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An unputdownable book on Big B

BIG B and his stories are ubiquitous. His films, his towering personality and his charisma have been spoken and written about umpteen times. Yet, Ajay Mahanayak, a small compilation in Hindi by Sunil Mishr does not stink of staleness or repetitiveness.

india Updated: Feb 20, 2006 11:13 IST

BIG B and his stories are ubiquitous. His films, his towering personality and his charisma have been spoken and written about umpteen times. Yet, Ajay Mahanayak, a small compilation in Hindi by Sunil Mishr does not stink of staleness or repetitiveness.

Spread over 127 pages, Ajay Mahanayak published by Medha Books of Delhi, was released at the World Book Fair last month.
The book got a good response, especially from the younger crowd. Sunil has been writing film articles in leading magazines for the last 20 years. He is based in Bhopal.

What makes the book stand apart is its lucidity and simple language. There is no overuse of grammatical phrases or idioms. The nearly 20 photographs in the book are a veritable treat to the eyes. Some of the pictures are rare and captivating.

The book contains some little known but interesting facts. Like, noted litterateur Sumitra Nandan Pant suggested the name of ‘Amitabh’ to Harivansh Rai Bachchan.

Harivanshji wanted his son’s name to be Inquilab. In around 21 films, Amitabh has been given the name Vijay. From ‘Deewar’ to ‘Lal Badshah’, Nirupa Roy was his onscreen mother in maximum number of movies. In the words of Jaya Bachchan, Amitabh is a person who likes to spend time alone.

These and several other facets of Amitabh Bachchan have been given in the book. The book in 24 chapters opens with Amitabh’s sickness which triggered a sympathy wave across the country.

Thereafter, it highlights the importance of 2005 for the superstar wherein each month of the year had a presence of Amitabh. Most of his movies of 2005 including ‘Black’ and ‘Bunty and Babli’ busted the popularity charts.

The book then treads through his ‘small screen, big presence’ via ‘Kaun Banega Kadodpati’ and gradually moves to the landscape where he made a foray into Bollywood, and how he carved a niche for himself through his meticulous skills.

His onscreen chemistry with his female stars has been highlighted in the chapter ‘Amitabh Aur Unki Nayakayen’. Some of his heroines including Waheeda Rehman and Rakhee transformed themselves as his mother in some later movies. His relation with his female stars has been depicted as ‘dignified and graceful’. Amitabh’s relation with Rekha finds a special mention.

Amitabh’s special ties with Hrishikesh Mukherjee have been narrated in a separate chapter. Both had a lot of respect for each other. Hrishida’s movies ‘Anand’, ‘Abhiman’ and ‘Namak Haram’ catapulted Amitabh to stardom.

In a nutshell, it is a piece which takes you down the memory lanes without taxing your grey cells. Despite knowing all the ‘big’ facts about Amitabh, this brings a fresh peep into the Big B’s journey over the years.