Amitabh Bachchan has promised to speak about his old team mates soon – the stalwarts and colleagues he worked with. Part of his fan following, including this author, kept him reminding about this issue, and he now seems to be about to oblige us.
This made me to recollect all I have wanted to know from him and left the list inside his comments section at his latest blog entry. The list of my queries goes without any edits as bellow:
Sholay is the biggest example of how the movie critics could go horribly wrong. They had already trashed it down, before the crowds began swelling in in theaters, and how awesome it proved out to be, we know now. At the same time let me add here, the media or any other segment of our society (like the polity) may not be any different that what the rest may stand for. If India lacks in efficiency, while driving on roads, in honestly paying and collecting taxes, in governance and social make-up, then media could also not be expected to be any different. They too are the same CHALTAA HAI motto people!
With regards to your earlier hint that you might soon begin speaking about your early days, and the stalwarts you had a chance to work with, let me remind you some of the names and issues for the moment.
1. Please help us know how the “angry young man” tag got evolved with your early phase. There is this movie Namak Haram, which brings out your aggression and energy quite remarkably inside a plot where there are no fights to be undertaken; Zanjeer also got released during the same year. In fact, Anand too had a glimpse of your about-to-burst anger in a couple of shots. Had any particular director have a say in molding you into such developments, or did you start to bring it out on your own?
You once narrated, how you had complained your father “Hamein Kyun Paida Kiya”. Was this same dissatisfaction which later began surfacing up in your roles? Or would you say, this whole “angry young man” image was a fabrication by the media, and you never felt conscious towards it?
2. Please, let us know something about Hrishida and his movies like Abhiman, Mili, Chupke-Chupke and Namak Haram, and the impact they had had on cine career.
You had once agreed with an interviewer while speaking on the BBC Hindi service, that your career was on a pinnacle, oblivious of the true rise you were yet to achieve; this was soon after Abhiman’s success…any comments about it after so many successful releases?!
3. And yes, as an ardent Kishore Kumar fan, I’d also like to read something on him. It’s beyond doubt, he had had a great impact on your filmy career. One couldn’t imagine the kind of characters you would play without visualizing his electrifying playback.
At the same time, you were the only actors who could match fire with fire with your on-screen efforts to what KK did behind the scene…you always succeeded in portraying, and even added a few extra dimensions to what KK would sing. This was a fabulous combo that we KK fans are proud of. How challenging was it to act on his voice? Did you both have some kind of personal chats on how he should have sung and how you should have acted upon it? How contrasting is it to act on today’s singers? (notwithstanding the technical proficiency attained, the music has deteriorated in Bollywood over the years)
What was this discord between you and KK before his demise? It surely made us be deprived of some more great numbers!
4. Could you tell us the story behind your hair style, if any…the typical hair cut on your ears, and thickening at the back of neck? The Beatles used to have something alike…was it the influence of that era?
5. How far is the gossip true that Jaya ma’am had made fun of your TOOTEE CHAPPALEIN during your early days?
6. Anything on Amitabh-Rekha pairing? No pressure about this though!
7. Facts about how your association with the names like MM Desai, Prakash Mehra and Yash Chopra got evolved. Did yourself being (almost) in the same age group as MM Desai and Mehra help in the successful releases you later happened to make?
8. Your joining politics at a time you were occupying the first ten spots in Bollywood (as your equally successful fellow actor Jitendra had once famously said) meant that we couldn’t have as many releases as we might have had otherwise. Did you ever regret this decision in the years to follow? Movie fans do regret, on their own part!
9. What was going inside your own mind and that of your producers’, when you started giving the duds like Toofan and Ajooba a few years later? Obviously, you had ceased to continue mesmerizing the new cine goers by that time. Did you ever feel the pressure of age catching up with you in those days?
10. Why did you stop acting in the early-mid 90s?
11. And yeah, how could your ardent screen enemy Gabbar Singh, who was also your great real life buddy, be forgotten here…and also your longest running screen mate Shashi Kapoor….and your only (top-position) competitor Vinod Khanna, who recently, very honestly, accepted that he had lost to you in that war, and it was one of the reasons why he had to flee to Osho’s Pune Ashram. Strangely, the lay movie fan had no insight to this aspect (of his losing the battle, being the reason of his escape) in those days!
More names, points and suggestions later……