Har Dil Azeez and ‘Shahenshah’ of Bollywood, who has been entertaining people for five decades with his unique dialogue presentation and majestic acting, superstar Amitabh Bachchan has been unanimously selected for this year’s prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award. The moment the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar announced megastar Amitabh’s name for this award, congratulations started pouring in from all corners, especially on social media.
Big B’s humble response
Meanwhile, Big B, as he is fondly called, responded with simplicity and gratitude after listening to this pleasing piece of news, and tweeted that he was “humbled” and “grateful” for getting the award. He said, “There is a paucity of words searching a response .. for the generosity of words that pour in.. I am but deeply grateful and most humbled .. my sincerest gratitude.” He further added, ‘I don’t consider myself worthy of it.’
Further, Bachchan family along with people from all walks of life were jubilant after the announcement was made. The legendary actor’s charming personality has made both ordinary people as well as celebrities not only in India but rather all over the world love him from the core of their heart.
Cupboard full of awards
It seems awards have been chasing the famous actor. Apart from receiving the Filmfare award various times, he was honoured with the Padma Shri in 1984, and Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan in 2001 and 2015 respectively for his remarkable contributions in films and arts. One feather was missing in his cap was Dadasaheb Phalke, which is now finally fulfilled.
The fact is that Big B is a megastar who is equally loved and recognised in overseas territories too. Hence, he has been honoured with various awards and honorary Doctorate degrees from outside India also. In 1991, he was conferred with the Order of Afghanistan by the president of Afghanistan. The French government accorded him with its highest civilian honour ‘Knight of the Legion of Honour’ in 2007. In addition, the versatile actor became the first Asian living celebrity from Bollywood whose statue was installed at the London’s famous Madame Tussauds Wax Museum.
Debut in 1969
Amitabh Bachchan was born on October 11, 1942 to noted poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan (famous for Madhushala) and Teji Bachchan in Allahabad. He graduated from Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi. Acting was in his blood since childhood, so he moved to Mumbai to try his luck in the film industry. Bachchan made his debut in 1969 (incidentally government of India introduced Dadasaheb Phalke award in the same year) as a voice narrator in the film ‘Bhuvan Shome’. The first time he was seen on screen as an actor was in the film ‘Saat Hindustani’. He also played a supporting role in the 1971 successful movie ‘Anand’, where Rajesh Khanna was in the lead role.
Zanjeer, career changer
In spite of success eluding him in the initial years, he never lost his heart, but rather struggled and polished his skills to improve his acting. His immense labour fetched him dividend in the 1973 film ‘Zanjeer’, which really changed his fortunes and left others behind in Bollywood. Big B was dubbed as the ‘Angry Young Man’ for his portrayal of a police inspector who fights to remove injustices in the society. ‘Zanjeer’ truly established him as a superstar of Bollywood. Since then, success has been kissing his feet wherever he has turned.
Incomparable movies of Big B
Favourable result and gigantic public response to ‘Zanjeer’ opened the gates for the arrival of a new megastar. Following that, the significant success of ‘Deewar’, ‘Sholay’, ‘Trishul’, ‘Don’, ‘Kaala Patthar’ and many more films established Amitabh as the most accomplished leading star of Bollywood. Several actors of yesteryears like Shashi Kapoor, Shatrughan Sinha, Rishi Kapoor and others got more recognition and acknowledgement because they co-starred with the legendary actor.
Injury and recovery
It is not unfair to say that 1982 was the year of shock for the film industry and enormous fan following of Amitabh Bachchan. At the height of his popularity, while shooting for the film ‘Coolie’, he suffered a near fatal intestinal injury, when he fell onto a table and then to the ground during a fight scene. Almost the entire country united in praying for his speedy recovery. His well-wisher’s love and affection proved miraculous and brought him from the death bed back to the film industry again. Later, this film was released in 1983 and proved to be the most successful film of the year.
Venture in politics
Being from Allahabad, Bachchan and Nehru family had old cordial relations. Amitabh Bachchan and former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi were bosom friends. After the assassination of Indira Gandhi in 1984, Amitabh decided to engage in social welfare activities. He also fought 1984 Lok Sabha elections from Allahabad and got elected with a huge margin to the Indian parliament. However, politics is a different ballgame, so his political career was just for a short stint. Gradually, he withdrew himself from the political arena. The actor’s differences with some politicians cut short his political career and made him resign after three years in 1987 as an MP.
Downfall in career
After his political adventure, he once again returned to the studios of the film industry. Apart from the box office success of ‘Shahenshah’, many of his other films failed to pull in the audience. That was surely dark phase of his illustrious career. He remained almost in exile for a couple of years. Then he ventured to float Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Ltd. (ABCL), his own production house in 1996, but this step also proved futile.
From big screen to small screen
In short, the never say die attitude and the concept of moving ahead despite setbacks have made this man reach the pinnacle of success yet again. He appeared on the small screen in the year 2000 to host a knowledge based quiz programme ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ (KBC), which was the replica of British television game show ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire’? His exclusive presentation style as an anchor and host has today altered the chemistry of anchoring in India. This TV show became massive hit right from its inception and broke many TRP records.
AIR rejects for deep voice
Last but not the least, there is a unique story about Big B, that once he applied for a job in All India Radio (AIR-Akashvani). Incidentally, he was rejected from AIR because of his deep voice! Rather than feeling dejected, he tried his luck in showbusiness. Rest is all history. All in all, it is not unfair to say that success and Amitabh Bachchan, both are truly made for each other.