By Rajesh & Suneel V. Gaur
The megastar turns 70 on October 11
Megastart Amitabh Bachchan who turns 70 on October 11, once said, "Everyone must accept that we will age and age is not always flattering."
Though he mouthed the words himself, his very success contradicts the very notion. Amitabh Bachchan may be growing old, but he has shown no signs of slowing down and has indeed been the perfect example of ‘aging gracefully’. In an era starkly different from his time, the seventies and eighties Bachchan still holds a firm place in the industry and commands a sense of power and respect that is unmatched till date.
Amitabh, despite his unconventional looks managed to make a mark for himself and stand out in the glamour world of Bollywood, on the basis of his immense talent and the need he fulfilled in the changing society of his times. Though Amitabh is the favourite of the majority of cinegoers, Amitabh’s favourite actors remain Dilip Kumar and Waheeda Rehman.
It was in 1973 that Prakash Mehra, after being rejected by the top actors of that time like Dev Anand, Raaj Kumar, etc. went to Amitabh Bachchan and offered him the role of Inspector Vijay for the film ‘Zanjeer’. This revenge saga, came like a blast of fresh air in the midst of the popular romantic films and established Amitabh as the ‘Angry Young Man’. It has been 40 years since the film released and Amitabh has not looked back since then and is still a force to reckon with. In the ensuing period he gave film lovers great hits like ‘Don’, ‘Trishul’, ‘Sholay’, ‘Majboor’, ‘Mr. Natwarlal’, ‘Naseeb’, ‘Coolie’, ‘The Great Gambler’, ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’, etc. Though some of his films may not have done well Amitabh has never failed as an actor.
With ‘Kabhie Kushi Kabhie Gum’, Amitabh was freed from the shackles of playing the lead actor. Amitabh took on different shades of characters in movies like ‘Aks’ and ‘Black.’ Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali gave him a complex character in ‘Black’. The nuances of the character were so well brought out by Amitabh that it turned out to be an award-winning performance. He was also greatly appreciated in films like ‘Baabul’ in 2006, ‘Cheeni Kum’ in 2007, ‘Paa’ in 2009.
Recently he regaled his fans with ‘Buddha Hoga Tera Baap’, in which he gave a superlative and effortless performance which reminded one of the days when he was the ‘angry young man’ of the silver screen.
In addition to the many awards he has won, Amitabh has also been honoured with the Padma Shri in 1984 and Padma Bhushan in 2001. The hallmark of this actor lies in his consistency of churning out one great performance after another. Amitabh is also involved in a lot of humanitarian activities and does a lot of charity work. On the personal front he has been a great son, a loving husband a doting grand father and an inspirational father. Reams and Reams can be written about Amitabh but it would still not do justice to the man’s great talent and humility.