I grew up worshipping Amitabh Bachchan, like most people growing up in the 70s and 80s did, I think.
As my generation came into adulthood, there could be no other hero like Amitabh. And frankly there never was. But Mr. Bachchan fell out of favour as I started my career. He starred in a few really awful movies in the late 80s and early 90s, got involved with politics, was unfairly linked to corruption scandals and much of the sheen wore off – only to make a truly remarkable comeback with KBC, and yes I was in front of the TV every evening for season one of KBC.
No one else after Amitabh made much of a mark. He was God, who had faltered and risen again. Till, some where in early 2000, a figure started coming into peripheral vision. Sarfarosh (1999), was the movie that got me interested in the man, partly because it was directed by John Mathew Mathan who had directed many Limca films for my agency. After that, in one movie after another this gentleman set the benchmark higher, and higher, and higher. Since then, the legend of Aamir Khan and all of his spectacular achievements have been very well documented and really do not need to be repeated here. The question is, will I be in front of the TV on Sunday at 11 am? And why?
Yes I will be. Definitely so.I’ll be in front of the TV to see how many notches higher can you go after QSQT, Dil, DHKMN, Baazi, Rangeela, Raja Hindustani, and then rapidly, Ishq, Ghulam, Sarfarosh, 1947 Earth, Lagaan, Dil Chahta Hai, The Rising, RDB, Fanaa, TZP, Ghajini and 3 Idiots.
I will be there to understand what kind of incredible commitment it takes to travel all over India, and touch and feel human beings at every level and tell their story.
I will be there to see how he will, once again, make the mundane interesting. I will be there to see how he has weaved in unity into our diversity. I will be there to see how he makes the idea of India even more interesting to a whole new generation of Indians.
I will be there to be entertained. He says so himself, that entertaining is his job, and that he works very hard at it. I will be there to judge how hard he has worked.
I will be in front of the TV to see what motivated this man to travel the length and breadth of this vast nation, a feat not attempted by too many in the past. Gandhiji did it for freedom, Shankaracharya did to revive Hinduism, LK Advani did it for political mileage, and many other politicians do it sporadically for obvious reasons. Still many others have done it for adventure. To gain knowledge. But no one, has done it with a canvas of expression that will be beamed into 400 million households simultaneously.
Aamir in his promos says it (the anthem is, therefore I assume the program) is his love song for the country. I expect Satyamev Jayate will be passionate in expression, full of enthusiasm, with surprising moments, some goose pimples and more than a few lumps in our collective throats.
I will be there because he will not let us down. Somehow, we have all come to expect that of him, have we not?
Kurien Mathews is an advertising professional, digitally inclined and promotes organic food. He is the CMD, METAL Communications; director Rage Communications and director, Conscious Food. He is the co-author of Brands Under Fire