Mumbai: Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan says he will readily support any effort to document India’s cinematic history.
Amitabh on Saturday launched Bollywood – The Films! The Songs! The Stars!, a book by S.M.M. Ausaja, Karan Bali, Rajesh Devraj and Tanul Thakur. It is a comprehensive illustrated guide and coffee table book, a tribute to India’s tinsel town, filled with trivia and facts about some of the most beloved actors, films and songs.
“In the future, if there’s Ausaja or anyone else connected to documenting our history or talking about it, I would be the first person to come forward and extend my help and cooperation. I feel very proud that Ausaja has entrusted me to write a forward and this is what I’ve exactly expressed in the book… That time is going away.
“In the early days, I can understand there weren’t so many mediums of communication and therefore making a record of something like this was not possible. But now we do have them. Please give it (documenting history) more attention, value and respect because the Indian film industry is truly a very respectful place,” Amitabh said.
The megastar appreciated the book’s concept but said he doesn’t like the word Bollywood. He refused to use it.
“All those connected in the release of this book, I am not going to take the name because I don’t like this word. I have expressed that in the forward. Ausaja has been a journalist by profession but has been someone who is passionately interested in filmography.
“I have always had great admiration for him because there are very few amongst us, unfortunately, that have never taken up the idea or the thought of documenting the Indian film industry,” he said, adding that the historian has pursued his passion in a way so as to create “something for the posterity”.
On the lack of documented history on cinema in the country, he said: “I’ve always found that we do a lot of work, and we have been a 100 years old film industry but there really isn’t any kind of documentation of our work. Many a times I’ve spoken with many of my colleagues and other people that have been connected to the film industry.
“How wonderful it will be if I could have known, let’s say, what K. Asif was thinking when he was making ‘Mughal-e-Azam’ or how did Dilip Kumar approach his role in ‘Devdas’ or what was Bimal Roy’s idea of wanting to make a particular story in a particular manner, why Guru Dutt used a particular kind of camera angle or lighting when he was shooting the song ‘Waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam’?
“These are moments that are lost and forgotten now, and we will never know that,” rued Big B.