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Watching Amitabh Bachchan act

Amitabh Bachchan defies description.

We've read and written so much, apocryphal exaggeration and gossip combining with fact and box office numbers to make up the myth of the megastar that none of us knows exactly what to believe. I've interacted with Mr Bachchan on a few occasions, coming away with strikingly different impressions each time, deciding that -- be he moody, difficult, overwhelming, prompt or affable -- the much feted B, the Big one, must stand for Bewildering.

It is said the only way to measure a movie actor is to see him closeted by cameras, forced to perform, giving the scene his all.

And thus I wait. It's a sultry day in Hyderabad's massive Ramoji Rao Film City as I shuffle around outside a closed set, waiting for Bachchan and Ram Gopal Varma, who's directing the star -- and his son and daughter-in-law -- in the Sarkar sequel, Sarkar Raaj.

It isn't too hard to find the set. The Film City security guards are most helpful. 'Amitabachchan,' they say, conflating name and surname into one word imbued with awe, as they point you in the right direction. You take a right near the fake railway station, and there you are.

There is little of the Mumbai security madness or the hysteria -- though possibly a Chiranjeevi-garu film might garner a lot more mob-security in these parts.

Text: Raja Sen | Photographs: Sarkar stills, Getty Images | Design: Uday Kuckian

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