Sunday, October 7, 2012

The B effect

Long flowing jet black hair...tall, dark, brooding...top button invariably open, sometimes a medallion flashing....Nope, that's not me walking into a meeting or starting an early morning ward round...there was actually one man who epitomised and rightfully deserved the moniker of the "angry young man". He mesmerised the masses...but more importantly, he mesmerised me. The way he talked, the way he sat down, the way he growled, the confidence...I only watched with amazement. I wanted to be "him".

And this week heralds a landmark day in the life of that man..so this blog is dedicated to him. And to be honest.this blog isn't for anyone else to be honest, but just me. In fact, most people I work with, most people I know in the UK won't even understand what this is about. But trust me when I say, all of those I have grown up with, the lads from Bosco, the friends from NRS, my cousins...all of them will understand this one very well indeed...

His name was Amitabh Bachchan and believe you me,he was a GOD for all boys growing up in India. There wasn't anyone bigger than him, there wasn't any other movie star you wanted to ape. The Bachchan of Don, Laawaris or even the latter day Agneepath was just something you watched and aped in your daily life. Were there better actors? Perhaps. Did I care? Not a jot. And I always dreamt of being that persona...the quintessential anti-hero, never backing down from the establishment, the dark hero with the heart of gold...surely celluloid could be replicated in real life? For those who don't quite get the magnitude of his popularity, take Clint Eastwood, Sly Stallone, throw in Tom Cruise- all at the height of their popularity and then for the younger crowd, add in that Vampire chap who definitely seems to have mixed up his celluloid and real life and why not throw in that Bieber chap too...now add that altogether and multiply by ten. What you have is what Amitabh Bachchan enjoys in India...even on his 70th birthday.

And then life happened...those days of bunking school and college to make sure you were there for the first day, first show...passed on. Exams, career took over..and I arrived here in the UK. I started work in the NHS..nervous, trying to make a mark...slowly gathering knowledge..everyone always told me to "fit in".."remember this is a foreign land..don't upset anyone"...and so I tried. Soft spoken, always careful not to annoy anyone.Different from the swagger of Partha Kar in those heady college days... Till a day in the canteen of Worcester Royal Hospital.
A particularly bad day at work, a usual back breaking shift of a junior doctor..and I had gone down to the canteen to get some "lunch"...5 hours post "scheduled time". There was a queue..but I trundled up to the counter with a sandwich, hoping I could just buy and run back to the wards. The response?.."Get the f%*k in line"...and something snapped. With a growl, I came out with this sentence.." The line begins...from where I stand". It was an immortal line uttered by Bachchan in one of his movies..and that line from me dripped of arrogance and cockiness..and was followed by instantaneous regret.....but something magical happened that day..the man in the counter backed down.

And the story began..the ultra cocky, aggressive Partha Kar was born. Life since then has taught me many skills, taught me when to hold back, when to use charm...but the start of something magical was down to that celluloid hero.Today, due to fabulous colleagues, a lot has been achieved. A lot of recognition nationally- but my character has developed and adapted, but still maintained shades of the celluloid persona..which I have revelled in. Don't believe it? Watch this and this...and make your own mind up :-)

Sounds ridiculously silly in hindsight...but the long hair, the growl, the swagger is me still being or enacting out the dream of being Bachchan. I am 39 soon..but the teenager who loved the Big B has lived on. I am a Consultant in the National Health Service in the UK...doesn't mean I won't have fun while doing it.

Dear Mr. Amitabh Bachchan..a very happy birthday to you, sir...it has been a pleasure growing up with you.



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