Amitabh Bachchan was born in Allahabad, in Uttar Pradesh, the largest state, which sends Members of Parliament to New Delhi. His father, famous Hindi poet Harivansh Rai Shrivasta adopted nom de plume Bachchan. When Amitabh entered the film industry he used the pen name as his calling card as an actor. In his early 20s he chucked up the job of a freight broker in a shipping firm called Bird and Co. Calcutta. He travelled to Bombay to struggle as an actor. His major break came with ‘Zanjeer’ in 1973. Subsequently he had big jubilee films every year consolidating his position as the ‘angry young man’. Amitabh’s versatile acting abilities came to the fore with comedies like ‘Chupke Chupke’ and Amar Akbar Anthony’. His recent movies like ‘Bagban’ and Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna’ ‘Khakee’, ‘Ek Rishta’ and ‘Nishabd’ where he plays an older character have reinstated his caliber. Naturally, he is the ‘star of the century’. It is surprising Amitabh was never nicknamed ‘Vijay’ (victory) considering this was his screen name in 17 odd films! He has influenced at least three generations of Indians.
He is married to well-known actress Jaya Bhaduri. In the 64th year of his life when he was, hospitalized frenzied prayers filled in. He recovered; blessed by the Gods he has faith in and trust of thousands of admirers. He has two children Shweta (married to industrialist Nikhil Nanda) and Abhishek (married to Miss World Aishwaraya Rai). Shweta anchors a program on NDTV channel. Abhishek is trying to make his own identity as an actor. Often accompanied by his son, Amitabh Bachchan walks post midnight from his Juhu residence to Prabhadevi to invoke the blessings of Lord Ganesh. How can the celestial stars not be in harmony when god-like Amitabh Bachchan himself needs a favor from them? He has been on a spiritual trek each time he succeeds or a predicament engulfs him. Whether it was a helicopter ride to a Himalayan shrine after the success of KBC (Who Wants to be Millionaire) or pilgrimage to Sanket Mochan temple in Varanasi to ward off trouble or trip to Tirupati Balaji, the God fearing actor has maintained his celestial contact supreme in confidence that they will never fail him. In turn, they have never harmed him- Even when his life was in danger, twice, in the last twenty-three years. And to think that the same actor yelled at God for being unfair to him on screen making the scene so famous that it is being hackneyed till today in films and commercials and voice over on radio!
Amitabh’s residences in suburban Juhu are surrounded by onlookers’ everyday. His homes ‘Prateeksha’ and ‘Jalsa’ are landmarks in the city. People come for his ‘darshan’ home while he goes for darshan to temples. The actor has succeeded, failed and succeeded again- risen like the phoenix each time. A pulse polio program registered its biggest ever success to his plea and appeal to parents on television to immunize their children. The chocolate company Cadbury used Amitabh to reinstate faith in their products. With a tarnished image, they approached no chocolate hero but an aging actor who could influence children and adults to return to their sinning ways to eating Cadbury chocolates! The sweet story continues. The faith remains unharmed. No chocolate hero could pull off the feat that Amitabh Bachchan did. From a hero to doing central character roles and now grandfather roles- Amitabh Bachchan has never failed fans.