Paresh Rawal said in a new interview that there is a lot to learn from Amitabh Bachchan, beyond his considerable skills as a performer. Recalling Bachchan’s well-publicised financial woes during the 90s, Rawal said that Bachchan handled the situation with uncommon dignity.
In an appearance on Neelesh Misra’s The Slow Interview series, Paresh Rawal remembered asking Bachchan about that time, and what struck him the most about his response. He said in Hindi, “Did anybody think that such a thing could ever happen to Amitabh Bachchan? What he used to be, and what he became… He’s a classic example. There’s so much that you can learn from him, especially about dignity.”
He continued, “I remember asking him about it once. I asked him if he confided in his family when things became very difficult. And he said, ‘Why? Let them live their life.’ See, he owed people so much money, but he never bad-mouthed anybody. Not once. He could’ve hidden behind the law, got exemption, but he chose to pay every single person back. These are his values. He is Harivansh Rai Bachchan’s son, after all. What a man.” Rawal said that Bachchan had a dignity about him even when he was at the top of his game, as opposed to newcomers today, who ‘throw tantrums’.
Bachchan experienced financial difficulties after running into problems with his ambitious ABCL company in the 90s. He emerged from financial ruin in the early 2000s, after appearing in a string of hit films, and landing the host gig on Kaun Banega Crorepati. He is now among the most prolific stars in the country.
Bachchan himself spoke about this at an event, “It was a difficult time. ABCL went into debt. I was bankrupt. The people who expressed desire to work with me at the peak of my career came and hurled abuses at me”.
“When you are in such a problem, you don’t sleep at night. On one such night, I asked myself ‘Who I am’ and realised that I came here to act and should stick to it,” he explained on Agenda Aaj Tak a few years ago.