All roads lead to Big B's 'Pratiksha'
The presence of security personnel does not seem to deter Mumbaikars who have come from far-off to catch up on celebrations of the star wedding.Updated: Apr 23, 2007, 14:06 IST
The small lane outside Amitabh Bachchan's residence Pratiksha in the posh Juhu area in Mumbai on Wednesday resembled a tourist hotspot with scores of people converging there to get an update on the celebrations to mark the wedding of Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai.
As night fell, curious passers-by gathered at 10th Road in JVPD Scheme, trying to catch a glimpse of last-minute preparations for the 'sangeet' ceremony for the star couple.
The presence of a posse of security personnel did not seem to deter Mumbaikars who came from far-off suburbs to catch up on the celebrations for the wedding on April 20, which the Bachchan family is keeping a small and private affair.
"I have come all the way from (the western suburb of) Malad just to see what the fuss is all about. I don't think we will be able to see Abhishek and Aishwarya but it was worth making the trip," said Suresh, who came with his entire family in tow.
Traffic move at a snail's pace along the road and drivers craned their necks to have a look at the tastefully decorated Pratiksha.
The event attracted Abhishek's fans like Ravi Pande from Kanpur, who travelled all the way to Mumbai with a box full of the star's favourite 'laddus'.
"Abhishek shot in our shop for the film `Bunty Aur Bubbly' and loved our meve ke laddu. That is why we came all the way from Kanpur, hoping to present them to him but we were turned away by security guards," he said.
The crowd gathered at Pratiksha attracted vendors selling ice-creams and cold drinks, who did brisk business. Amitabh played the perfect host to the 500-odd police personnel deployed in the area, sending out boxes of food and cold drinks for them every two hours.
"We have been standing here since seven am but he (Amitabh) has been kind enough to send us something to eat at regular intervals. The boxes usually contain a `samosa', `vada pav' (traditional Mumbai street food) and a gulab jamun," said one of the policemen.
A line of trucks carrying furniture, catering equipment and flowers were lined up outside Pratiksha along with fire brigade vehicles.
Though the crowd gave a cheer when Aishwarya's car drove into the bungalow's gate, no one got a glimpse of the bride-to-be.
A battery of media personnel invaded the footpath opposite Pratiksha but were not allowed anywhere near the house itself by security guards.
The sangeet ceremony, which according to Indian tradition is held before the marriage, will be conducted tonight and the 'mehendi' ceremony is slated for tomorrow.
The wedding will be held on the auspicious occasion of Akshya Trithiya.