Amitabh Bachchan is a banyan tree under whose shadow it is difficult for most people to aspire to stardom. But, good news comes from the great man that he means to grow a few things under the feet where we thought the grass could never grow. It appears, to our delight, that the Don is now a seed grower in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh. And to make matters better, it appears that the Family Bachchan intend to germinate this idea in the heartland of India.
Now this is good idea. We have seen other great stars taking to farming like the wonderful John Cleese, whom many of you have seen in the British television comedy Fawlty Towers and the Monty Python series, who has taken to vineyards from where he would try and trip up pretentious people through television channels on which was a good wine or not. The late Paul Newman had got a whole line of organic foods including sauces going sheerly on the strength of those old blue eyes. To come back to the Big B, he is a man who is never one to let things lie fallow for too long. He sat back and saw his own seed, as it were, grow in the form of Abhishek and then oversaw his daughter-in-law Aishwarya, already a bit of a hothouse plant, flower.
But this does not mean that the agricultural process in Uttar Pradesh will not benefit from his endeavours. We wonder what Mr Bachchan, who looks to us like a tony farmer, could contribute in the kharif crop? Would he be looking at a splendid harvest of artichokes or asparagus? But good news comes from the fact that the Uttar Pradesh Seed Development Corporation has given not just Amitabh but also his wife Jaya and son Abhishek permits to become seed-growers. Amitabh has put down 60 kg of foundation seed already. Well, this is good bit of grounding for the future farming industry. It may not prove to be fertile ground but then again you cannot blame Amitabh for not trying to spread a bit of shade around.