Indira Gandhi helped Amitabh Bachchan to get a film
A prominent figure in the history of Indian cinema, he has won numerous awards for his performance and was called a one-man-industry during his peak days. However, besides being an actor, he is a versatile persona – a thinker, singer, television host, producer, entrepreneur etc. .. Well, here are few more interesting facts about the Shehanshah of Bollywood.
Amitabh Bachchan’s real and full name is Amitabh Harivanshrai Srivastav. Actually, his father Harvanshrai Bachchan, a famous Hindi poet of 20th century had adopted the pen name Bachchan thus Mr. Bachchan decided to carry this name only. When he was born his father was considering naming him “Inquilab” before fixing on Amitabh, which means “brilliance unlimited.” Amitabh has a keen interest in listening and reading patriotism stories.
He started his career as an executive in a shipping company in Kolkata and later worked as a freight broker. During his struggling days in Mumbai, he spent a few nights on a bench at Marine Drive, Mumbai. He loves to point out to that bench every time he drives past it.His mother Teji was one of Indira Gandhi’s closest friends and Amitabh was a friend of Rajiv Gandhi. He got one of his early roles in Resham Aur Shera because of a letter of introduction from Indira Gandhi, then prime minister of India. Mrs. Gandhi was a good friend and fan of Nargis Dutt so Sunil Dutt couldn’t say no to him.
Known for his baritone voice, Mr. Bachchan was rejected twice from the All India Radio. Radio ace Ameen Sayani too turned him down but is now glad that he did so. According to Sayani, had he given him a break, movies might never have happened and his career could have been threatened!
An affluent celebrity now, Mr. Bachchan’s first salary was Rs 500 and he was paid just Rs. 1,000 for his debut in the offbeat and black-and-white film “Saat Hindustani”.
A vegetarian and a teetotaler, Mr. Bachchan was voted the hottest vegetarian alive, beating Hollywood stars like Richard Gere, Dustin Hoffman, Alec Baldwin, Brian Adams and Paul McCartney in PETA’s poll. He follows a strict diet and prefers home cooked food.
An avid fitness enthusiast, he suffers from asthma and a rare muscular disorder known as myasthenia gravis. During Coolie’s shooting when Puneet Issar accidently punched him, the actor first bowed to the entire crew for a perfect shot before crumpling in pain outside minutes later. He hates to recall that accident.
Amitabh Bachchan loves reading and writing. He is an ambidextrous. He is fond of collecting pens and has a collection of over thousand pens. Mont Blanc gifts him a special pen every year on his birthday.
He has a great passion for suits, cars and watches. He owns more than a dozen cars. One of his cars has radial tyres that are normally used for Formula 1 races. The cost of each tyre is Rs 2.5 lakh. It is said that he never repeats his watches. He is very punctual and strict about timings.
His biggest regret is not to share the “growing up moments” of his children. “When they were growing up, I was working from morning to night. When I left, they were asleep, when I came back, they were asleep,” once he told a magazine. Even when they were young, he couldn’t visit their school as Shweta and Abhishek asked him not to visit them to avoid too much commotion because of his stardom.
His father’s, (whom he addresses as Babuji), demise was a great loss for him. His poems and literary works still inspire Amitabh Bachchan.
He was started being called Big B in late ’90s after his second comeback with Mrityudaata. His aura was so intense that according to ad pundits, a company even paid him Rs 10 crore for 10 days!
He has his own photographer and videographer. At every media interview, this team is present to cover the event so that nobody can tamper with his words. The pictures clicked by his crew can be seen on his social media accounts (blog, facebook, twitter).