Monday, October 11, 2010

68 sand sculptures to mark Big B's birthday in Allahabad

68 sand sculptures to mark Big B's birthday in Allahabad  

Allahabad, Oct 11 (IANS) An artist Monday celebrated megastar Amitabh Bachchan birthday in a unique way by creating 68 sand sculptures of the superstar around another 11 feet sand sculpture of the actor in this Uttar Pradesh district, which also happens to Bachchan's native place.

R.K. Chitera, 26, prepared Bachchan's sand sculptures along the banks of the river Ganga as Bachchan turned 68 Monday.

"I am his (Bachchan) big fan... It's just a small effort to express my feelings for the great actor, who has fans not only in India but across the globe," Chitera told reporters in Allahabad city, some 200 km from Lucknow.

"I created the sculptures on behalf of residents of Allahabad as they wanted to mark his birthday in a special way... I am quite sure that with the help of media persons, Amitji would surely come to know about the unique style in which his birthday was celebrated in his home town," he added.

It took nearly six hours for Chitera to complete the sand sculptures.

"All the 69 sculptures (including 68 sculptures each of 2 feet) are more or less same. They all depict Amitji in a cheerful mood... The megastar is smiling in all the sculptures," said Chitera, who claims he has not missed out any single movie of the superstar.

People started converging near the banks of the Ganga, since 7 a.m. when Chitera started creating the sculptures.

Later, fans of Bachchan assembled at the site in large numbers and offered prayers for his long life. During the process, the portraits were also showered with colourful flowers.

"Besides his (Bachchan) contribution, his association with Allahabad makes him very close to us... People of Allahabad feel Amitji is like a family member to them," said Viresh Shukla, a resident of Civil Lines area, who along with several others, prayed for the actor in front of his sculptures.

Pawan Kumar, a student of Allahabad University, who was also present at the site said: "Amitabh Bachchan is a role model for many. It's been a long time since he (Bachchan) visited his home town. I hope Chitera's work would serve as an invitation for the superstar and he visits his hometown soon."

Happy Birthday Mr. Bachchan


Bollywood wishes good health to Big B on b'day

Bollywood wishes good health to Big B on b'day  

New Delhi, Oct 11 (IANS) Good health and happiness is what members of the Indian film fraternity have wished for megastar Amitabh Bachchan, who turns 68 Monday.

Bipasha Basu, Riteish Deshmukh and Uday Chopra among others, took to microblogging site Twitter to wish Big B, who has dedicated over four decades of his life to showbiz.

Bipasha Basu: Dear sir, Happy Birthday! Continue to inspire us with your enigmatic talent and personality! You are a rock star!

Uday Chopra: Wishing you a supremely mind pumping happy birthday Amit uncle...lots of love.

Riteish Deshmukh: Wishing my most favourite co-star a very happy Birthday. Love always.

Sophie Chaudhary: Wishing the most formidable, inspirational, brilliant Amitabh Bachchan a very happy birthday! May it b filled with good health and wonderful times sir!

Vishal Dadlani: Happy Birthday, Sir. Much love, much respect! God bless you with health and happiness, always.

Shekhar Ravijani: Wishing u a very happy birthday sir!!! Lots of love and respect.

In return, an overwhelmed Amitabh posted: "To all that have sent me birthday wishes my sincere gratitude and love...I can give nothing else in return but that...and more of that.

Keyword Amitabh Bachchan Shweta KBC Kaun Banega Crorepati


Happy Birthday Mr. Bachchan

Happy Birthday Mr. Bachchan Happy Birthday Mr. God?

Quiz time with Amitabh Bachchan

Quiz time with Amitabh Bachchan

Amitabh Bachchan  is a busy bee a couple of days ahead of his 68th. He is shooting simultaneously for his new film Power, directed by Raj Kumar Santoshi, and Kaun Banega Crorepati

A few nights ago he stole the show walking the ramp for Karan Johar. His energy is at an all-time high. 

Excerpts from a tête-à-tête. 

