'Birju Maharaj prayed for Amitabh during concert'
Close friend and director Sanjay Leela Bhansali says Kathak maestro Birju Maharaj prayed for the icon's recovery in the middle of a concert.art and culture Updated: Oct 13, 2008 17:55 IST
Love, concern and get well wishes for the ailing superstar Amitabh Bachchan has been pouring in ever since he was hospitalised on his birthday. Close friend and director Sanjay Leela Bhansali says Kathak maestro Birju Maharaj prayed for the icon's recovery in the middle of a concert.
On Saturday evening Bhansali witnessed a moment of spontaneous affection for India's most enduring star. It was a classical concert, a jugalbandi between veteran vocalist Girija Devi and the Kathak maestro Birju Maharaj at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan here.
"Birju Maharaj, Lata Mangeshkar and Amitabh Bachchan are my three heroes. So when Birju Maharaji invited me I had to go, as I always do. I had no idea what awaited me there.
At the concert, Birju Maharaj suddenly stopped the performance to pray for the quick recuperation of the Big B.
"It was such a spontaneously emotional moment. No one had planned it. But suddenly Birju Maharajji said, 'Let's say a silent prayer for our very own Amitji'. And all of us in the audience fell silent to pray," said Bhansali who worked with Amitabh in Black.
"And mind you, Amitji isn't a part of the classical world. He's very much a popular entertainer. It just went to prove that when it comes to art and culture all categories and segregation vanish. And look at Amitji's reach. He was remembered with such genuine emotion at a classical concert," Bhansali added.
Amitabh was taken to hospital following abdominal pain Saturday when he was celebrating his 66th birthday at his bungalow Pratiksha in Juhu.
He was recovering Sunday after being treated for the ailment and doctors attending on him said his test results were normal and that he would be released soon.
Talking about his illness, son Abhishek said: "Pa has a condition known as intestinal obstruction. He's responding well to treatment. Doctors want to keep him in hospital for a minimum of two days for observation."
The entire family and close friends including Reliance ADAG head Anil Ambani and Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh are stationed at Lilavati. Amitabh's daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai, who was shooting in Goa for Shankar's Robot on Friday, rushed back to join the family on Saturday.