Interview with Amitabh Bachchan as he turns 69

MUMBAI: Superstar, megastar, star of the millennium…Amitabh Bachchan has been given many epithets in his four-decade long career in Bollywood. And the actor, who turns 69 today, is now trying to harness the online medium to reach out to the very people who showered these accolades on him – his fans.

Whether it’s Twitter, his blog or his voice blog, Bachchan is on a mission to connect with as many people as possible.

After starting his blog in 2008, Bachchan went on to start his voice blog called Bol Bachchan in 2010. He later joined micro-blogging site Twitter. Bachchan says connecting with common people has helped him learn a lot.

"I think the social sites like the blog and Twitter are absolutely fabulous because they give you a chance to put your thoughts down and immediately get a response," Bachchan said.

"So in case you’re going wrong, you have the time to correct yourself, and in case you are right, you get an endorsement that you’re doing something correct. Most of the times, the opinions we get from people are brilliant…It’s learning for me," he added.

An avid blogger, Bachchan has regularly been sharing his personal and professional experiences with what he calls his "extended family". Be it information about his ailments or the soon-to-be-a-granddad status, he keeps everyone up-to-date with the latest in his life.

"When those that connect with me on the mobile or on the hot seat and express their happiness of merely getting the opportunity to talk to me or to be in the same environ, it embarrasses me. But somewhere I feel happy at the justification," Bachchan wrote on his blog.

"For it is not something that brings me the joy of justification. It is the justification of the joy that I see in the eyes of the other. That for me is the moment of glory, if ever it could be called that," he added.

Bachchan started his Bollywood career in 1969 with Khwaja Ahmad Abbas’ Saat Hindustani, but it was the 1973 film Zanjeer that actually kick-started his film journey. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Bachchan’s stint on game show Kaun Banega Crorepati" brought him closer to the people of real India. The latest season of the show sees a lot of contestants from the disadvantaged groups, for whom meeting their screen idol is a dream come true.

The actor leaves no stone unturned to make his contestants feel special on the show. He happily obliges their demands and fulfills their wishes in whichever way he can.

Bachchan admits he is inspired by the way these contestants delightfully make things work despite adverse circumstances.

"To learn of their struggles and their pains in making ends meet, to experience the efforts that they make despite adverse circumstances to reach out to those dependent on them, to touch upon subjects that we would in our normal existence be overlooked is not just enlightening but one that is filled with a huge amount of guilt. Guilt at not being able to do something for them," said Bachchan.