Birthday Special: 5 professions that Amitabh has portrayed in his films

Yasmin Shabir

Features Writer


There isn’t any role that hasn’t been done by this legend. He has played the role of a villain in ‘Aankhen’ (2002), a young boy in the film ‘Paa’ (2009) and a ghost in ‘Bhoothnath’ (2008).

This year on the 11th October Amitabh Bachchan turns 75 so to celebrate this occasion, will look at some of the different professions he has portrayed in his films.

Chef/Restaurant owner in ‘Cheeni Kum’ (2007)
Buddhadev Gupta (Bachchan) is very proud of his Indian restaurant and why not as it is one of the most famous restaurants in London, renowned for it’s delicious food. Buddhadev Gupta (Bachchan) is so serious about his work that if he isn’t happy with the way his chefs are preparing the food he will bin it and make them prepare it again. For him making food isn’t a profession, it is an art.

One day when a customer returns his food to the kitchen he is greatly insulted, so much that he lectures them that they don’t know anything about food.

There is a scene where he is trying a plate of food, the way he describes how the dish was prepared and what ingredients were used makes one think this guy knows what he is talking about. Bachchan pulled off the role of a passionate chef really well.

Policeman in ‘Zanjeer’ (1973)
Bachchan has played the role of a policeman in many films from ‘Shahenshah’ (1988) to ‘Ram Balram’ (1980) but it was ‘Zanjeer’ that made him the star he is today.

The scene where Vijay (Bachchan) meets Sher Khan (Pran) for the very first time was iconic. The way the young officer stands up to this man who is feared by many is fantastic to watch. Vijay (Bachchan) shows no fear and will not sit back if threatened. He fights back against Sher Khan (Pran) who eventually decides that Vijay (Bachchan) is a brave man and is worthy of being a good friend.

Bachchan became known as the ‘angry young man’ after this film. The public loved his image of a young police officer who wouldn’t let corruption win. His anger and his rebellion against evil made him a hit amongst the masses.

Porter in ‘Coolie’ (1983)
Iqbal (Bachchan) was a porter by profession but he had the qualities to become a leader with the way he fought for his friends rights. He lived a very ordinary life and the song sari duniya ka boaj hum uttate hai (we carry the weight of all the world) spoke a truth that many people may never have thought about.

Bachchan represented the people who get forgotten about, they are seen but are never given a second thought about. His character showed the difficult lives they have and perhaps what they have to deal with in their daily lives.

It has to be said that Bachchan literally give his blood, sweat and tears for this film as he suffered a life threatening injury while making the film.

Waiter in ‘Naseeb’ (1981)
In this film Bachchan played the role of a waiter named John Jaani Janardan who was loved by all. He entertained the guests at the hotel by singing and dancing and revealing the mystery surrounding his name.

For him being a waiter was following the traditions of his family as his grandfather was a waiter, his father was one and now him. When his boss asks him if his younger brother will be a waiter too, he says no he will be a big man one day.

John (Bachchan) never once feels down about what profession he is in, he is honest and at the same time proud about what he does for a living. He says to Asha (Hema Malini) “Five star hotel mein rehta hoon, phunko ko kaana khilata hoon” (I live in a five star hotel and I feed the hungry).

Teacher in ‘Black’ (2005)
Debraj Sahai (Bachchan) is a teacher for the blind and deaf. One evening he receives a letter which seems more like a challenge that many would shy away from. He is asked to help the parents of a young child named Michelle McNally who is both deaf and blind. Not able to communicate with anyone Michelle is frustrated and begins to lash out at everyone. Her own father sees her as wild and is angered by her behaviour, her mother tries to explain how she must be suffering not being able to express herself.

Debraj (Bachchan) is an alcoholic but despite this he possesses the gift of helping people. His methods are outrageous and at other times a bit too harsh but they work which is surprising.

For this role Bachchan won many awards such as the National Film Award for Best Actor in 2007. wishes Amitabh Bachchan a very happy 75th birthday.