Monday, July 10, 2017


“There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood,
leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound
in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat.
And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.”

- William Shakespeare

Whenever someone refers him as a ‘Super Star’, Amitabh Bachchan is very quick to brush that tag aside. “I am not a ‘Super Star’,” he quips, “I never was one… and never will be one.”

The typical Amitabh Bachchan modesty?

Well, when I was a teenager, we knew who the so-called ‘Super Start’ was… It was Rajesh Khanna; and Amitabh Bachchan was a total misfit – nowhere close to the frenzy, particularly from the female folk. Nothing of that kind would ever repeat despite all the super-glamorous world we live in now…

Amitabh Bachchan went up the hard and long way and dislodged the King of Romance, the Super Star, Rajesh Khanna. But, Amitabh was aware what kind of position that was… what kind of fame and name. So, whenever someone refers to him as a ‘Super Star’, Amitabh gets annoyed and asserts, “I am just an actor who looks for work every morning.”

I, often, tell about Rajesh Khanna’s stupendous super-stardom to today’s’ teenagers in our P.D. sessions. For centuries, the whole idea of Success has been glamorized and measured in terms of popularity, fame, money and power. The focus, always, has been on the ‘outside’ – the glamorous side… The bigger the better, the higher the better… the more the better. That’s why that desperation for more ‘Likes’, ‘Views’, ‘Hits’, ‘Shares’ and visibility on social media. Yes, the illusion of ‘the more the better’!

But, how much more is really ‘More’?

Did the Super Stardom help Rajesh Khanna during the last years of his life? Would you call such life a ‘successful life’?  Would you opt for one such?

Perhaps, no one has articulated the futility of such success better than Rajesh Khanna himself. He has done that, poetically, at the fag end of his life when the tinsel world was bestowing upon him ‘The Life-time  Awards’:
izzate shohrate ulfate sab kuch dunia mein rahta nahi
aaj mein hun yahan, kal koi aur tha

izzate shohrate ulfate sab kuch dunia mein rahta nahi
aaj mein hun yahan,kal koi aur tha
vo bhi ek daur tha, ye bhi ek daur hai.

Yes, there ‘is’ a tide in our affairs… and we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures!

Pic.: Avinash Mantri
Video: YouTube

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