On his 78th birthday on Sunday, October 11th, megastar Amitabh Bachchan thanked his fans, whom he lovingly calls his extended family and said that their love is the greatest gift for him. Amitabh took to Instagram, where he posted a photograph where the word “thank you” was written in many languages along with a picture of the cine icon with folded hands. As caption, he wrote: “Your generosity and love be the greatest gift for me for the 11th .. I cannot possibly ask for more.”
Speaking about his work, Amitabh is all set to star in a new multi-lingual mega project co-starring Telugu superstar Prabhas and actress Deepika Padukone. The yet-untitled film is slated to release in 2022. The multi-lingual film is backed by the South Indian production house Vyjayanthi Movies, popular for projects such as “Mahanati”, “Agni Parvatam” and “Indra”.
This is the first time Prabhas collaborates with Big B or Deepika. The two Bollywood stars have earlier worked together in the films “Aarakshan” and “Piku”. Big B’s other upcoming projects are Nagraj Manjule’s “Jhund”, the Emraan Hashmi co-starrer “Chehre”, and Ayan Mukerji’s action fantasy drama “Brahmastra”, co-starring Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Mouni Roy and Telugu superstar Nagarjuna.
Meanwhile, British-Indian Saurav Dutt has released his book, “Dear Mr Bachchan,” a book exploring the unique career of the star, who is also a cultural phenomenon and a global brand ambassador. The book explores the reasons behind the longevity of his stardom and how his screen persona continues to inspire many in India and around the world. It is available worldwide through Amazon, and released exclusively in India through Pothi.com.
Dutt’s book follows a 12 year-old boy from the poorest district of Mumbai, his cinematic obsession with the star and his dreams to help bring his family out of poverty, often emulating the angry young man of “Zanjeer,” the tragic anti-hero of “Deewaar” and the entertainer of “Amar Akbar Anthony.”
The boy even gets the chance to meet his idol, but is forced to come to terms with the reality of his aspirations, the complexities of a modern India, a judgmental society as well as following his own journey to overcome adversity. The book is an illuminating analysis of the nature of Indian, Asian and global stardom and overcoming one’s own challenges.
Dutt, who released a tribute to the Jallianwala Bagh massacre at the House of Lords in England on its centenary in April last year, said, “Amitabh Bachchan is a superstar in the truest sense of the word. His name and face have taken over the hearts of minds of people around the world for over 50 years. I’m hoping this uplifting story will be a real treasure-trove for fans and newbies alike, exploring an industry where fashions change every Friday, and understanding why and how Amitabh Bachchan has been synonymous with cinematic entertainment for so long.”
The novel will not be purely about the star but talks to modern India, and how poverty, class and religion fit within the shape of the dreams of this rising superpower nation, as well as about the virtues of Bachchan himself, which the boy in the novel wishes to emulate.
Dutt added, “Most of Mr. Bachchan’s virtues — like professionalism, determination and a never-say-die attitude — are traits that one can follow to achieve the ‘Excellence’ to which everyone aspires. I wanted to talk about the farming crisis in India, how someone like Amit-ji sails through different phases of life — the good, the bad and the ugly, about how hopes and dreams—especially in today’s India—require unwavering determination, willpower, patience and a disposition to take it all in one’s stride.”
This story, therefore, is not just about Bachchan, but also about a young, vibrant and ambitious India, encapsulated through the character of a boy who is told by everybody that success is not for people like him.”
Saurav Dutt is an author, political columnist and human rights campaigner. His acclaimed debut novel “The Butterfly Room” explored issues of domestic violence and homophobia within South Asian communities and has been showcased to leading political figures and human rights campaigners. His work for human rights and charity campaign work has taken Dutt to speaking engagements at the World Economic Forum, Iranian & Kurdish Women’s Rights Organization (IKWRO), Houses of Parliament and TEDx. He has been featured on BBC television and radio, Sky News and TIME magazine. He resides in the United Kingdom and Kolkata.