As megastar Amitabh Bachchan turns 80 on October 11, let’s find out who this Anwar Ali is. It is none other than Amitabh Bachchan himself. Big B is known to have debuted as a character with this name five decades ago.
In “Saat Hindustani” released in 1969 by journalist, screenwriter and filmmaker Khwaja Ahmed Abbas, the actor played the role of a poet who lived in Hindpiri, Ranchi. However, the character is completely fictitious i.e. no poet of that name ever lived in Ranchi. The story of the film revolves around the struggle to free Goa from the Portuguese occupation. Seven people from different states of the country are going to Goa for this mission, one of them is Anwar Ali. In one of his dialogues in the film, Amitabh introduces himself by saying, “Chief hoon Anwar Ali. Bihar ke Ranchi ka rehne wala hoon aur shayri karta hoon.” (I am Anwar Ali. I live in Ranchi, Bihar and I am a poet.)
The sincerity with which Bachchan portrayed the character earned him the “Best Newcomer” award for the role. Interestingly, Abbas paid Rs 5000 as acting fee for him. In one of his interviews, the actor noted that although the fee was not very high at that time, it was also not extremely low for a newcomer.
He also said, “Agar Anwar Ali ke kirdar ke taur par mujhe break na mila hota, toh pata nahi mai aaj kis maukaam par hota.” (If I hadn’t taken a break like Anwar Ali, I don’t know where I’d be today.) “Saat Hindustani” was first shown at Delhi’s Sheela cinema and Bachchan watched the first show with his parents. Before that, there was also a test screening of the film for which Abbas saheb specially invited Meena Kumari. Meena Kumari heaped praise on Anwar Ali’s character, making Bachchan blush.
Abbas had a special connection with Ranchi and perhaps that was the reason why he included Ranchi and mentioned it about half a dozen times in the script of “Saat Hindustani”. He was great friends with the famous writer Ghiyas Ahmed Siddiqui of Ranchi. According to Siddiqui’s brother and retired professor, Dr. Siddiqui Mujibi, whenever his brother went to Bombay, Khwaja Saheb himself came to the station to receive him.
Bachchan celebrates his birthday on the same day as the birth anniversary of Loknayak Jayaprakash Narayan, the leader of the “Total Revolution”. It might just be a coincidence, but while playing the role of Anwar Ali, Amitabh takes his name in the dialogue. In the dialogue he says, “Mainly us Bihar rajya ka rehnewala hoon, jaha Loknayak Jayaprakash Narayan aur Maulana Mazharul Haque ki paidaish huyi hai (I belong to the state of Bihar where Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan and Maulana Mazharul Haque were born). “
Also Read: Happy Birthday SS Rajamouli: Ram Charan, Ajay Devgn, Jr NTR and other celebs send warm wishes to the director
Also Read: Uunchai FIRST Look: Amitabh Bachchan braves a blizzard in Sooraj Barjatya’s film
Latest entertainment news