Bachchan — 454

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“Yes, the subject and the vision of Kings in abdication bringing to us a finite definition, but in its mention, depicting to us more than just a mere example. The ‘King’ a symbol of regality, of power and rule, of position and standing, of one demanding servility. Of striding on conquered peak, of swaying masses, of being the pinnacle of success, of the ultimate receiver of admiration, of respect and honor. Of being the possessor of eternal youth, of the one with Midas touch, of ageless wonder and continued righteousness. This ‘King’ then in all his recognized splendor, when he abdicates, is never more royal !”

3 Responses to “Bachchan — 454”

  1. [This wonderful set of thoughts you’ve put up on the idea of ‘abdication’ could be considered an essay on ‘Amitabh Bachchan’ since at least 2000 and perhaps a bit earlier. I’ve said this many times in multiple contexts but it has always fascinated me just how much you were able to turn your back on an entire potent superstar lineage of yours. Because superstars are never ever able to do this. Of course the sunset that you tried to wander into turned out to have a blaze more resplendent than the sunshine of stars far younger than yourself! This too I have said before. At any rate these musings of yours are autobiographical even if you might not be completely aware of this. There is however an unconscious link that you have with such a theme. The question becomes: why should someone who is still in your frankly awe-inspiring position (even at your age), an Emperor still in every sense, a Shakespearean colossus with pygmies running around (oh dear I really am repeating myself today!), why then should you be so ‘concerned’ with the twilight of life? Because you know, correctly, that it will never be as it was once was. I think I can understand this. As I’ve said so many times here, even at the risk of sounding impolite, much as I appreciate a great deal of your work over the past decade or more I can never quite put it alongside the promise of your 70s oeuvre in any sense. Only those who’ve truly lived upon the heights can recognize valleys (Nixon said this more or less, I quoted it here at some point, repetition is a disease with me today!). You are still so loved, you are still such a dominant cultural figure, really in an unequaled sense in India, never have more known about you around the globe. And yet there is this great desire of ‘renunciation’ in you. It’s a classic Buddhist trope as you of course know. An ‘Indic’ one if you will. The renunciation is greater, more dramatic, the greater the king. And we are talking here about an Emperor called Bachchan. Does a great king desire abdication because in the final analysis there is no great frontier to reach or conquer? I leave this question open. How will a kingdom satisfy Siddhartha if he is thinking of the cosmos?! Nonetheless it requires extreme fortitude to be able to turn one’s back on one’s glory? This you have done in many ways. I posted a link to an ‘84 interview you did in London the other day. It was remarkable to behold. A completely different set of gestures, another order of the iconic.. I juxtaposed that with your recent Timesnow interview. It was to see too different selves. This isn’t about ‘age’. It’s about two ways of being. I will say this at the end. Your twilight period, your struggle with it, even as the audiences blithely assume you’ve never had it better, adds a very interesting chapter to your biography. Would that there were a biographer capable of writing this book! There are ghosts that appear on this blog, in your various writings, one has to have had a love affair with this specters to understand some of this. But there are other ghosts that remain imprisoned. Rightly so. A rich life must contain rich secrets.. The best I can wish you is that you always retain those secrets…]

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  2. Hmm, I think Satyam , you would probably be a good choice to be the biographer. Make it a great chocie.

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