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From Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra To Akshay To Kartik Aryan: The Triumph Of The Outsider In Bollywood



Amitabh Bachchan

It is extremely angering to see the  undeserving  get stardom in  Bollywood. But it is  the reality. Not all who get success deserve  it. Inversely, the  failed  are not always  deserving of failure. Oftentimes they are not.

Amitabh Bachchan had  only a  letter  of recommendation from his father, the great Harivansh Rai Bachchan to get him into K A  Abbas’ Saat Hindustani. Kartik Aaryan had nothing. He came to Mumbai with just his dreams. Luv Ranjan saw  that  ‘IT’ quality in Kartik on Facebook.

How  do  we  define  the ‘IT’ quality? You either have  it or you don’t. No two ways about it. And you  need  a connoisseur  to  recognize  that  ‘IT’ quality. I remember Amitji once telling me how struggle is not a pleasant concept at all.That the humiliation  you face  in the beginning when  producers  look at you with contempt  and  say,  ‘Tujhe kaun hero banayega’(a producer had  actually  said this  to another outsider Amit Sadh) remains  with you forever.

“You never forget the insults. You shouldn’t,” Amitji told me.

Dharmendra came from  a  village in Punjab. He wanted to be an actor  because he  hero-worshipped  Dilip Kumar . “I had no money no  contacts. It was  because I met  Arjun  Hingorani that  I  got a break. He  gave me my first break in Dil Bhi Tera  Hum Bhi Tere. If he hadn’t  signed me  for that  film I wouldn’t br here today.”

Everyone needs  a helping hand  in the beginning. Success doesn’t happen in  a vacuum.Every Bachchan, Dharmendra, Shatrughan Sinha, Akshay Kumar and Kartik Aryan  needs someone to believe  in  him.

I remember Akshay Kumar’s humiliating experiences before stardom hit him. He  would sit  for  hours  outside  producers’ chambers. Very often they could see him sitting patiently, smirking at his  sweaty hungry  predicament.

“But I  never minded.I never saw the  waiting and the snubs  as  insults. These were powerful producers. I was  a  nobody,”  Akshay once  told me.

Sometimes  this power equation takes a   very  ugly turn. I had once invited  a newcomer home for dinner  after he  insisted that I meet  him. He  named a well-known producer who had asked him to strip in his office  as an “audition”.

“I refused. He got upset. I lost that role. Today  if he asked me I’d do anything he tells  me to,” the  struggler told me.

My blood froze.I advised him to give it one more year and then quit.

There  is only one Dharmendra, Akshay or Kartik Aaryan who finally makes it. What happens to the  rest  of the dreamers and  strugglers? And I am only talking about the male  aspirants. I  don’t have courage to discuss  the  girls . Some other time maybe.

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