Knowing the family the way I do, I always saw Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan’s daughter Shweta as the true inheritor of her two grandparents’ legacy. Shweta and brother Abhishek’s paternal grandfather was the legendary writer-poet Harivanshrai Bachchan, and their maternal grandfather was the renowned journalist Taroon Kumar Bhaduri.
When I tell Shweta that she is carrying her grandfathers’ legacy ahead she replies, “I aspire to. Yes, I am publishing my first novel. My novel is called ‘Paradise Towers’. It is out in October. I have finished writing it. The publishers are HarperCollins India.”
In an earlier interview to me Shweta had said, “Most of my decisions in life have been emotional. I’ve always been devoted to family and friends. There has never been a career plan. Nor did I plan the ramp walk or the TV stint as a stepping stone. Everything has happened spontaneously in my life. I’ve never planned anything, and I won’t plan it either.”
Speaking proudly about his daughter the Big B had said to me, “Shweta is the most intelligent and balanced Bachchan. She’s very objective in assessment of situations. Whenever we reach a dead-end during a family discussion we call up Shweta and put her on the conference line. We always keep going back to her for her wise opinion. Her intelligence comes through on her show. Shweta is a voracious reader.”
Shweta was never interested in being an actress. Said Mr Bachchan, “The choice was entirely hers. In fact she was never interested in even accompanying me to shootings and film events. On the other hand Abhishek would always accompany me wherever I went. I think Shweta was a little shy and scared of events.”
Shweta’s favourite film of her father: “My favourite films of my dad? Most of my favourites are his comic light-hearted films from the 1970s like Naseeb and Amar Akbar Anthony.”
Shweta on her mother Jaya Bachchan’s decision to quit her career at its peak? “It isn’t for me to comment on what she did. Everyone makes her own decisions. I’m sure she was a hundred percent convinced in what she was doing then, as she is in what she’s doing now.”
Shweta on brother Abhishek Bachchan, “I was a proud sister even when he was struggling. He had to wait for his career to come together, and it wasn’t easy. He handled himself with dignity.”