MY KOLKATA EDUGRAPH
ADVERTISEMENT
regular-article-logo Sunday, 14 April 2024

Aal Izz Well: Age old unbreakable bond between Amitabh Bachchan and Mithun Chakraborty

When Mithun fell ill, AB would text his sons every day to reassure himself that all was well with his 73-year-old colleague

Bharathi S. Pradhan Published 03.03.24, 10:11 AM

File image

Amidst the swirl of Chinese whispers ranging from heart attack and stents to brain stroke and coma, a senior colleague who got his updates directly from Mithun Chakraborty’s family was Amitabh Bachchan. Decades ago, Mithun and Amitabh had come together to Calcutta for the premiere of Agneepath (1990), in which the Bengali actor had played a lungi-wearing Krishnan Iyer. Both actors have always had a connection with Calcutta — AB calls himself the son-in-law of Bengal.

When Mithun fell ill, AB would text his sons every day to reassure himself that all was well with his 73-year-old colleague.

ADVERTISEMENT

“It was a spike in his sugar levels, nothing more than that,” said wife Yogita Bali calmly, echoing what sons Mimoh and Namashi were telling everybody. Mimoh (real name Mahaakshay) packed his bags and flew to Calcutta to be by his father’s side until he was on his feet and back to work.

“He’s fine and has started shooting again for his Bengali film Shastri,” reported Mimoh, who returned to Mumbai and resumed the shooting of Vikram Bhatt’s Haunted, a continuation of the technically updated horror-thriller franchise that starred Mimoh in 2011.

When Mithun was discharged from hospital, Mimoh witnessed his father’s popularity. “I was amazed,” he said, at the way every nurse, doctor, ward boy and staffer gave him a warm send-off. “The love he’s gathered from a wide cross-section of people, the human
connect he has with everybody, that’s the secret of his long career as an actor,” he remarked. Mithun has longevity in his genes too — both his parents were nonagenarians.

Mithun is also back to making statements on behalf of his party but his sons don’t see him as a politician. “He’s not a politician and he won’t contest elections, he just won’t,” Mimoh and Namashi said in unison. To them, he’s more a people’s person than a neta.

Mithun’s hospitalisation was a dampener coming immediately after he was awarded a Padma Bhushan. But the Chakrabortys take the highs and lows with equanimity. When it was announced, “We celebrated with food. That’s how we celebrate everything, we order food,” laughed Mimoh. “And we’re back to normal the next day.”

Mithun, who has over a dozen dogs in his Madh Island bungalow, celebrated by sending home yet another pup. He cons his sons by asking them to pick up some papers related to their new hotel in Bengaluru and they go find a basket with a pup waiting for them. After the Padma Bhushan, Mimoh found a bulldog pup named Bro that he had to take back to Mumbai. “That’s how dad celebrates.” Barely had Bro come home than he sent home another basket — Pomeranian pups Jack and Jill joined the brood.

“They come ready with names,” disclosed Mimoh and Namashi. Mithun, “the boss” as he’s referred to, is the one who christens his dogs. His children are also proud of the unique names he’s given them — after Mahaakshay comes Ushmey (aka Rimoh), then Namashi (pronounced “Namoshi” since it’s Mithun’s version of Namoh Shivaya) and Dishani, the youngest and only daughter. The Chakrabortys have launched MYRND Movies, a production house, which combines the first letter of all their names.

With his branded Monarch hotels in Ooty and Bengaluru, life has worked out well for the young boy named Gouranga Chakraborty who once
ran away from the authorities in Calcutta and made a name for himself as Mithun Chakraborty.

It may seem a chauvinistic setup where Yogita gave up her career to rear kids and mind a family of 14 dogs but when Mithun is home, she puts up her feet while he heads to the kitchen. Mutton biryani is his speciality dish as chef.

With the doctors prescribing a lifestyle change, Mithun threw cigarettes out of the hospital window and has practically turned a vegetarian. So, while he can still rustle up a biryani, the eating will have to wait.

Bharathi S. Pradhan is a senior journalist and author

Follow us on:
ADVERTISEMENT