“Star of the Millennium” Amitabh Bachchan carried the Olympic torch at London. Big B who was voted the greatest actor in the world by a BBC online poll and was the 1st Indian actor to have a waxwork at the famous Madame Tussaud’s in London.
Amitabh celebrates his 75th Birthday today on 11th October 2017. Let us reminiscence some rare trivia about the “Shahenshah“.
His Parents: Shri Harivanshrai Bachchan, an English Professor at Allahabad University was a well-known poet. His mother Smt Teji Bachchan who was a Psychology teacher was a social activist.
They have done a cameo in one of Amitabh’s best movies, Kabhie Kabhie where they played the role of Rakhee’s parents performing her Kanyadaan. Teji Ji also played the role of Lady Macbeth in her husband’s Hindi adaptation of Macbeth.
His Real Name: Amitabh was originally named Inquilaab by Harivanshrai Ji. Their family title was originally Shrivastava. However, Harivanshrai ji took the name Bachchan as a pen name and stuck to it. He also changed his son’s name from Inquilaab to Amitabh. Hence he came to be known as Amitabh Bachchan. We certainly cannot think of him as anything else. Can we, for instance, visualise him as Inquilaab Shrivastava?
Amitabh And Shashi Kapoor: During the Ivory-Merchant movie Shakespeare-wallah, starring Shashi Kapoor, there was a death scene where Amitabh played the role of an extra, standing as one of many mourners. Shashi, an established star then, walked up to him and asked him not to do these bit scenes, saying he was meant for better things. He also asked the Director to cut these scenes from the movie.
Later of course Amitabh and Shashi did as many as 16 movies together. Some of the memorable ones are Deevaar, Kabhie Kabhie, Trishul, Kaala Patthar, Do Aur do Paanch, Trishul, Shaan and Namak Halaal.
They also had one of the most memorable dialogues ever in Hindi movies when Vijay (Amitabh) in Deevaar asks “Aaj mere paas paisa hai, bangla hai, gaadi hai, naukar hai, bank balance hai aur tunhare paas kya hai:? After a pregnant pause Ravi ( Shashi Kapoor ) says, “Mere paas Maa hai”.
Amitabh, Prakash Mehra, Manmohan Desai And The Angry Young Man Image: Those days romantic movies ruled the box office and Rajesh Khanna was the reigning superstar. Amitabh with Prakash Mehra’s Zanjeer started a new trend of “angry young man” and soon took over as the new superstar. He had 9 super hit movies each with Prakash Mehra and Manmohan Desai.
A little-known trivia about Prakash Mehra and Amitabh is that they had gone to meet boxing icon Muhammed Ali in LA and Prakash wanted to make a movie starring Amitabh and Muhammed Ali together
Amitabh The Singer: Some of his songs have attained cult status such as “Mere Paas Aao Mere Doston” from Mr Natwarlal. “Rang Barse Bheege Chunar Waali” from Silsila which incidentally was penned by his father is one of the most popular “Holi” songs of all time. Amitabh also sang the sad version of “Jidhar Dekhoon Teru Tasveer” in Mahaan with Kishore Kumar singing the happy version. It indeed requires guts to sing a version of a song sung by Kishore himself and interestingly it was very much appreciated.
Happy 75th Birthday to the Legend.