When Smita Patil called Amitabh Bachchan in the middle of the night to check if he was ok: ‘Next day I had the Coolie accident’
One of the powerhouse performers of Indian cinema, Smita Patil is still remembered for her work in both art and mainstream films. The actor’s death at the age of 31 left her fans and colleagues shocked. A few years ago on her birthday, Amitabh Bachchan had recalled how Smita seem to have had a premonition ahead of his Coolie accident. Smita Patil was born on October 17.
“I was in Bangalore shooting for Coolie. Late into the night at around 2 am I received call in my hotel room. The receptionist informed me that it was Smita Patil on the line. I was shocked as I had never spoken or talked to her at such a time. Thinking that it would be important one, I answered,” Amitabh said. The two had worked in films such as Namak Halaal and Shakti.
“Smita asked me if I was alright and in good health. I answered yes and she said that she just had a bad dream about me and that’s the reason behind calling up so late in the night. The next day I had my accident,” he said. Amitabh was grievously injured in the accident.
During the filming of a fight scene also featuring Puneet Issar at the Bangalore University campus, Amitabh misjudged his jump and landed on a table. He was rushed to a Mumbai hospital and underwent multiple surgeries. The actor had once written on his blog about how he was declared clinically dead for a few minutes before being put on the ventilator.
Smita was a part of the quartet that powered the parallel cinema movement of Hindi films in the 80s. She made her film debut with in 1974 in a Hindi film called Mere Saath Chal but came into her own in Shyam Benegal’s Nishant (1975). She followed it up with stellar performances in films like Manthan (1976), Bhumika (1977), Gaman (1978), Aakrosh (1980), Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyon Aata Hai (1980), Arth (1982), Bazaar (1982), Ardh Satya and Mandi (1983) to name a few.