the Shahenshah of Bollywood turns 75

Star of the millennium, shahenshah of the big screen or simply Angry young man; over the five decades of his acting career, Amitabh Bachchan has been the recipient of many  titles. Those have, however, not been quite enough to encapsulate the stardom and the reverence the actor has commanded in the Hindi film industry. As people’s superstar, he has only garnered love and respect from the industry.

And as the superstar turns 75 today, a milestone birthday for him, his co-stars, directors and well wishers have poured rich tributes Big B.

In the run up to his landmark birthday, Amitabh himself admitted that he wasn’t keen on celebrating his big day. “NO, there is no celebration of any kind for the 75th and there is no possibility of my presence here in the city (sic),” he wrote on his blog.

A still from the movie Sarkar

His Cheeni Kum co-star, Tabu has heaped praised on his birthday. “What can I say about him!” she says, still sounding in awe. “Cheeni Kum was one of the most important milestones of my career, and I’m so happy I got to work with him. He is adorable, and I love him. He is a legend; I was fortunate enough to share the screen space with this legend.”

A still from the movie Cheeni Kum

Ram Gopal Varma is one of Amitabh’s favourite directors in recent times. The star has worked with the filmmaker in movies like Sarkar, Nishabd and the very forgettable RGV Ki Aag. The director has only one wish for him on his birthday. “I so hate it that he keeps getting older,” Varma sighs. “So, I wish he will live for 200 years, because then I can pretend he’s just some 35-years-old now.”

Kalki Koechlin, who is a self-confessed fan of the actor, speaks about how the actor has been an inspiration to everyone. “I’ve grown up watching his films, and he’s such an inspiration to the many actors. I wish him good health on his birthday,” she smiles.

“I’ve worked with him in Khakhee and Shootout at Lokhandwala,” reminisces Tusshar Kapoor. “We spent quite a good amount of time working together, and I’d just like to say that he’s a benchmark for everybody, and not just for actors his age. He has broken barriers for what senior actors of his age can do. When you see him working, you can pick on a lot of things that actors need to do in between shots to make your work look better.”

Author and film historian S.M.M Ausaja, who is penning a book called The Bachchans currently, says that it’s time the government looked at awarding the thespian a Bharat Ratna. “Amitabh Bachchan is a rare combination of luck and talent. I always say that if you have luck, you can be a Jeetendra, if you have talent, you can become a Naseeruddin Shah. But it only takes a mix of the two to become an Amitabh Bachchan,” he smiles.

— With inputs by Dyuti Basu 

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