As Amitabh Bachchan turns 74 today I thought I’d re-post from December 2016. Happy birthday Amitabh!
In my post about the sport kabaddi here a little while ago I mentioned a mega, mega, mega, mega, mega star of Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan. Here’s another mega Bollywood star, Amitabh Bachchan – although he deserves another mega! I’m not sure that there’s anyone bigger in Bollywood! Amitabh Bachchan has worked as an actor, film producer, playback singer and television presenter in India in the last 4 decades. Rising to fame in the 1970s and 1980s in a series of hugely popular Bollywood movies, he’s now 74 and has starred in over 180 films! Staying with a friend in India who loves old Bollywood movies, I’ve seen Amitabh hundreds of times.
One of his most recent movies is Pink (2016) in which he plays a lawyer who comes out of retirement to defend a woman who’s charged with prostitution and attempted murder when she defends herself against sexual assault. The movie received universal critical acclaim and was apparently screened for police in Rajasthan to train them to be sensitive and sensible about women’s rights and dignity, things which are often severely lacking for many women in India.
Here’s a few other things about Amitabh Bachchan:
- He briefly entered politics in the 1980s in order to support his friend Ranjiv Gandhi from the Congress Party who was the Prime Minister of India from 1984 to 1989, after his mother Indira Gandhi, was assassinated
- He’s supported and donated large sums of money to many charities in India
- The Government of France awarded him their highest civilian honor in 2007 – the Knight of the Legion of Honor – for his contribution to cinema
- He was in his first Hollywood film in 2013, The Great Gatsby, directed by the Australian Baz Luhrmann – I didn’t know that!
- His daughter-in-law is another mega Bollywood star, Aishwarya Rai (now Rai Bachchan), who non-Bollywood watchers may recognise as a face of cosmetics brand L’Oreal and winner of the 1994 Miss World pageant
A little roadside restaurant in a little village in the Kutch district, on the road to the Great Rann of Kutch, Gujarat. My friend (the aforementioned Bollywood lover) and I took a rickshaw out to the Rann from the city of Bhuj, and stopped at a few villages along the way. My friend was absolutely delighted to know that we were eating lunch at the same place that the great Amitabh Bachchan had once eaten!