It was a mini stampede with a battalion of security personnel, mediapersons and crazy fans perched on trees and balconies of nearby buildings to catch a glimpse of the much-talked about Abhishek-Aishwarya wedding.
Ten-year-old Abhijit Jathal came alone all the way from Chembur. Standing outside the bungalow since 2 pm, he only wanted to see Amitabh and Abhishek once. “I have not come here to see Aishwarya. I don’t even like the idea of Abhishek getting married to Aishwarya,” said Jathal, who plans to wait till morning to catch a glimpse of his “heroes”.
At 5.10 pm, when the groom climbed the richly-decorated horse and waved to his fans outside Jalsa, they went beserk. Ten minutes later, he entered a Volvo with his father and headed towards Prateeksha, where the wedding was to be solemnised.
Kishanlal Jodhmani (40), who had spent Rs 12,000 for his Mumbai trip from Bhopal, said: “I have seen all Amitabh’s films. I just want to see him once. If I don’t see him today, I will be back tomorrow.” This is his first visit to the city.
At 5.30 pm, the baraat left in seven Volvos.
Five minutes after the baraat left, a Amitabh look-alike made his presence known and was an instant hit among the crowd.
Photographers and camera persons outside Prateeksha hurled abuses at the buses obstructing their little-found view, Abhishek in a sehara stepped out of the fifth Volvo and waved to his fans. He was followed by mother Jaya and sister Shweta. Amitabh’s brother Ajitabh was in the second Volvo.
The crowds whistled as Abhishek got on his horse again and swayed to Rock n Roll, Soniye. The police had a difficult time controlling the crowd, and resorted to “mild beating”.
“The crowd was going beserk and tried to break the barricade. I heard that some woman’s chain was snatched,” said resident Bharati Shah.
Sagar Mistry, who had taken the day off from his restaurant job, was one of the lucky few. He not only got a glimpse of Amitabh and the groom, but also spotted Sanjay Dutt. “I will call my parents back home in Kolkata to tell them,” he said gleefully.
But autorickshaw driver Shyam Yadav could not understand what the fuss was about. “Shaadi idhar bhi hain or udhar bhi?” he asked. When told that the baraat was moving from Jalsa to Prateeksha, he promptly replied, “Total faltugiri hain.”