If you are born in 80s or 90s, dialogues like “Naam Vijay Dinanath Chauhan”, “Khush toh bohot honge tum aaj”, “Hum jaha khade ho jaate hai line wahin se shuru hoti hai” and “Don ka intezaar toh gyarah mulkon ki police kar rahi ha”, will make you instantly think about the OG angry young man of Bollywood, Amitabh Bachchan. But for Gen Z, “deviyo aur sajjano”, “are you sure?”, “let’s play Kaun Banega Crorepati”, and “lock kiya jaye?” are the phrases which make them wait for Amitabh Bachchan, a man who meets them every night at 9 pm, telling them some stories like a grandfather, and testing their general knowledge in their drawing rooms over dinner. The angry young man has mellowed down and greyed, but the aura and star power has not been dented at the age of 79. As Amitabh Bachchan celebrates his birthday today, here’s looking at the master of reinvention and his avatar as the genial host of a show that has been on for two decades now.
The actor’s performance as a television host is magnetic — a wide transfixed gaze interspersed with perfectly timed bits of advice to contestants. Sometimes his mere gaze becomes a show-stealer. Topping it up are his conversations with those who take the hot seat. Be it a nervous contestant struggling to face so many cameras, or someone who is sentimental about his/her financial status and needs the prize money, or an over-enthusiastic fan who claims to be there on the show only for him, senior Bachchan knows how to tackle it all with grace and make the contestants comfortable. And, how can we forget ‘computerji’, which has become a character in itself on the show?
The show is now in its thirteenth season and yet has all of India glued to its TV screens. The drop in ratings during the third season, hosted by Shah Rukh Khan, proves it’s only Amitabh and not anyone else who can grab the country’s attention at once. And, not just the kids or youngsters, Big B knows how to keep his fans of the 80s and 90s hooked with anecdotes from his younger days. Who would mind hearing stories from someone whose twisted ankle makes headlines?
Try showing your millennial kids a Hindi classic film, starring the superstars of your era — Dharmendra, Jeetendra, Rishi Kapoor or Vinod Khanna. There are chances they might not even sit with you. But play an Amitabh Bachchan classic, they will be intrigued to know how the man who gives them grandfather vibe on TV looked and acted in his younger days.
We wish many more seasons of the show and delivery of “Chaliye aap aur hum khelte hain Kaun Banega Crorepati,” in Big B’s popular strong baritone.
Well, it’s not just on KBC that he attracts a millennial crowd. Have you ever closely checked his social media posts? Just like our dads, he too complains about faulty phone connection, gets annoyed when people do not reply to him, gets upset when his count of followers drop and sometimes his tweets remind us of those uncles and aunts who send WhatsApp forwards every morning to demand attention. The actor, like any of his younger contemporaries, is passionate about his social media accounts. He keeps a count of his tweets. He has a fan following of 46.2 million on Twitter and on 28.4 million on Instagram. He also writes a blog daily.
Those who follow the megastar on social media, can’t forget the moment when he had taken to Twitter to remind Sonam Kapoor for not replying to his birthday wish. After her birthday, while the actress was busy thanking others who wished her, Bachchan had promptly tweeted, “… and what about ME .. this is Amitabh Bachchan my dear .. i sent you an sms on your birthday and you never replied ..aaarrrgghh !!” Even Ranveer Singh, Anushka Sharma and Akshay Kumar were reprimanded for not replying to his birthday wishes.
hey .. but what about my intention .. sent you sms greetings for your birthday .. did not get a reply .. did you see it .. !??😗
— Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) July 13, 2017
… and what about ME .. this is Amitabh Bachchan my dear .. i sent you an sms on your birthday and you never replied ..aaarrrgghh !!😡
— Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) June 12, 2017
On his 79th birthday, here’s hoping that Amitabh Bachchan’s EF (extended family) on social media keeps growing and he keeps adding many more tweets and sharing words of wisdom.