Amitabh Bachhan IN BRIEF: Before a tall, thin man became what we know today as Big B or as the first Angry Young Man of Bollywood, Amitabh Bachchan went through multiple phases of extreme physical and financial challenges, which almost broke him to shatters. In this section, we look at how he reacted to dire situations, we dissect his attitude towards mistakes and wrong doings, and the lessons he learned.
“Change is the nature of life, but challenge is the aim of life. So always challenge the changes not change the challenges” – Amitabh Bachchan
A tall and thin young man who was known for his voice entered the city of dreams. He had to face rejections because of these two qualities of his. Film makers rejected him for being 6 feet 3 inches and had no confidence in him. He auditioned for a voice test at All India Radio but was rejected.
In 1969 when he decided to give it up he got his first break with the movie Saat Hindustani for which he even won the national award but to get another role he had to struggle for another two years and then came Anand, Zanjeer which changed his life forever. (Amitabh Bachchan’s journey to the top, 2009)
Referred to as the Shahenshah of Bollywood, Star of the Millennium, or Big B. He has since appeared in over 190 Indian films in a career spanning almost five decades. Bachchan is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential actors in the history of Indian Cinema as well as world cinema. So was his dominance on the Indian movie scene in the 1970s and 1980s that the French director François Truffaut called him a “one-man industry.
Success did get him, he was steadily climbing the ladder. However, life is never easy, in 1982 Amitabh had a near death experience, the doctors and his family had lost hopes after he met with an accident on the sets of the movie ‘Coolie’.
He survived and recovered to become the a superstar for the coming years. Myasthenia Gravis, an ailment which struck him after the fatal accident, the disease makes one feel weak and the person keeps dropping his head but he was able to recover as it was in remission state. (Chakrabarty, 2012February)
Then came another huge downfall in his life at the age of 57. In the year 2000 when his movies flopped. He faced another major financial crisis in his life where he lost almost everything he had.
In such circumstances and after so many downfalls, anyone can lose strength to move on but he came back and made a fresh start through “Kaun Banega Crorepati” and film “Mohabbatein“. On his decision for KBC his wife Jaya Bachchan doubted the transition of a silver screen mega star heading to make a TV show. To which he exclaimed “beggars can’t be choosers”.
Amitabh once also mentioned, “Bad luck either destroys you or makes you the man or woman you really are”. His hard work and determination is what worked for him. In his earlier days where he was rejected due to his height and voice today they have become the pillars of his immense success and glory.
He accepted his failures and dealt with his health issues. This helped him to keep going, in one of his interviews he mentioned “Jo hogaya so hogaya. I am only keeping in my mind that I should not repeat my past mistakes now”. (Amitabh Bachchan – from bankruptcy to crorepati, 2015)
What we should learn from him is that if we dwell in the past we get caught in the cycle of cribbing and being sad. While if we accept it, we get space to come out of the cycle and that’s how we move on and work towards resolving and not repeating our mistakes.
He has won fifteen Filmfare Awards. He is the most nominated performer in any major acting category at Filmfare, with 41 nominations overall. The Government of India honoured him with the Padma Shri in 1984, the Padma Bhushan in 2001 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2015 for his contributions to the arts. The Government of France honoured him with its highest civilian honour, Knight of the Legion of Honour, in 2007. All these for his exceptional career in the world of cinema and beyond. Bachchan also made an appearance in a Hollywood film. Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby (2013), in which he played a non-Indian Jewish character, Meyer Wolfsheim. He was honoured with the Star of the Millennium award at the Big Star Entertainment Awards 2013
Amithabh is a prime example of someone being pegged back repeatedly in life. Personally and professionally, and yet he fought back. He is a perfect role model for all. Not only for the ones who want to become movie stars, but also for the rest of us. Hood example to extrapolate the learning and wear the same attitude to fight adversities in our own lives.