In terms of popularity, actor Mithun Chakraborty hit the pinnacle of success in his day there were only a few artists in Hindi cinema. But, lesser artists have struggled as much as Mithun. Everyone knows in what condition Mithun left home and came to Mumbai. He left Bengal only to stay away from the Naxalite movement. Then the streets of Mumbai were his home and the sky of Mumbai was the roof of that house. I don’t know how many nights Mithun has spent on the sidewalk like this. Friends would go to friends or hostels and take a bath in the morning, then the search for a movie would start on the streets of Mumbai. He also used to do street dance performances at night under the name Rana Rez.
Now the anecdote that I am going to share here, this anecdote was told to me by Mithun himself. Mithun Chakraborty received the National Film Award for Best Actor for the film “Mrigaya”. There was no era of mobile, WhatsApp, etc. The news of the award also didn’t make a big splash in Mumbai, as it was then believed that the National Film Awards were only given to art films. Mithun’s name wasn’t even known to half the industry. However, Mayapuri, a Delhi-based magazine, understood the importance of the award and asked its Mumbai-based reporter, ZA Johar, to do an interview with Mithun for the next issue.
ZA Johar has put all his contacts on this job. Mithun had no bail at that time or where he was. Just two or three days later, it was revealed that Mithun was going to meet with a producer. Mithun’s audition was scheduled that day and ZA Johar came to interview him. Mithun was sitting in a park in front of the producer’s office. Johar said you had to go for an interview. Mithun wondered who will read my interview? Well, when Johar realized his insistence, Mithun said, “I haven’t eaten anything for two days, so if I have food first, then the conversation will come out.”
Johar sent money to the person accompanying him to buy biryani. Both continued to chat for a while until the biryani arrived. Mithun ate biryani full of stomach and then gave his first interview openly. Even today, Gemini becomes emotional after remembering this anecdote. That’s why he always had a different respect for journalists in his heart. Mithun measured all the roads in Mumbai on foot. Three years after that National Film Award, he got his first taste of stardom at Cineplex Badal, Barkha and Bijli Koffice in Matunga. The occasion was the release of his first blockbuster movie ‘Suraksha’. Mithun had gone to meet the director of the theater as he was walking around at night and when the audience found out he broke the window of the director’s cabin and joined them.
Mithun Chakraborty’s career had only taken off when he got the movie ‘Suraksha’ and then the heroine of that movie, Ranjeeta had become a superstar by doing the movie ‘Laila Majnu’ starring Rishi Kapoor. Ranjita then felt that she had made a mistake signing a film with a struggling actor. In the movie ‘Pati Patni Aur Woh’, Ranjeeta became the heroine of Sanjeev Kumar who was one of the superstars then. Having worked with Rishi Kapoor, Sachin and Sanjeev Kumar, Ranjeeta found working with Mithun a bit below her level, but little did she know the duo would become one of Hindi cinema’s hit couples.