Encounter with the Big B – II

Posted: December 23, 2009 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

The funny part was I had forgotten all about the interview when I got a call from Bunty Behl, Amitabh’s PR manager asking me to be in Blue Diamond in 10 minutes, because the star had landed in Pune and would be at the hotel in 15 minutes. I just grabbed my Dictaphone, yelled at the telephone operator to tell the photographer to reach the hotel, and ran out of the office!

When I reached the Blue Diamond there was a crowd already there, but surprisingly not a single journalist, which I thought was a blessing in disguise. The photographer rushed in with his camera and family in tow. I couldn’t believe my eyes! But then it’s not every day you get to see an icon in the flesh and blood.

As he strode in to the lobby, there was a sudden hush. Everyone stopped doing what they were doing. The florist, who was busy putting together a bouquet, just froze and gaped. The porters gazed in awe and the girls at the Reception were smiling really hard trying to catch his eye. All eyes were on this denim clad, clean shaven (he didn’t have his French beard then) man, who obviously still had the charisma to stop traffic! I remember saying to myself, “heck, absence or no absence, this guy has class.”

I got the interview – all 25 minutes of it. Or was it 45? I don’t remember. It’s not every day you get to interview or shake the hand of a man called Amitabh Bachchan. So it all went in a daze. I even made a faux pas, which I am still embarrassed about till today!

When I had told my mother that ABCL had agreed to the interview she told me that

Amitabh’s parents – mother Teji and his father, poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan – had come for dinner to my father’s place in Patna sometime in the 1950’s or 60s. My father Bishweshwar Prasad Sinha was a well known barrister-politician-editor- writer and later part-time lecturer in Patna then, and knew a lot of important people. When I mentioned this to Amitabh after the interview was complete, I confused the date and mentioned one some 30 years earlier, which he firmly said was not possible. I shut up and left.

If he ever reads this blog post…Sorry Sir, I got the date wrong! But I stand by the rest of my story!

The funny thing is just before the interview was scheduled in Amitabh’s suite, I was with Behl at the Business Centre. Standing not even a foot from me in the cramped business centre was this stunning looking woman – flawless complexion and beautiful. Behl asked me if I would also like to interview her after the Bachchan interview. I shrugged it off because, whither Bachchan and whither she. I also didn’t really know too much about her career then, because she was more of a model then an actor. I also thought she was dumb.

Today when I see her as a guest on TV reality shows I really want to kick myself. She’s more stunning after motherhood, even classier now than before and is far from being the dumb woman I thought she was. So, while I interviewed Ajay Devgan and Nafeesa Ali during the shooting of the film in Pune, I never got around to interviewing Sonali Bendre.

  1. Anonymous says:

    The Magnificient Seven was a straight lift from Kurosawa's Seven Samurai. In fact, Sholay had more shades of the Japanese film than the American one – Asian emotions maybe. Didn't see Paa – can't bear to see old AB anymore. He's an overdose even if you're sitting at home doing nothing. Saw Avatar – not much of a story but cutting edge animation and computer graphics and a huge comment on American insensitivity to ecology & environment. Nandu Rao

  2. Janhavi :-) says:

    WOW !!! You really got a chance of a lifetime . . Tell me sir. . didnt you get intimidated by his towering persona ??How did u remember all the questions you were supposed to ask ?? I am asking this becuase i had got a similar chance to interview a very famous personality. . I was so overwhelmed that i didnt even ask 50% of what i had in mind:)And yeah. .nice observation about Mrs. Behl:)

  3. Mohan says:

    Janhavi, I had written down all my questions. Of course, I was intimidated initially. But he has a calm persona that puts you at ease!

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