By Chaitanya Padukone
Today, (Oct 11th) Bollywood mega-star Amitabh Bachchan has turned 79 years ‘young’! That’s because his ‘youthful’ exuberance and indefatigable stamina is an enviable benchmark possibly for those youngsters who get fagged out very fast. For me, Amitabh-Sir with his charismatic aura has always been an inspiring-icon of perfection. In terms of his success-story, diligent dedication, his resilience, his punctuality, his passion for re-inventing himself time and again, his super-stardom and his amazing ability to remain unassuming and accessible. From ‘Saat Hindustani’ to ‘Sholay’, from ‘Zanjeer’ to ‘Piku’, from ‘Deewar to ‘Aakhri Raasta’ and from ‘Black’ to ‘102 Not Out’, enthusiastic Bachchan-saab has dared to defy his conventional screen-image and prove that he is a versatile super-star actor ‘par excellence.
In my dynamic film-journalistic career, over the past three decades, the Big B has been a super-catalyst motivator. Many years ago, Amitabh-jee personally attended a felicitation event at Bandra, where on the stage he honored me with the prestigious K.A. Abbas Memorial Gold Medal and Trophy for ‘excellence in film journalism’.
Later, he briefly addressed the invited audience which included his actor-son Abhishek Bachchan, Raveena Tandon, singer Mahendra Kapoor besides a galaxy of other dignitaries. It was certainly a ‘crowning glory’ and overwhelming validation for me, to be honoured by iconic Amitabh –jee with a ‘gold medal’ which in turn was commemorating his acting-career mentor— acclaimed writer-director K.A. Abbas.
Also read: “If I failed in politics, the reason is I did not have the potential”, Amitabh Bachchan tells Jyothi Venkatesh
Years later, when I authored my first memoirs book ‘R D BurMania’, the erudite music-savvy singer-actor Amitabh-jee penned the curtain-raiser opening brief piece for my book. So gracious was benevolent Bachchan-saab, that he also prominently posted the front-cover of my book ‘R D BurMania’ on his Twitter ( Tweet no: 2300 ) and also on his Facebook with his encouraging priceless comments describing the book as a ‘well-deserved’ tribute to the innovative-genius composer-singer R D Burman.
It was a speechless yet emotionally humbling moment of validation for me. From a supreme actor, a great human being. From the ‘super-man-of-the-masses’ who as the exuberant, witty TV show-host is the ‘Mahaan-Maseeha-catalyst’ for thousands of KBC (Sony TV) smart quiz-contestants emerging lakh-patis and crore-patis during each season.
We wish iconic Birthday-Boy Amitabh Bachchan-saab a long, active, healthy, cheerful life studded with more glorious success all the way ahead.