The 1978 cult classic, Don, completed 41 years of release today. Megastar Amitabh Bachchan took to his blog to shed some light on the same. He revealed that no one approved of the title ‘Don’. He wrote, “DON was a name title that no one in the market approved of .. they never understood what it meant and never felt that a name such as DON was material for the title of a Hindi film ..”
Big B even conveyed a funny anecdote. “There was at the time a very popular brand of vests, the ‘banyain’, that were carrying the name DAWN .. DON pronounced phonetically sounded much like that brand of under garment in the popular market .. and there was consternation in titling a film that conveyed an under garment ..”
He also spilled some beans on how the title began to be taken seriously and got publicised with the Godfather series that became widely popular. He wrote, “Much later of course with the Godfather series the word garnered enough publicity and reckoning, to be respectable enough .. but till then initially it was in the realm of humour ..”
The Badla actor shared yet another incident from the sets of the film directed by Chandra Barot. “But I do remember that after shooting the second pan chewing character, I was in Srinagar on location for another film shoot and Salim-Javed had complimented my work on it through a telegram - the fastest mode of connect during those years .. !”
He wrote that the producer and DoP of the film, Nariman Irani injured himself while saving a child from getting crushed under an outdoor set that collapsed during the shoot. “Nariman Irani.. the gentle giant .. the most humble quiet and loved DOP of the film and also the Producer, curtesy Salim- Javed, in an effort to help him .. never lived to see its success .. on a shooting in one of the studios where he was working as Cameraman for another project, he suddenly noticed that a part of an outdoor set was collapsing, and a little child was in danger of getting crushed under it .. he ran to save the child .. saved him but fell during the process and injured his hip .. he was hospitalised, complications crept in and sadly he never came out of it ..”
Known for having a big heart, Bachchan saab dedicated his Filmfare Award for the Best Actor for Don to Irani’s wife who refused to take it. He let us in on how the ‘soft spoken gentle’ Irani used to address him. “For some reason Nariman ‘bawa’ , as we fondly addressed him, would often refer to me as .. ‘keys of the Kingdom’ .. I never asked him what he meant, and he never explained why he would say that ..”
Now that was one nostalgic soiree down the memory lane. Even after 41 years, Mr Bachchan continues to remain as classy, as sharp and as handsome as Don.