He turns 70 today, and has worked in the film industry for 43 years. With so many years of media interest behind him, by now, it seems as though there’s very little left for Amitabh Bachchan to tell the world. Except that he isn’t going to hang up his boots any time soon.
At 70, what do fame, power, money and family mean to you? Which are the priorities?
Family first. Money, fame and power I don’t believe in, so I won’t even consider them. And fans, yes. I admire them for their continued affection.
After 43 years in the industry, have you come across anyone who can give you a tough fight?
I am just a proud member of the film fraternity and truly happy to be here. And I have never conducted myself as wanting to be somebody or thinking that somebody has to be me. Everyone is a superstar in my eyes. I think they are all wonderful ladies and gentlemen, who have excelled themselves in their craft. We don’t work in that fashion, at least I don’t. I am happy to be doing my work.
What do you think about old age?
I quite like the idea of growing old. It’s a natural phenomenon. Your body will slow down, you may not be able to climb steps as fast as you would want, you won’t be able to see as clearly, etc. These are physical attributes you begin to lose. I won’t call it bad, I would call it nature taking its own course. So long it doesn’t happen out of turn, it’s okay.
What’s the best thing about getting older?
Experience, I guess. The number of years that you’ve lived, seen incidents, learned from them and perhaps been able to pass on to the following generations.
Where do you find solitude?
It looks as though your larger-than-life persona follows you everywhere. I don’t look at it that way. When I want to spend time by myself I write, read or watch TV and my family understands. But most of the time, I don’t like to be alone. I want my family to be around me. Even if I am working, it’s nice if they come and just sit around. Sometimes I call them myself and we just sit in silence, not talking to each other. My family has been my support system all along.
Has the burden of this famous surname – Bachchan – been too heavy for your son, Abhishek?
No, why would I think in such a way? Hard work is what is most important and I am happy that he has learnt it in his own way. Wherever he has reached, he has done it with his own strength. God willing, there are many more years for him, so we don’t know!
After Aaradhya, are you looking forward to a grandson?
Not really. I will accept anything; I am not particular about genders.