Amitabh Bachchan turns a year older today. The actor, who had a gala bash on the day last year, seems to be rather mellow this time around.
And as he prepares for the shoot of his next film, which went on the floors recently, the star discusses his birthday plans and the ongoing Durga Puja festivities.
You turn 71 today. What's the one thing you hope and wish for on this occasion?
I hope for peace and understanding. I also hope for good health for all the near and dear ones, and God willing, I wish for the ability to keep working.
Thousands of your fans gather to see you every week and many more do so on your birthday. Would you like to share a message with them?
My well-wishers are like my extended family. I would wish for them what I would for my own family.
Your wife (Jaya Bachchan née Bhaduri) is Bengali. Tell us about your Kolkata connect.
Before marrying Jaya, I had worked in Kolkata for seven years as an executive. The atmosphere there, during Puja, is electric. There is tradition and rituals, music festivals, special occasions for theatre and song, and a general sense of immense celebration. The visits to the pandals notwithstanding, there is a festive atmosphere which is just incomprehensible for a non-Kolkatan to comprehend.
How do you celebrate Durga Puja in Mumbai?
After leaving Kolkata to join films, I have been a part of the traditions during Puja because of Jaya. We visit different pandals and attend the prayers that various societies put together, here in Mumbai. There is a sense of great piousness. Tradition has been an integral part of our existence in India, and the Durga Puja is an integral part of our lives.