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Family values first: Big B

The superstar of the Hindi film industry is still a believer in 'family values' and holds them dear.

india Updated: Aug 30, 2003 18:14 IST

The King of Indian cinema, Amitabh Bachchan – the phenomena - still rules the Indian film industry and makes a permanent dent in just about every Indian’s heart!

The elder son of acclaimed Hindi poet and scholar, Harivansh Rai, and Teji Bachchan, Amitabh Bachchan still gets moist eyed when he mentions his father.

“Babuji instilled in us the values of Indian culture and tradition. Though he is no more he is always my guiding force. It is because of his blessings that we have achieved this fame and name”. He regrets the corroding family values in today’s generation and says, “We expect that when we are old and helpless our children will look after us. But the modern generation is not giving due attention to this fact”.

Speaking on the music release of B R Chopra’s Baghbaan (releasing on October 3) – a family drama - where the parents (Bachchan and Hema Malini) sacrifice everything to nurture their four children, only to be left on their own in their twilight years, Amitabh said that, “I’m a believer in joint family system. We should all take the onus upon ourselves to look after our aging parents and elders for they selflessly spend their entire life and all their savings to raise us in their best capacity. And as per our culture, it should be our duty to look after them when they need us most.”

One who practices what he preaches, Bachchan is known to have spent sleepless nights over his father’s bedside during his illness. He had created a virtual ICU with all the top medical facilities within his house and took special care of his father’s needs.

Modesty is the trademark of this volcano of talent who at 60, admits that, “I’m grateful to all my producers and directors who are still giving me a job at my age. Chopra Saab had this story for the last 40 years and he could have taken anybody for this role but he chose me and I’m ever grateful to him for that.”

His forthcoming ventures are Kaizad Gustad’s Boom, Khakee with Ajay Devgan, Farhan Akhtar’s Lakshya, Zamaanat, Kyon Ho Gaya Na and Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Black to name a few.

A multifaceted personality – an actor, dancer and entertainer par excellence with that resonate talent in music, singing comes but naturally to this icon who is known to set his own style in whatever he does – be it films, television or advertising. He would however like us to believe otherwise.

“I will get a kick from Sudesh, (Sudesh Bhonsle gives playback for Bachchan) for taking over his job, but it was simply thrust on me and I’m thankful to my music director who still has faith in me”. Bachchan fans will get to hear the mega star sing after thirteen years’ sabbatical post Silsila as he lends his voice to four songs in a B R Chopra flick.

Known to hold dear to his roots, Bachchan never misses an opportunity at mentioning his fondness for his native homeland - Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh. Bearing testimony to this is his constant fascination for Holi songs – the latest being one in Awadhi for Baghbaan, which he sings in tribute to his father.

“I’ve grown up listening to the folk songs of Uttar Pradesh, especially in Awadhi. I have been brought up in that cultural environment where babuji’s writings and the folklore of my birthplace have always influenced me. Therefore singing holi in Awadhi is my tribute to my father who hails from that region.”

How does he manage to keep his cool under constant media attention and the arch lights? Not one to pass the buck, he takes a dig at Salman Khan and says, “The lad inspires me a lot. I don’t know how he manages to remain so cool in the face of any adversity? But whatever it is, I’m always with him and I’m always going to be there for him in future”.

Amitabh Bachchan, who has been facilitated with numerous awards – the most recent being the Achiever of the Year for the fastest growing brand equity, maintains a strict fitness routine. A vegetarian by choice he has a personal trainer to tone his body. “My trainer makes sure that I go through the grind every day and god willing, by next year I might be able to give Salman a run for his money with looks to match his body” humoursly saysBachchan.

Considering himself fortunate to get a second chance at showbiz playing his age with yesteryears’ co-star Hema Malini, he is all praise for her talent and beauty. “I’m fascinated by Esha Deol’s ‘younger sister’ Hema ji” says he humorously, “who continues to grow younger by the day as effortlessly as we age with each passing year. She is dignity personified and has lent tremendous values and culture to our industry.”

Admitting that age is fast catching up Bachchan drives inspiration from the young. Says he, “it is always the young who inspire him to hold my own amidst all the competition as I sometimes wonder at their sense of survival and source of energy. They teach me a lot in that.

First Published: Aug 30, 2003 11:40 IST