LEGEND: Indian Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan (AFP/Getty Images)


HOW CINEMATIC GIANT AMITABH INSPIRED EASTERN EYE READERS ACROSS THE YEARS

by ASJAD NAZIR

ON OCTOBER 11 Amitabh Bachchan celebrates his  77th birthday and this year marks 50 years of working in cinema. He is also this year’s recipient of Indian cinema’s most prestigious honour The Dada Saheb Phalke award. All the accolades are well deserved for
someone I regard as the greatest and most influential movie star in history. I have been lucky enough to interview him in five countries and been inspired every time. As a tribute, here are 18 of the timeless quotes he has given me over the past 18 years.

“Any kind of failure doesn’t bode well with us, but we want to learn from it, see where we went wrong and make sure we don’t make the same mistakes again.”

“It would be a delight to be challenged every day. I think all artists should be in a position where they have to deal with new situations and characterisations. It’s a great moment for developing your own creativity.”

“Do not look up to me. I am not worth it, look within, you shall be happier and greatly more satisfied.”

“I don’t know what tomorrow holds. If there is something there or a new frontier, I will give it a shot.”

“My fans are like extended members of my family and look upon them as being there with me not just for support, but also as them being able to share any issues or problems that they might have with me, which they do. I just feel that they feel I am sort of a father figure they can confide in.”

“Stay grounded and humble, work with integrity, be eternally thankful for the wonderful blessings bestowed in life, and love and respect all as equals.”

“Films are meant to entertain and engage audiences, but this needs to be balanced with the onus on filmmakers to raise awareness on issues that need to be addressed
in order for positive change to be facilitated.”

“You don’t always get it right, but that’s part of the learning, as long as you take the relevant lessons on board.”

“The greatest of achievements are ones within the actor. I know when I have given a good shot or a good performance, and that is valued more than any awards.”

“Well, every day is a new day and each new day provides a different challenge. One
has to look at the challenge positively, go out and try to give the best one can.”

“I don’t believe in these images of grandeur or being called a legend. I am grateful to people who talk like that and think like that, but we in the film industry are not what they think we are; we’re just normal ordinary human beings. I am someone who believes in being normal.”

“I believe this is the best time to be an actor in India because the industry is filled with new
technologies, fresh ideas and a whole bunch of youngsters at the helm of affairs. Having this is very attractive for any kind of creativity.”

“Yes. I try to learn from any criticism.”

“When I was growing up I always admired Dilip Kumar and Waheeda Rehmanjee. I thought
they were wonderful when I saw them on the big screen. Both of them still remain
close to my heart till this day.”

“I think Yusuf saab was phenomenal! When the history of Indian cinema will be written
it be before Dilip Kumar and after Dilip Kumar.”

“I don’t think that I have achieved anything and all these wonderful words
of role model and icon I have never believed in them and never will.”

“I’m very happy with the roles I am doing. I’m an actor and would do any role that comes
my way.”

“I love cinema because I do not know any other vocation that would earn me a living and help me run my kitchen.”