She’s a director, choreographer, wife, mother... and now a columnist for HT City. Read Farah Khan’s take on Bollywood every Monday on this page
I’ve met Amitabh Bachchan often, over the years, from the time I was very young.
Here are some of my most memorable Mr B moments.
1. 1973: I’m eight years old. I clearly remember being at a trial show of Zanjeer with Sajid (my brother), Honey Aunty (Honey Irani) and my mother. During the interval, the door opens and the lead actor (whose name we couldn’t pronounce) comes into the preview room to meet Javed Uncle (Javed Akhtar). Even now I can remember that sense of power and the aura of stardom that filled the room, even though he was relatively unknown. Lanky and unlike any other hero then, we all
fell silent and turned to look at him
- a phenomenon that still happens every time he enters a room.
2. 1978: Watching Kasme Vaade at Bandra Talkies, Sajid starts
bawling at the death scene –
heart-wrenching, loud sobs. Luckily no one shh-s us, because almost everyone is crying. Two ice creams and two samosas later, Sajid is happy, because post interval, Amitabh Bachchan is back in the film with a mucchi (moustache).
I had already done my share of crying three year earlier at the
end of Sholay, where he didn’t even come back.
3. 1982: I’m watching Satte Pe Satta. ‘Dilbar mere kab tak mujhe’ is happening on screen and Amitabh Bachchan has had a makeover, wearing a tuxedo and he gives a long, lingering look that, for me, defines ultimate sexuality. It’s something I still use as a reference in my films and my songs - a smouldering look any day, over
4. 1992: I enter the film industry as a bona fide choreographer with Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander. It’s the year Mr Bachchan celebrates his 50th birthday with a big party at
the Taj. I know some of the people invited and I’m envious - I feel, ‘Wow! They’ve made it! Amitabh Bachchan has invited them for his party. They’ve arrived.’
5. 1998: I win my first Filmfare Award and even more exciting than the actual award is that I get a bouquet and a handwritten note from Mr B congratulating me. Both the award and the note are still with me. Wow! Have I arrived? Almost!
6. 2001: I get to choreograph him for Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, and I’m too excited. Little do I know, it’s the hardest I’ll ever have to work. He rehearses like a maniac and doesn’t let you rest for even five minutes on the sets. But what the hell! I get to
do ‘Shava shava’ plus ‘Bole chudiyan’ and have the surreal experience of making him dance.
7. December, 2011: Shirish (Kunder, my husband) and I have a house warming party and Mr B arrives. If I wasn’t already drunk, I would still be floating around. My son sits on his lap and recites, ‘I can talk English. I can walk English’. Because that’s how I’ve taught him English. Unreal! Have I arrived? Mostly!
8. 2012: It’s his 70th birthday and an even bigger party is planned. And this time, Jayaji (Bachchan) personally calls to invite us.
Mr B - I am arriving!
DISCLAIMER: This column is to be taken with a big tongue in your cheek and dollops of humour. It’s with malice towards none and truth towards all