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Tag Archives: Amitabh Bachchan

The child is father of the Man.

After watching two-and-half-hours of the Amitabh Bachchan-starrer ‘Paa’, William Wordsworth’s lines from ‘The Rainbow’ never felt more true.

Or correct.

Or contextual.

Or more Bachchan. (Not necessarily in that order though!)

Cause these, after all, were simple lines that had inspired many literary, cinematic and musical offerings over the years. And in one moment, the lines symbolised the perfect takeaway from director R Balakrishnan’s ‘Paa’, a tale that dealt with premature ageing disorder, progeria.

And a story that only Bachchan could have done and, beautifully did, justice to.

‘Paa’, in many ways, is an ode to modern India and the relationships that it nurtures. It deals with new-age love. It reiterates that parental love is probably the most unconditional, non-transactional relationship available in today’s complex emotional marketplace. It shows that love often is sacrificed at the altar of politics and domineering parents. And yet again, in simplistic terms, it shows that children often are best crises managers and interlocutors.

For the Big B, as he’s popularly called, donning the garb of a 12-year-old boy and engaging in a child-like act was no mean feat. A man who loves to experiment, Bachchan got into the act from the word action. His movement, body language, contortion of the face — all showed that this was tailor-made for him. And that the thespian had done his homework. And more.

He had stepped into the skin of the character of Auro. He had internalised the character of the different-looking young school-going boy who lives with his single mother and grandmother. And whose outlet for most emotional angst is his PlayStation. The form of the 67-year-old Bachchan was incidental, his inside contains the soul of a young boy trying to hold his ground in an extremely cruel and competitive world.

The entry of a young political leader, who happens to be his biological father, promising to be the agent of change in everyday life throws Auro’s sheltered and cocooned existence into a spate of action. And thus begins his process of self-discovery. There is joy, and horror. And none other than the four-time National Award winner could have done justice to this.

Bachchan carries the simple to the sublime level. In a career spanning over four decades, he has always done that. And the beauty of it lies in his effortlessness. From the wronged son to the angry young man to the jilted lover to the grand doyen of not-so-happy Indian families, Bachchan has played to the gallery, and beyond. And showed that he’s an actor for all seasons, and many reasons.

If ‘Agneepath’ made Vijay Dinanath Chauhan a part of modern Indian lexicon, ‘Paa’ has proved that Auro is Bachchan’s crown. For a non-trademark Bachchan film, minus the baritone, the gravitas and the sheer presence, ‘Paa’ has blurred all divisions.

Today when Bachchan is picked for the National Award – his third as best actor – he has raised the bar. A bar that no one other than him can touch.

And something to which even his son will say, “Thanks, Paa. But you’re the greatest.”

By now, it’s no secret that Amar Singh makes for some real good entertainment. Whatever he does, he does in style. Be it a weekday or a weekend, Mr Singh sure knows how to keep the media busy. And in a tizzy.

With his pearls of wisdom, political and otherwise, here’s a man who says things, straight from the heart. And more often than not, that heart of his seems to have been his cause of hurt.

The Happy Family

How else do you explain the angst-ridden behaviour Mr Singh has displayed over the past few weeks? His tiff with Ram Gopal Yadav, brother of Mulayam Singh Yadav, his resignation from the Samajwadi Party posts and his subsequent statement that “physically invalid people like me are ready to be dumped” with a not-so-subtle reference to his mentor.

Dumped, did you say? But dumped, I thought, only happens in literary and real-life ‘boy-does-not-get-girl’ romances. And dumped happens in movies. And dumped happens to people like you and me in real life when the man says he’s got “issues” or the woman says she’s “not sure”.

But, ji, “dumped” doesn’t happen to folks like Amar Singh.

“Dumped” doesn’t happen to people who have the who’s who of Bollywood at their beck and call and themselves are on their speed dials. “Dumped” doesn’t happen to folks who are seen hobnobbing with the powers-that-be and the powers-that-will-be in the cold corridors of New Delhi.

But then, separation has never been easy – the world over. For friends. For lovers. For spouses. And for political mentors and their protégés.

For Monsieur Singh, the breaking away from Mulayam has not been easy. And it is showing. From a man who wore his heart on his sleeve, he has become a man who has worn his hurt on his sleeve in this winter of discontent. Like a cross between a lover spurned and a petulant child, he is now pointing fingers at his mentor’s coterie, conveniently seeking refuge in Short-Term-Memory-Loss and obliterating the fact that many a finger was raised at him during his kinship with Mulayam in happier times. Shifting sands, eh?

Last weekend, as a dejected Amar Singh poured his heart out, as only he can, one could sense a change. The histrionics were understated. Gone was the ferocious cry. Instead, it was replaced by plea and longing, much like a lost sheep wanting to be taken into the fold – any bosom will do for now. The angst was palpable, the hurt and betrayal peeping from the corners. And, above it all, the accompanying message remained: time to know my friends, seek new partners and make new resolutions (read: revive my political career).

For his friends Jaya (Bachchan) & Jaya (Prada), the sight of an almost-vanquished Singh is not happening. Which explains why the latter has lashed out at his detractors and asked them to back off. She also urged Mulayam to stop personal attacks on Singh, whom she sees as friend. And what is (political) friendship if you can’t quit together! Sanjay Dutt is a good friend, surely.

Crisis, it is often said, is a great unifier. Which is what explains his peace overture toward his once-upon-a-time sworn enemy, Mayawati. On hindsight, he may now attribute the enmity to being more a shared one (courtesy Mulayam) than an actual one. Since the separation, he has also been particularly kind to the lady at 10 Janpath. But then, there are no permanent friends and enemies in politics after all!

For some, moving on is not easy. The baggage of history, coupled with expectations, can be a killer combo. Ze Man knows zat — which is why he’s probably wondering if a known devil is better than an unknown one! Till the time he actually decides to pick the chosen one, no one quite knows what’s going on in his head. Or rather, in this case, his heart.

‘Cause, if you’re Amar Singh, then dil to definitely bachcha hai ji…

This was what I felt after meeting The Man. And couldn’t get over the feeling for a fairly long time.

Cause, after all how often do you get to meet the phenomenon called Mr Amitabh Bachchan? One life seemed just enough for this. Just for this…