When Mithun Chakraborty warned a director: ‘If you say anything about Bengalis, will change your face’

Mithun Chakraborty made his debut in Hindi cinema with the movie Mrigayaa in 1976. And since then, there has been no looking back for him. He has been awarded with three National Awards, and was last seen in Ram Gopal Varma's delayed release 12 'O' Clock.

Ram Kamal Mukherjee’s newly launched biography of Mithun Chakraborty, Mithun Chakraborty: The Dada of Bollywood by Rupa Publication, attempts to throw light on the journey and success of dancing star and Hindi film actor Mithun Chakraborty, lovingly called Mithunda by his adoring fans.

Every person has insecurities, and if they are not there, some of them are given roots by other people’s perception of us. Something similar happened to Mithun Chakraborty too. In an excerpt from the biography, Mithun recounts how he was written off by the film industry even before he had begun properly.

“It was my complexion, my build, everything. People just wrote me off. I could not change my complexion and it actually started giving me a complex. I had a good body though and I was the best fit for tribal roles,” Mithun is quoted as saying. Another time, Mithun had gone up to a filmmaker and asked humbly for work as an actor. However, the producer was not impressed and said at the time, “Apna chehra dekha hai aaine mein? Kaunse angle se actor dikhta hai (Have you looked at yourself in the mirror? From which angle do you look like an actor)?”

These are not a few standout instances from the actor’s life, but it was something that happened to him multiple times in the earlier phase of his career. As told in the book, one time, another filmmaker had challenged Mithun to dance, but when the actor began dancing in his inimitable style, the record was shut off and the maker went on to state, “I have always known that Bengalis cannot dance. They can wear a dhoti, but not dance. Song and dance is not something you guys can do.”

This pinched Mithun to such an extent that he went up to the filmmaker and said, “If you dare utter another word about Bengalis, I will change the geography of your face.”

Mithun Chakraborty made his debut in Hindi cinema with the movie Mrigayaa in 1976. And since then, there has been no looking back for him. He has been awarded with three National Awards, and was last seen in Ram Gopal Varma’s delayed release 12 ‘O’ Clock.

(Excerpt credit: Rupa Publication)

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