Mithun Chakraborty was a bonafide star during the 1980s. Though the 80s weren’t the best of times for Indian cinema, they certainly gave Mithun a great platform to shine. With several critically applauded performances perfectly balanced with crowd pleasers, Mithun was winning it all. But all of this was back in an era when millennials weren’t even born but ask any millennial about Mithun Da and they have an instant comeback with the catchphrase “Kya baat, kya baat, kya baat”.
This catchphrase came into existence after Mithun became a part of the dance reality show, Dance India Dance.
The TV viewing audience today is no stranger to reality shows. Be it singing, dancing, cooking or any other imaginable talent or even no-talent, there is a reality show for everything. But seldom are there shows that have a lasting impact and DID just happened to be one of those shows that had a strong following.
Mithun Da, too, found a new wagon of followers after he became the ‘Grandmaster’ on the show. His place in the show was of a senior judge. He would encourage good performances, coddle those who weren’t having a great day and shake a leg on the stage when he was particularly impressed. Not that Mithun Da’s star power ever needed any rescuing but with Dance India Dance, the audience saw the resurrection of Mithun Chakraborty’s grand persona. His catchphrase became a part of our desi pop-culture and in many ways, his appearance on the show became the biggest point of association for a young Mithun fan. These were the kids who had never seen the disco era, they had only heard of this great actor from films like Agneepath. But with DID, they got a chance to see what the charisma of Mithun was all about.
Mithun made his debut in the movies with a bang as he won a National Award with his first ever film, Mrigayaa but it was the 1982 film Disco Dancer that got him the star status. With a successful run in the movies during the 80s and the 90s, Mithun took a backseat from mainstream Hindi films as he started concentrating more on his hotel business and regional cinema. There were calendar years that saw more than 10 releases by this actor and it is popularly said that the business of his releases would affect one another. This, surely, must be a great problem to have for the artist!
In the past few years, Mithun has continued to entertain his audience on the silver screen. Be it in a comedy ensemble or a serious drama, Mithun still has complete control over the screen once he steps in the frame and while millennials today continue to watch him in multiple seasons of Dance India Dance, they also realise that the crazy fandom that once existed for Mithun Da, still exists in the hearts of Disco lovers.