If we read this story of Amitabh Bachchan, this would be the inspiration to the younger generation not to be dejected by the failures but try & try to achieve your goal, one-day success will come in your way. We elders also take a lesson from him, how he battled various injuries and illnesses in the past, including tuberculosis, Hepatitis B, myasthenia gravis and 25 percent of the liver, he still works and keeps himself fit.
Amitabh Bachchan was rejected in 1967 when he came to Bombay for Filmfare and Madhuri Film Talent Contest. His voice was earlier rejected by AIR for an announcer in Radio. His photographs were rejected by many producers saying that no heroine would like to work with this tall and lanky person. Before Zanzeer all (9) of his films flopped.
In this Blog, I look into the story of the Mahanayak of Hindi film industry. How he was recommended by the then Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi.
After receiving the rejection letter from the Film Talent Contest, Amitabh Bachchan was deeply depressed. Her mother who saw her Munna (Amitabh) in that stage contacted Indira Gandhi who was her friend to recommend her son to the Bollywood.
Mrs. Gandhi knew Nargis Dutt very well, she rang Nargis Dutt and asked her to help Amitabh Bachchan to get into Films. Nargis Dutt then contacted Mr. Raj Grover who was very close to the editor of Madhuri, the Hindi film magazine which took the Talent Contest. He collected the photograph of Amitabh from them.
Nargis Ji showed this photograph first to B R Chopra who was a big name in Bollywood. Mr. Chopra took a glimpse of the photo for a second and put the photograph on the table. He didn't say anything but it looked like that he rejected him. Mr. Raj Grover who accompanied Nargis Dutt in that meeting read the situation, he told B R Chopra that this boy has been recommended by then PM Indira Gandhi. He then immediately picked up the photo and looked for few more seconds and said "Haan Kuchh Baat Toh Hai Iske Chehre mein".He took a phone and called Mohan Sehgal informing him that he would like to take audition of a young boy during his next shooting schedule.
After few days the shooting was to begin so B R Chopra informed Nargis Dutt about the dates and asked Amitabh to be there for the audition.
Amitabh Bachchan in those days was working in Bird & Co at Calcutta. He took four days leave from that company and landed at Bombay. He stayed with his friend at Colaba
This detail information I have gathered from the book The Legends Of Bollywood written by Mr. Raj Grover who is being referred here. In this book, these 4 days are written very beautifully.
Nargis ji fixed the meeting of Amitabh with the Rajshri head Tarachand Barjatya who was planning a film at that time. She also informed him about the background of Amitabh.
When Mr. Barjatya saw Amitabh Bachchan, he looked at him and said " No heroine would like to work with you. You are very tall. You should take your famous father's footstep and write poetry like him"
On the third day, Amitabh went to Mohan Studio with Mr. Raj Grover for the audition. Mr Mohan Saigal asked Mr. Raj Grover to give him a few lines to prepare for the audition whatever he feels suitable. He was given a few romantic lines, Amitabh also added few lines from Madhushala. This audition was not approved. So Amitabh Bachchan was once again was dejected.
Before Amitabh Bachchan was to leave for Calcutta, Sunil Dutt promised him that he will give him a role in Reshma Aur Shera as soon as he will start the film. Sunil Dutt kept his photograph with him. KA Abbas the famous director was starting a film Saat Hindustani and he was looking for seven new faces for that film. Sunil Dutt recommended him for one of the seven characters
The shooting of Reshma Aur Shera started first, though he played a dumb character in that film his voice was being appreciated by one and all unit members. It was Sunil Dutt and Manoj Kumar who were appreciative of Amitabh before any of his films released. It was Saat Hindustani completed first and released first. His performance was appreciated by many. Similarly in Reshma Aur Shera though his role was short but he was highly appreciated.
Before Reshma Aur Shera his second film Parwana was released. In this film, Amitabh plays his first negative role as an infatuated lover-turned-murderer. The film had Navin Nischal as a hero but Amitabh's performance was appreciated.
Another film released before Reshma Aur Shera was Anand of Hrishikesh Mukharji. It stars Rajesh Khanna in the lead role, with a supporting cast including Amitabh Bachchan, The role of Babu Moshay became immortal. From this film the making of a big star began.
During the shooting of Saat Hindustani Amitabh and Anwar Ali, the younger brother of Mahmood became friends. Mahmood liked Amitabh Bachchan and treated him as his younger brother, he even asked him to live in his house. He gave him a separate room to live in. He offered him the role of hero in Bombay to Goa released in 1972.
At the time of the making of Guddi, he became a friend of Jaya Bhaduri. Both of them worked together as Hero and Heroine in two films Bansi Birju and Ek Nazar released in 1972, both the films flopped but their love story was hit. In the meantime Prakash Mehra was starting Zanzeer, he wanted to take Dharmendra as his hero but Dharmendra couldn't give him dates, then Dev Anand was approached who denied the film as there were no song situations for the hero in the film. Raj Kumar was also approached but he refused the film. It was Pran who suggested Amitabh's name and also supported by Salim Javed, the role went to Amitabh. Zanjeer proved to be the biggest turning point in Big B's life professionally as well as personally. The film not only made him a star overnight, and also tied the knot with Jaya Bhaduri.
In his Blog Amitabh Bachchan wrote that he wanted to celebrate the success of Zanjeer with Jaya in London (they were yet to be married) when he received a diktat from his father late poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan: "Who all are going came the query from Babuji... names disclosed.. 'Jaya is also going with you... you both are alone... yes... if you have to go, marry and go',"
The year 1973 was also when he married Jaya, and around this time they appeared in several films together: not only Zanjeer but also subsequent films such as Abhimaan, which was released only a month after their marriage and was also successful at the box office. Later, Bachchan played the role of Vikram, once again along with Rajesh Khanna, in the film Namak Haraam, a social drama directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee and scripted by Biresh Chatterjee addressing themes of friendship. His supporting role won him his second Filmfare Best Supporting Actor award.
In 1974, Bachchan made several guest appearances in films such as Kunwara Baap and Dost, before playing a supporting role in Roti Kapda Aur Makaan. Just after that his film Majboor was released. The film was a success at the box office
In 1975, he starred in a variety of film genres, from the comedy Chupke Chupke and the crime drama Faraar to the romantic drama Mili. This was also the year in which Bachchan starred in two films regarded as important in Hindi cinema history, both written by Salim-Javed. The first released on 15 August 1975, was Sholay, which became the highest-grossing film ever in India at the time, The other was Deewaar, directed by Yash Chopra, where he worked with Shashi Kapoor, Nirupa Roy, Parveen Babi, and Neetu Singh, and earned another Filmfare nomination for Best Actor. The film became a major hit at the box office in 1975, Now he became the most sought after Hero of Bollywood. Every producer wanted to make a film with him.
With his brilliant acting skills and his ability to deliver blockbusters after blockbuster, Bachchan was set for the long haul. The importance of being Amitabh Bachchan is not limited to his career, although he reinvented himself and experimented with his roles and acted in many successful films.
Here are Rare Songs from Amitabh Bachchan Films Pre Zanjeer