I'm happiest father alive after Abhishek's 'Guru': AmitabhJan 18, 2007 Subhash K. Jha
Mumbai, Jan 18 (IANS) Amitabh Bachchan says he is the happiest father alive as son Abhishek, who just got engaged to Bollywood diva Aishwarya Rai, wows audiences with an "incredible and phenomenal" performance in Mani Ratnam's latest "Guru".
"My father wrote in his biography: 'when a father loses to his son, it is his greatest victory'. I've lost to my son and I'm the happiest father alive," Amitabh told IANS.
"Abhishek is phenomenal (in 'Guru'). I have held myself back on many an occasion from commenting on my son's work, but this time I shall not. To hell with niceties and restraint. Abhishek is incredible!
"I have been choked with emotion ever since I emerged from the theatre and still am. This is a role of a lifetime for him and he has given a performance of a lifetime. It's a role any actor worth his salt would die for and it's a performance that any actor worth his salt will envy," the proud father added.
Here are excerpts from an interview:
You seem to be the happiest father in the world.
Aishwarya is my son's choice and our choice as well, and we are very happy with that. She's a simple, traditional and a home loving individual, warm and endearing. Her inner beauty is far greater than her much renowned outer beauty. Abhishek's choice shall be our choice and our happiness.
Their acclaim in "Guru" and the success of the film, both commercially and critically, just adds to my joy.
You've lent your voice to an album of Rabindranath Tagore songs in Hindi. Your attachment to Kolkata and Bengali culture goes a long way.
Yes, I've enjoyed doing it. Indrajit Dasgupta, who has sung the verses, met me with his wife. The unique quality of the concept, the sincerity of the people involved in it and yes, of course Tagore and Bengal, were the factors that made me accept this proposal. Kolkata and Bengali culture are universal phenomena and the attachments are, therefore, obvious.
My interest is also more personal. I am after all Bengal's 'jamai babu' (son-in-law). I need to look at Bengal a little more compassionately, else there can be serious domestic repercussions.
Doing voiceovers are almost a parallel profession for you. Years ago you had done a commentary for Satyajit Ray's only Hindi film and now the first album of Tagore's poems in Hindi.
And it's interesting, enjoyable and sometimes constructive too. Producers sometimes need commentary for their films. Documentaries take my voice, for they feel a celebrity is heard better and when there is a cause of national or universal importance, it becomes mandatory. Public interest campaigns for health and conduct have all been personally and creatively rewarding episodes for me and I shall continue to do them as long as people want me to.
The Tagore songs were important. For Hindi-speaking non-Bengalis, this album shall open up a closer view on the genius of Tagore and his contribution to literature and poetry. I am happy to have made a small contribution.
You've also done another remarkable voiceover recently.
Yes, I've just finished voice-overs in English and Hindi for that fantastic French film "The March of the Penguins". It'll be shown at the French embassy on Jan 27 in Delhi when the Legion de Honour is conferred on me. I look forward to that with great anticipation. The film is to be premiered soon after in Mumbai and I shall be there.
You finally saw "Guru". What are your comments on the film?
Yes, I saw "Guru" and I've asked to see it again and I shall want to see it a 100 times over. It is fantastic. It is Mani's best. And I speak as a viewer, not as a father. Abhishek is phenomenal. I have held myself back on many an occasion from commenting on my son's work, but this time I shall not. To hell with niceties and restraint. Abhishek is incredible!
I have been choked with emotion ever since I emerged from the theatre and still am. This is a role of a lifetime for him and he has given a performance of a lifetime. It's a role any actor worth his salt would die for and it's a performance that any actor worth his salt will envy. This is the truth, because it comes from within. For someone so young in age and in profession, to have performed the way he has is a revelation.
It is the culmination of the strife of Abhishek to prove himself in the face of continuing odds and innuendos. And it is ironic, so ironic, that this is what the film "Guru" is all about. The determination, the will and the strength of a common man to succeed in the face of unending obstacles and his unfaltering courage of conviction to come out victorious.
I've never heard you like this before.
My father wrote in his biography: "When a father loses to his son, it is his greatest victory." I've lost to my son and I'm the happiest father alive. Abhishek is my son.
As for working with Mani, I called him and told him: "Now that you have made my son's life, could you make mine as well, please?"
How has the year started for you? What do you foresee for yourself in 2007?
I don't wish to foresee anything for myself. I have already foreseen what I want to see in "Guru".
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