These are my Four Deviyaan. That's Mallika Noor Mehta to the far right. I guess you know the rest? Arundhati, Avantikka and Anandita. My girls!
Big B’s Big Day
Shall we just say Amitabh Bachchan has been declared the 8th Wonder of the World on his 70th Birthday? And why not? I cannot think of a single other actor in the history of cinema who has held his own for over forty years in as tough and competitive a business as movies? In an industry defined by the transitory nature of people’s love and admiration, here’s someone who soared to the pinnacle four decades ago, and pretty much stayed there. Yes, there have been a few hiccups along the way, and low periods, too. But somehow…. almost miraculously so, Amitabh has managed to hang in there, not as just another senior actor hired to play character roles in big ticket films, but , get this – as an undisputed Superstar, able to command a fawning audience on his own terms. That is a unique feat. And one has to hand it to him.
Amitabh’s equation with his fraternity is equally unique. Not one to be on buddy- buddy terms with too many hangers- on, today, Amitabh conveys the image of a magnificent lion… the unchallenged King of the Jungle. A lone player, reasonably happy in his own lair, surrounding by his pride. Amitabh remains aloof and somewhat detached from the lunatic life in the movies, even as he puts in hours and hours of hard work at a pretty relentless pace. Men half his age can’t or refuse to keep up. But this guy carries on… it’s a job, and someone’s got to do it. It is this admirable commitment to his chosen profession that has got Amitabh to where he is. Nothing more, nothing less. His positioning today is so phenomenal, it would not be an exaggeration to call him The Untouchable.
It wasn’t always this way. Amitabh had to confront crises that might have destroyed lesser beings. Crises, in the professional and personal realms. That he rode them out without a big dent to his halo, is remarkable. There aren’t too many people who can claim to know Mr. Bachchan. Perhaps he prefers it this way. He has his loyal acolytes who’d happily give an arm and a leg for him, but those are anonymous, discreet individuals, content to be in his orbit, demanding nothing from the man, but a few minutes of his attention. Apart from family members, his close friends remain the ones he made decades ago.There is no space in his crowded life for anyone else. Despite his killer schedule, he manages his relationships efficiently, maintaining a healthy balance between his career and personal priorities. For the past seven years, he has stayed away from alcohol. His health regimen is equally well calibrated, be it the vegetarian food he prefers or the disciplined exercise routine he sticks to. Amitabh’s strict regime is worth emulating.As an actor, he does what he is paid for - he acts.He is alarmingly punctual on the sets, and comes well prepared , lines memorized, make up in place. Compare this to the roguish conduct of far younger stars ( or even some of his contemporaries), there is a key lesson in there for those aspiring to his exalted position. Once on the set, he focuses on doing the best he can to interpret the director’s vision. Zero interference, zero meddling. Once ‘pack up’ is announced, the man is off to occupy other worlds, pursue other passions. Blogs, Twitter and more recently, Face Book, The Big B at 70 is still a hyper active player and presence across platforms.
While watching the utterly captivating ‘English Vinglish’, a simple yet telling line flashed on the screen : 100 Years of Indian Cinema. 70 Years of Amitabh Bachchan. Take a bow, Sexy Sam…. the best is yet to come!