It was almost surreal to see Abhishek Bachchan dressed in a dark ensemble - black shirt with silver embellishments and 'Motostar' printed large on one arm and sporting a thick stubble.
It was surprising because he was seated in an almost deserted nightclub at one pm, lunch time, and the air was heavy with the smell of stale beer and cigarettes. You almost expected Where's The Party Tonight to start blaring from the speakers and Bachchan breaking into dance.
But the dance speakers remain silent and Bachchan remains seated, locked in some sort of fervent interaction with his Motorola V3i phone.
Why so hassled, AB?
It's my phone. It’s made my life turbulent and tough. It's been an uphill task trying to overcome the trauma it has inflicted on me. It is cut-throat competition and it’s payback time,” he says, brows furrowed.
|Abhishek is currently shooting for Shaad Ali’s Jhoom Barabar Jhoom|
Congratulations on rave reviews for Rishi's character in
Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna
. Did you expect such unanimous praise?
I did expect people to react positively to Rishi because he is written as the most sympathetic character. I am excited for Karan (Johar) that the film is doing so well. He has achieved what he set out to - which is getting people to talk about the issue and the film whether positive or negative.
Here is a director who has been unfairly labelled as 'candy floss' but KANK is a film that asks you to sit up and take notice. It asks questions and sparks debate.
Another subject of celebration in the family is his father Amitabh Bachchan's supposed National Award for Black. Any comment, Abhishek? “It is not official yet, he's not heard anything so I can't really comment,” he says.
Would you consider endorsing a soft drink?
No. I stopped drinking colas two years ago so it would be dishonest to endorse a product I do not use. I endorse those brands that I love and use, like my phone. I would not tie up with any other brand because this is the one I use. As for my father, I think his contract with the cola company has ended.
Haven't we become slaves to communications and technology? Communications has advanced to such an extent that we can't do without it. There was a time when I would prefer not to carry a mobile phone but now it is imperative to stay connected. You can basically run your life through your phone. I think soon they'll manufacture phones that can make coffee and launch satellites!
Is there any place the phone is out of bounds?
I don’t take it on set because it is not allowed there. But I never switch it off. I have a special dedicated phone which only my dad and I share which is on 24 hours.
By the way, tell us about the beard.
What do you mean?
He laughs and answers, “It’s in preparation for Shaad Ali’s Jhoom Barabar Jhoom for which I go to London this weekend. It’s a six-week schedule in London and Paris.”
He will be back in time for his next release, JP Dutta's Umrao Jaan? “Yes, I will. And then Dhoom 2, after that Mani Ratnam's Guru will release at the end of the year. I always say: if you can't beat them with quality, beat them with quantity.” Right now, Abhishek Bachchan seems to be winning on both counts.