was not in good taste and did not conform to a person of his stature.

We may add here something from our past memory. In 1995, his company Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Limited (ABCL) conducted a contest all over India to identify new singing talent. After thorough filtering, ABCL picked up over 40 singers (male and female each) as contestants for participation in their Star Track show. The artists were invited to the then Bombay in early 1996 and lodged in expensive hotels. The show was anchored by Suchitra Krishnamurty (popular film star) and the music was conducted by Sharang Dev (well known musician). The show was supposed to be telecast on Door Darshan but had never seen light. That could be due to mismanagement by or even misfortune of the company. But the contestants (almost all from the middle class) were not paid the promised traveling expenses by air conditioned class till date. The amount ran to a few thousands each and was a considerable amount especially for the middle class. ABCL did not respond to their letters. Nor the company thought it necessary to be apologetic. And then the company’s finances were still good enough to produce a feature film ‘Tere Mere Sapne’ later. Interestingly, when ABCL was closed after a few years, all people, including the contestants, were wholeheartedly sympathetic to Amitabh.

However, after the grand resurgence, a person of Amitabh’s stature was expected to show concern for such past incidents and clear the arrears. The amount to be paid was much less than his gratuity to God. And even if it is not less, he is now rich enough to pay such past dues.

Scars are the privilege of soldiers and if they fight for the right cause, scars make them lovelier. For those other than soldiers – to be scarry is scary.  

Ever-learning nature made Amitabh a great actor. Hope this tip will be useful to him.  

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