So, all set for the birthday celebrations at home? 
Hold on! There will be no celebrations at home. Of course, if people come over unannounced, they're most welcome. I'll be opening KBC this day. I have been working late into the nights recording promos for the show. 

Is Rajnikanth coming to Mumbai for your birthday? 
There are no such plans. But we've great affection for one another. I met Rajni for the first time in Chennai when I was shooting at the AVM Studios. He came across and met me. 

We've been friends ever since. He's such a humble and simple human being. So down-to-earth... how he remains that way with the kind of fan-following he has is a mystery. 

His wife has been a wonderful support. She has brought up their children so well. Every time I am in Chennai, I call and visit him. We call each other whenever the need arises. 

What did you think of Robot? 
What a massive achievement! Great entertainer. It's all Rajni and Shankar and their hard work. 

On the eve of your birthday you rocked on the ramp. 
Thank you... Kya Karen, karna padta hai kissi terah. 

How do you it? 
Do what? 

Keep crossing new thresholds in your career? 
I don't know about that. I had walked the ramp just once... no twice before, but both times for a cause. This time, I did it because Karan (Johar) asked. I can't say no to Karan. He is family. 

Walking the ramp looks easy enough from the other side. When you look at the models doing it you say, 'Hey, it's not a tough job at all.' But once you go up there you really start admiring them. It's not just a simple walk. It's actually a nightmare. 

This time you seem very comfortable with your television appearance. 
I'm going back to KBC after 10 years. I remember in 2000 when I did the show I was raw to the medium, very hesitant very nervous. That hasn't changed. 

Anytime I go in front of the camera for any medium there will be apprehensions. Creativity is an ongoing process. No matter how professional you are, it can never be enough. One can never be fully comfortable on television. It's a frightening medium for me. 

You seem to enjoy your interaction with the aam aadmi on KBC. 
Yes, they all have such an interesting back story... where they came from, how they grew up. 

This time on the show we actually follow the lives of the contestants to their roots. I actually get to see where they came from, what their parents and family think, etc. 

The human-interest level is high this time. KBC can now be a life-changing moment for the contestant. 

There are people coming on the show from places where the show did not reach earlier. For them KBC is an opportunity to make the kind of money in a hour that they've never seen before. 

Television will occupy a lot of your time this year. 
KBC will go on only until November or the first week of December. I have started shooting for Raj Kumar Santoshi's Power, which will be followed by Prakash Jha's Aarakshan. Then there's Balki's film. We've finally zeroed in on a subject. It will be produced by AB Corp Ltd.

Keyword Amitabh Bachchan Shweta KBC Kaun Banega Crorepati


KBC4 Promo Akbar Ka Baap

KBC4 Promo Akbar Ka Baap

Happy Birthday Mr. Bachchan Happy Birthday Mr. God?

Reflections - Happy Birthday Mr. Bachchan. Happy Birthday Mr. God?
By Joginder Tuteja, October 11, 2010 - 11:27 IST

Amitabh BachchanToday, the most iconic figure ever on Indian screen turns another year older. The day is expected to be celebrated world over with as much fervour and grace as ever. Mr. Amitabh Bachchan's birthday is an event. In fact any festivity at his household is an event that makes for national news. He is a legend, a national heritage, a treasure, a topic of discussion for millions.

He is a human being. 

And one tends to believe that this is how he would love to be known and seen as well. A human being who rose on to become one in a billion. Someone, who by the right choices made in his professional career (and some intelligent decisions taken in his later years) elevated himself to such an envious position that it turned out to be the fight back of the decade. 

He was a human being who made it all possible. And this is what he would love to saviour most, right? After all for God, it would have been way too simple to shoo away all the negativity, disappointments, low points and detraction, isn't it? 

But still, some (in fact many) choose to call him as God. Just as they do for Rajinikanth and many other major screen idols. Is this really the kind of attention that the legendary actors too love? In this week's 'Reflections', let's look at whether it is actually stretching things a way too much by bringing religion, albeit of a different kind, in the lives of common man who is merely getting entertained by the antics put on display on the big screen? 

Who likes it this way after all?

