In an age where glamour and glitter rules the Indian Cinema and ‘struggle’ means fighting paparazzi and online bullying, real life story of Gourang Chakraborty or Mithun Da stands wonderfully apart.
Before entering the film industry, Chakraborty was a naxal. It was during those days when his only brother was electrocuted and killed in a freak accident. The loss affected Mithun Da deeply after which he returned to his family and left the Naxalite fold, even though that posed a grave risk to his own life.
Beauty and Brains
If you think the brand Mithun Chakraborty is all about cheap thrills and latke-jhatke, you might be mistaken. The Pyaar Jhukta Nahin hero has a degree in Chemistry from the Scottish Church College, Kolkata. He is also the alumnus of the reputed Film and Television Institute of India, Pune.
The Alpha Male
Besides being an actor, singer, producer, writer, social worker, entrepreneur and a Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament, Mithun is also an expert in martial arts to the grade of black belt and a trained Graeco-Roman style wrestler. (gasp!)
Debut with a Bang
He began his career as a junior actor and went on to establish himself as one of the top lead actors in Bollywood. Chakraborty’s acting debut came in 1976 with Mrinal Sen-directed Mrigayaa for which he won his first National Film Award for Best Actor. Set against the backdrop of British Raj, he played the role of an exceptional tribal archer (तीरंदाज़) named Ghinua.
He also won two more National Film Awards for his performances in Tahader Katha (1992) and Swami Vivekananda (1998). Chakraborty has appeared in more than 350 films including Bengali, Oriya, Bhojpuri, Telugu and Punjabi pictures.
Owning 80s and 90s
Believe it or not, Mithun Da is one of the biggest Bollywood superstars with more than 110 releases in the 80s decade followed by over 100 releases in the 90s. He is particularly recognised as one of the best dancing-heroes in Bollywood with his unique Disco and Desi fusion-style dancing that is immensely popular among the masses.
Nobody can shake it like Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy, aaja aaja aaja
He was Bollywood’s highest paid star after Amitabh Bachchan but, despite all his hits and national recognition, his status of a B or C grade hero never quite went away because of his popularity among the rural and remote countrymen.
Along with legendary actor Raj Kapoor, Chakraborty is hugely popular in Russia for his role as dancer Jimmy in Disco Dancer. He was also the ambassador of Panasonic, India, in late 1980s. Currently, he is the face of GoDaddy. He also endorses Manappuram Gold Loan in West Bengal.
The title character of the comic book Jimmy Zhingchak is a parody of the legend. Bollowood, too, pays its respects to Mithun Da in Golmaal 3, Amir Khan’s Delhi Belly and Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur II.
Marrying a Divorcee
When our superstar and Yogeeta Bali met, she was married to legendary singer Kishore Kumar and he was rumoured to be married to a model. But those weren’t the only obstacles they had to overcome in their enduring partnership. There was also Sridevi, according to NDTV.
Chakraborty also owns the Monarch Group, which has primary interests in the hospitality sector and educational sector.
The M-charm which began in the 70s shows no signs of fading away even today. The popular TV show Dance India Dance where Chakraborty is the Grandmaster has already entered in Limca Book of Records and Guinness World Records. Many wouldn’t know that the show is also conceptualised by him (after the success of Dance Bangla Dance). His inspirational life journey and personality has also become the subject of many Bengali books.