Sunday, October 11, 2009

Kab Tak Bachchan?

I still recall a cover of Sunday magazine in end-80s. It had Anil Kapoor in full unshaven, black-shirted, shirt-unbuttoned glory. And the cover story was 'The Next No. 1?' - which also featured an interview with Amitabh endorsing Anil's numero uno status?
Anil Kapoor was the hot property then, with hits like Tezaab, Ram Lakhan and Parinda under his belt and I thought it is only normal that Amitabh - nearing 50 then - now eases into 'character' roles.
Felt a bit sad because there were so many roles I wanted to see him do. All his roles had been in the conventional mode and that was a little disappointing. In fact, I hoped that Satyajit Ray would make a film with him. Sigh!

About two decades after that Sunday issue, I read an article in Hindustan Times last week that a study has found MS Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar, Shahrukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai to be more powerful brand endorsers than Amitabh Bachchan - who was the only sexagenarian (actually, the only one about 45!) in the Top 10.
In between, of course, there have been many obituaries like this one.

For the last god-only-knows-how-many years, Zee Cinema has been running Shanivaar ke Raat, Amitabh ke Saath. SET Max is going on and on with Ab Tak Bachchan. Surely, SRK now has a decent body of films to let us spend successive Saturday evenings with him?
Rajesh Khanna refused to work with him after Namak Haraam. Vinod Khanna became an Osho follower. Shatrughan Sinha alleged that AB got his roles chopped. Mithun's lobby claimed the same with him. Anil Kapoor did not have the best of relations. His battles with SRK are now part of industry folklore. I am seriously hoping that Shahid or Ranbir don't get into a tussle with him!
Of course, not forgetting VP Singh, Raj Thackeray and their ilk...

I mean, give the man a break.
Two generations of Bollywood have been squabbling with him now and to be fair, he has not held back the punches either!
It is time that we found newer heroes to battle with.

When Manmohan Desai famously said, "Amit is like Haley's Comet. A star of his stature comes once in 73 years.", it sounded like a fond exaggeration for his favourite star. Now, it seems almost accurate.
Hang in there, Mr Bachchan. Your successor is exactly 6 years away!
And guess the coincidence? You have six more roles from this list to tick off!
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