Amitabh BachchanIn last half a century, ever since films started gaining more visibility and more and more superstars started getting iconic status, there have been over dozen odd personalities that have been elevated to being a God in their own right. The phenomenon has been more prominent down South but Hindi cinema hasn't been left untouched either. For simplicity sake, let's pick up two veteran actors who are still around, kicking and alive and have been equated to God by many a fan. 

They are Amitabh Bachchan and Rajinikanth. 

However, the million dollar question is, whether these legends themselves like it all this way? 
Just a few days back, Rajinikanth in particular made his displeasure pretty clear by refusing to be termed as a God. Deterred by constant references being made to his 'divine status', he too perhaps thought that enough was enough. There have been hundreds of jokes - all pretty positive and in good humour - being made about the way he possesses heavenly powers. He has smiled at them as well and let them go. But then perhaps the time had come for him to put a full stop on it. He declared once for and all that henceforth, all comparisons with God won't quite be appreciated, regardless of the tone that they come in. 

Amitabh Bachchan too has always, in his characteristic demeanour, refrained from being elevated to the highest pedestal. Of course modesty drives the fact that no actor (or any other sane living celebrity for that matter) would publicly acknowledge comparisons with God. Still, the way Amitabh Bachchan has time and again handled such flattering remarks and requested with folded hands not to have them repeated ever again has not quite made the similar headlines. 

Amitabh BachchanIt is clear that the screen icons who have actually turned out to be some of the biggest VVIPs of the country have publicly stayed on to be the most humble of all. Rajinikanth merrily walks in his kurta-pajamas in the biggest of events and doesn't even try to stand out in a crowd. Amitabh Bachchan's personality means that even if he wants; he can't be missed in the crowd. Still, he never aims at bringing on any forced flamboyance, something that even today's two-hit wonder kids revel in doing so on a constant note. 

Is God leading way for the King?

While the second half of the last millennium saw superstars being compared with Gods, a new phenomenon has emerged in the first decade of the new millennium. Call it the fast pace lives of millions of cine-goers, modernisation taking over and religion taking a backseat to some extent but royalty is what seems to be ruling from the front. It's time of the King, the Ace, the Queen or perhaps even the Joker. With younger generation not quite expected to walk into temples to saviour their screen Gods and instead log into Facebook/Twitter and catch stars live in action, it is time for them to be addressed as Mr. Khan - the King Khan. 

It all started when Shah Rukh found a new name for himself - King Khan. Who really coined this? No one knows. Whether it was done by a fan, a journalist, a PR person - no one knows about the origin of this term. However, the fact remains that with the numero uno status that Shah Rukh was enjoying for quite a while now, the elevation was to the level of King itself. The man who ruled the world. 

However, it was always expected that if at there would be a fall; the King would have to step down. No one thought though what would actually happen when Shah Rukh Khan won't fall but someone else would march up? This turned out to be the most peculiar case for Shah Rukh Khan. He continued to deliver hits but then a certain Aamir Khan struck by delivering even bigger hits. 

The name coined for him? Ace Khan! 

Amitabh BachchanCome on now, isn't it taking things a really too far? 

But then in the time when there are thousands of hyperactive journalists, film enthusiasts, bloggers and other folks active on social networking sites, it is hard to stop an interesting sounding coinage coming into play. After God, it was time for royalty to come into play. One only fears who would be the joker now? Any superstar would be dreading this term though. Three-four straight flops and the tag may not quite be a distant away. 

Do we really need that?

Ok, it's not about taking references from the West because they are huge but then the fact remains that for Bollywood folks, it is industry out there in the West which is the most visible of all. No wonder, one tends to think about the legends out there. Hence the question - How would James Cameron have reacted if Americans (and film enthusiasts across the globe) would have suddenly started calling him God? How would James - the creator - Cameron would have sounded, especially so after the release of Avatar where he actually managed to create a virtual world of it's own kind. In fact if there was some logic that really had to be thrown around to equate someone to God, James Cameron wouldn't have been a bad example at all, right? 

