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"Mr. Bachchan stood by me for Aladin" - Sujoy Ghosh

Amitabh Bachchan
It was Amitabh Bachchan's reassurance and faith in Sujoy Ghosh that kept the two film old director continue to dream BIG and embark on a mega crore journey called Aladin. As per the young filmmaker, he was feeling quite low after the failure of Home Delivery at the box office but 'Sir' (as he usually addresses Amitabh Bachchan) continued to trust his capabilities and encouraged him to go for the film.

"I continue to thank Sir for that till date because he shared a simple sounding two word trick with me - 'Rise Again'! Even though Home Delivery had flopped miserably, he never left my side. I never gave up because every time I met him, he encouraged me. So my promise to him was - 'Yes Sir, I will rise again!'", says Sujoy.

He particularly remembers his first meeting with Amitabh Bachchan which was years back on the sets of Baghbaan. At that time, he had gone to meet him for a different film called Borivali that he was looking at making with the veteran actor.

"I met Sir for the first time and it was one of the most nerve-wracking experiences of my life. This may sound cliched but I was in complete awe and scared. All this while, I was wondering if I may end up saying something out of place", recollects Sujoy for whom this meeting led to countless more meetings and finally ending up with the actor consenting to do his project.

"He was very kind", says Sujoy, "He took my concept and promised to read it on the flight as he was leaving for Europe that night. While there are quite a few more stories to be told about how he came on board for my film, what I can never forget is the realization that dawned upon me - "I had just spoken to Amitabh Bachchan."

A fan and follower of Amitabh Bachchan, Sujoy gets on tangent in appreciation of the mega star. "For me, Muqaddar Ka Sikandar is the best 'Devdas' ever. I remember seeing it in 1978 with the audience of Kolkata, and was converted. I just wanted to do two things - 1) See every film of this actor called Amitabh Bachchan and b) get a middle parting in my hair. I think apart from Moses, Sir is the only person who can claim to have parted anything on such a large scale", he draws a metaphor here.

Commenting on the huge popularity that Amitabh Bachchan has enjoyed over the decades, Sujoy mentions about this particular incident where a fan in Kolkata had jumped from the balcony of a theatre after seeing Amitabh Bachchan jumping to his death in Main Azaad Hoon. Though the fan survived, Amitabh Bachchan was shaken.

"In one of our conversations, Sir narrated this incident. I could see his concern when he told me this. He felt responsible but had no idea how to stop something like that. God forbid anything happened to that fan, he would have never forgiven himself."

He goes on to conclude with high admiration in his tone, "I have never seen anyone who loves his fans as much as he does and have also realized: it's great to be a star, but not easy. As Aunt May said to Peter '... with great power comes great responsibility.'"

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