Showering praise on Marathi and Maharashtra, Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan tonight said he was indebted to the state which shaped his destiny and gave him name and fame.
"I salute this sacred soil of Maharashtra. Whatever I am today is because of Maharashtra which has given me name, honour, home, and also wife," Bachchan said at the concluding ceremony of the 83rd All India Marathi Sahitya Sammelan that ruffled many feathers over his scheduled joint presence at the literary meet with state Chief Minister Ashok Chavan.
Smarting under the controversy that dogged him since his coming together with the superstar -- a brand ambassador of BJP-ruled Gujarat -- at the Mumbai sea link function last week, Chavan chose to avoid Bachchan on Sunday and paid a visit to the Sammelan yesterday.
In an oblique reference to the row that his presence with Chavan had caused, Bachchan who was the chief guest at the convention said, "I have encountered criticism in life along with other things. Opposition and criticism too are necessary in one's life. It serves as 'Nazarbatto' to ward off evil."
Bachchan said he had fond memory of Pune, which he described as a seat of Maharashtra's art, culture and literature.