Ever tried “vogging”? Yes, you’re reading that right. It’s a term coined by Mr. Amitabh Bachchan meaning vocal blogging. Bachchan Bol, a vogging service, was launched in India last year by the legendary actor. The service allows monthly users to listen to Bachchan’s voice daily where he blogs in voice, so to speak. Mr. Bachchan was in London today launching the UK’s first in vogging services. Bachchan Bol is going global.
Bachchan is a legend in every sense of the word. An actor with an acting career spanning over 40 years, he is perhaps the most tech-savvy of Bollywood stars from his generation. Bachchan is also an active blogger and Twitter user, interacting with fans through both mediums on an almost daily basis. It seems only natural, with a voice as recognised and distinct as his, to merge the two. It is thought that his fans worldwide and those knowledgeable in the technological and Bollywood genres would want to be on board to hear what the actor has to say.
Coordinated by Inside India and hosted by British radio and TV presenter George Lamb, the event was an exclusive one, but the reach an international one. With Lamb’s bright and relaxed presenting style and Bachchan’s calm yet professional manner, we were definitely in for a treat. Lamb’s questions asked about Bachchan’s career, his persona as perceived by his fans and the new vogging service.
The event began with a wonderful presentation about Mr. Bachchan. One of the things touched upon was the time the nation came to a standstill when the actor was declared clinically dead by doctors after being injured on the sets of Coolie (1983). Lamb asked Bachchan how it felt to know that so many people nationally and internationally were praying for his health. Bachchan joked, “Well, I didn’t know because I was in a coma for the most part!” He went on to reveal, when answering a question posed by an audience member, that if there was a time in his life where he would have liked to reach out to his fans when he wasn’t able to then it would have been then. He explained that Twitter gives him and other personalities the chance to make contact with the people who make them who they are and he would have liked to have expressed his gratitude at that time for all the love people were showing.
When talking about his “angry young man” character, he revealed that the role was one which created history because it reflected the feelings of the youth at the time. He explained that the era was such that there was a lot of frustration in the hearts of the youth but they had no means of release. Zanjeer, in which Bachchan portrayed the “angry young man” role, was a film which the youth identified with and perhaps found relief and inspiration from to stand up for what they believed in.
Lamb also posed the question about Bachchan’s dynamics and how he can still be so on-the-go at his age. Bachchan talked about his routine of waking up at 5am everyday for a 2-hour workout. Aside from this, Bachchan divulged that his fascination with social media is there because he doesn’t want to be left out. He said that his attraction to blogging and tweeting is because of the way technology has evolved. He is enthralled by the fact that one can express in 140 characters on Twitter a thought, an action or even about the location one is at. He revealed that he didn’t want to be left behind and kept in the dark when his offspring or grandchildren talk about new age technologies but rather he wants to be able to maintain his knowledge on the topic and also be able to engage in real public opinion through his fans and followers.
Lamb seemed fascinated by there being so many actors in the Bachchan household. Bachchan said in jest, “Yes, we wake up in the morning, each pick up our make-up boxes and run…” He revealed that it is sometimes difficult to get some quality family time but that at some time, in some location in the world, they do come together every now and again. Bachchan confirmed that son Abhishek is currently shooting in Russia, his daughter-in-law Aishwarya has gone from the Cannes Film Festival to join Abhishek in Russia and his wife Jaya is holidaying in Europe. Bachchan also spoke about the delight in sharing his profession with his son and how important it has been in their relationship to talk over doubts about films to get each other’s opinions.
Talking about Bachchan Bol, Bachchan says, “It empowers me with a personal platform on which I can connect and ‘speak’ directly with my fans across the country anywhere and anytime….” The charismatic actor told the audience that part of his morning routine is to record for Bachchan Bol and this will be his way of bringing himself personally closer to his fans through the ease of their mobile phone.
The innovative Bachchan Bol is now live and will make many wishes some true. There will be many forthcoming stages and developments put to this basic idea of vogging. We hope that Mr Bachchan continues to be a pioneer in steering India to the global stage in technology and originality. Vogging is sure to create history. In fact, it’s almost like one generation joining with another. The service costs a mere