Friday, November 20, 2009
Amitabh Bachchan: ‘I HAVE DELAYED MY SHOOTS MANY TIMES TO WATCH SACHIN BAT’
They are the biggest two icons of the country; they are also unabashed admirers of each other. Amitabh Bachchan Speaks About Sachin Tendulkar’s Genius In This TOI Exclusive...
Ajay Naidu | TNN
TOI: Sachin Tendulkar is going to complete 20 years in international cricket. Your reactions on this awesome feat by the little great man of Indian cricket...
AB: Incredible! It is a marvel that a sportsman can have such an extended, achievement-filled life. His recent performance (referring to Sachin’s 175 in Hyderabad) was better than all those much younger than him. He is a true genius!
TOI: How does it feel to know that despite being an icon himself, Tendulkar has been a huge fan of yours since he was a kid?
AB: I am so, so humbled by this fact. It is Sachin’s greatness that he should consider me to be capable of his affection and love.
TOI: What is it that you admire about Sachin’s batting?
AB: It is the absolute confidence his stance exudes, and the imperious manner in which he dismisses each delivery. All his strokes are poetry in motion but, for me, his punched off-drive is breathtaking.
TOI: You are a legend yourself and have been in the limelight for so many years now. Do you appreciate the way Tendulkar has handled pressure, both on and off the field?
AB: I am no legend, but Sachin is a consummate artist and all such artists are gifted in handling pressure under all circumstances. Indeed, I believe if there were to be no pressure in an artist’s life, his best would never emerge.
TOI: Have you ever delayed a shoot, or postponed an appointment, just because Tendulkar was going great guns during a match?
AB: Yes, innumerable times!
TOI: When Tendulkar is playing well, he puts a smile on a billion faces.
Suddenly, people everywhere seem to be more accomodating and friendly, and even the cashier at the bank serves you with a smile! Have you experienced similar feel-good vibes at your shoots?
AB: There is an atmosphere of positivity when Sachin is doing well and, at shoots, there is a constant, uplifting buzz.
TOI: Talk us through some of the innings you cherish...
AB: Look at his record! Do you really think anyone has the capacity to talk through his best innings? As far as I am concerned, they have all been the best.
TOI: When did you first meet Sachin and what was your first impression about him?
AB: I cannot remember when exactly I first met him. But I do remember that from the day I met him to this day, he has remained the same humble, quiet and shy person, one who almost wishes that he could avoid all the attention he gets in public.
TOI: Tendulkar has appeared on Kaun Banega Crorepati and also featured in a few commercials with you. What was the chemistry like during those shoots?
AB: There was instant rapport between us and he was clinically correct in the execution of whatever he took up.
TOI: Facing controversy is part of being a celebrity. Do you sometimes wonder how someone like Tendulkar has managed to stay away from controversies despite being under the microscope for two decades?
AB: It is the able manner in which he conducts himself in public and private that has made him what he is today. It requires great restraint and mental rectitude to achieve that. It is not easy to remain unaffected and aloof from controversy, but Sachin has always exercised the qualities most achievers do: he has remained patient and allowed his bat to do the talking. When his bat talks, controversy — right or wrong — can take a walk.
TOI: Apart from his batting, what are the qualities you admire in Tendulkar?
AB: His gentle, unobtrusive manner.
TOI: Besides yourself, who else in your family is a Tendulkar fan?
AB: Everyone in my family is a huge Tendulkar fan.
TOI: Like in your case, age appears to be just a number for Tendulkar. Retirement seems far off...
AB: Do not compare or put Sachin in the same class as me. May he continue to be with us, in our team, and be our inspiration forever. At a public function for the promotion of his film, Aamir Khan made a very pertinent remark. He said despite the fact that they know they are the best, Lata Mangeshkar and Sachin Tendulkar have never been heard saying so themselves. I would look at this remark in two ways. 1. Those who think they are the best, need to keep saying it because others do not. 2. Those who know they are the best do not need to say it because others say it! So if they are not saying they are the best, it probably means they still believe there is room for improvement. That’s the true mark of a master.