This is the reason why one tends to believe that who is the King or an Ace when Leonardo Di Caprio and Martin Scorsese make films like Inception or The Shutter Island? Isn't it all about suspension of disbelief there? Should Tom Cruise get a middle name of 'khiladi' due to a dozen odd action films that he has done? And in that case what happens to Sylvester Stallone who is still active on the scene? A distribution of 'King' and 'Ace' badges here? 

The trouble that may entail

Amitabh BachchanThe core issue, as is always a risk, lies in the fact that when superstars get the tag of a God, King, Ace or references alike, it becomes all the more tougher to keep it all intact. Amitabh Bachchan and Rajinikanth realised it first hand after the debacle of Mrituydaataand Baba respectively. They were not knocked off from the pedestal but the fan base was shaken for sure. Rajinikanth still managed to survive it all due to some huge hits that came before Baba and his immediate act of compensating the distributors for the losses, hence winning his fans' hearts all over again.

However, for Amitabh Bachchan there was no such luck as the 'worship' definitely went down by a few notches. It took many years of recovery and while all is forgotten today, he comfortable finds himself in a position again where his status akin to that of being a God all over again. Meanwhile Rajinikanth has reached a different constellation altogether by playing a non-human in Robot and still enjoying a continued heavenly treatment for himself. After the living world, he has managed to conquer a sci-fi world as well, something that has only resulted in exponentiation of his God-like status. 

Which only leads to the question raised at the very beginning... 

Who likes it this way after all?


To all that have sent me birthday wishes Big b

Amitabh Bachchan
T150 -To all that have sent me birthday wishes my sincere gratitude and love ..I can give nothing else in return but that...and more of that


Special show reel on Big B's life and epic films to be shown before KBC 4

Special show reel on Big B's life and epic films to be shown before KBC 4
By Subhash K. Jha, October 11, 2010 - 10:14 IST

At a celebration party at the Marriott on Monday evening, the Big B would be cutting a 68-kilo cake, 1 kilo for each year of his life.

While the world sings 'Happy Birthday' to the Big B, Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan sing together for the first time in a song composed by the Big B himself! Find that hard to believe? But it's the truth. 

The Big B is a huge aficionado of music and singing. He in fact intends to learn to play the piano soon. But for now he has turned composer for a song that has been sung by the Big B and Abhishek Bachchan. 

The song would be part of a comprehensive bio-documentary showcasing the 68-year life-span of Amitabh Bachchan which will be telecast on his birthday on Monday. The Big B has not only taken active and complete interest in the material going into the audio-visual show reel--going so far as to provide never-before pictures, advising on the footage to be used and making suggestions on chronological data relating to his life story-- the mega-star has also taken time off from his cluttered schedule to compose the theme song. 

While the Big B himself is characteristically dismissive of what could be seen as his first decisive step into direction and filmmaking, Ajit Thakur CEO of Sony Entertainment, the channel which will be telecasting the historic bio-documentary sheds startling light on the project. "Mr. Bachchan has indeed composed a song for the show reel and also sung for it along with Abhishek and composers Vishal-Shekhar." 

The show reel introducing the new season of Kaun Banega Crorepati has virgin footage and rare pictures of the Big B beginning with his birth in 1942 to present-day. 

Informs a source from the channel, "The show reel contains never-before pictures episodes, incidents, scenes and dialogues from Mr. Bachchan's life and films. For instance he will be reciting a poem by his father poet Harivanshrai Bachchan that he has never recited publicly before. There will be pictures of the Big B and his family that have been brought out into the open for the first time." 

In fact the Big B has personally supervised every aspect of the showreel, lent pictures and footage from his own private library, selected the footage that has grown into the show reel, and zeroed-in on the relevant sequences from his films which he has re-enacted for the first time. 

Says the source, "Some of the most famous sequences and dialogues such as the temple scene in Yash Chopra's Deewaarfrom Mr. Bachchan's films have been handpicked by him and re-enacted specially for this show reel on specially erected sets representing the original." 

And in the inaugural episode of Kaun Banega Crorepati, the first contestant from a small village will be told that the optimum prize money is not Rs. 1 crore but 5 crores. 

The surprise on the contestant's face is the Big B's biggest birthday gift.

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