NEW DELHI: The world knows him as Bollywood's shahenshah, but he prefers to be called the son of late poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan. Megastar Amitabh Bachchan says he has been in the public eye from the day he was born but has no legacy of his own to leave behind.
The actor, who has successfully transitioned from the "angry young man" to shahenshah to Bollywood’s most globally-known ambassador during his over four decades-long career, says his father's public presence is far greater than his.
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"It is coming on to 50 years in public life... That is as far as I am personally concerned... But I have been in the public life from the day I was born. I was always the son of Dr Harivansh Rai Bachchan, eminent poet and litterateur, him having a public presence far greater than mine," Amitabh said in an interview. "I have no legacy... My father's legacy is what I am interested in and I shall try always to further it."
Amitabh, who is looking forward to the release of his next film 102 Not Out, has time and again penned his feelings and thoughts about his bond with his father in his elaborate blogs. Earlier this year, he had also expressed displeasure over the stipulation in the copyright law which allows exclusive rights to heirs of original literary work for 60 years after the author's death.
The 75-year-old, who also enjoys reciting his father's works, especially Madhushala at public events, hopes he has passed on his father's wisdom to his son and actor Abhishek. "Memories with my father and time spent with him are personal... But yes, lessons learnt from him would certainly be passed on to Abhishek," added Big B.
Asked how these were being passed on to the grandchildren, Amitabh said, "These are family-oriented. Each family has their own conduct and behaviour, and they are executed in a manner where the next generation continues the legacy of the past. One prays and hopes that this temperament continues for posterity too."
Amitabh started his journey in showbiz as one of the seven protagonists in Saat Hindustani, and then went on to feature in the Rajesh Khanna-starrer Anand. But once he got noticed in 1973’s Zanjeer, there was no looking back.
People remember Amitabh as the towering lead in films like Deewar, Don and Sholay. Many appreciate his later work in Black, Paa and Piku, and some just love to watch him bring characters of different shades alive on the screen.
From touching the pinnacle of stardom to days of bankruptcy, to bouncing back into the game and seeing a meteoric rise, Big B has done it all. "I never dreamt of being where I am today, not that I am in some special space now, but dreams of the young are never constant, at least mine never were. We keep imagining things according to prevailing circumstances. And circumstances keep changing rapidly," he said.
The icon feels it is very important to taste failure to value success. "Criticism," he continued, "is healthy. If not, we would all be living in a Utopian world, and we know that is not possible. Abuse, negativity, criticism are the most important elements of our growth. We must know what the rest of the world is thinking of us and our work, and learn from those outputs. It's like failure; unless you fail, you will never know what success is."
102 Not Out sees Big B as centenarian father to his 75-year-old son - essayed by Rishi Kapoor - who wants to break the world record of being the oldest man alive. The record is held by a 118-year-old Chinese man. The film opened on Friday, May 4. After this, Amitabh will next be seen in Thugs of Hindostan, Brahmastra and a few other film. “Then there is also Kaun Banega Crorepati," he added.
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