If there's once voice that India unanimously recognises with eyes shut, it is that of Amitabh Bachchan. Known for his powerful, deep baritone, Bachchan's voice has been part of several important films in the past. Filmmakers, of course, have for decades written roles keep in mind only Amitabh Bachchan the actor but there have several others, who have chosen to use the voice of the superstar for their film and not cast him.
Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen, both doyens of Indian cinema, used Bachchan's voice effectively for their film but did not cast him in any of their films. While his voice has mesmerised people for decades, its is also ironical that he was once rejected by All India Radio.
Amitabh Bachchan, who had wished to become a radio presenter before he tried his luck in Bollywood, visited the studios multiple times but failed to make the cut as Ameen Sayaani didn’t clear him. In one of his interviews, the versatile presenter revealed that he did not have enough time to meet him in the 60s as he was too occupied with his shows and moreover, the latter didn’t take an appointment for the voice audition.
AIR's loss was Bollywood's gain as directors soon took note of this towering man's immense talent and we got our superstar Amitabh Bachchan.
On his 76th birthday, listen into some clips from films that used Bachchan as a narator and not as their lead actor.
Director: Mrinal Sen
Shatranj Ke Khiladi
Director: Satyajit Ray
Director: Sujoy Ghosh
Other notable films where Big B's voice have been used include Balika Badhu (1975), Tere Mere Sapne (1996), Parineeta (2005), Jodhaa Akbar (2008), Swami (2007), Zor Lagaa Ke...Haiya! (2009), Krrish 3 (2013), Mahabharat (2013), Kochadaiiyaan (Hindi Version) (2014).