The globally-famous Bachchan baritone cannot be heard reading other people's prose or poetry in public. That mythical voice can only be used to read material written by the Big B's illustrious father Harivansh Rai Bachchan.
This is not a personal preference on the mega-star's part. It's a contractual obligation imposed on his throat by publishers. It eventuated in an 'oops' moment this weekend. On Sunday evening when the Big B launched Deepti Naval's book The Mad Tibetan, Deepti who had a bad throat requested her chief guest to read out a few excerpts from her book.
The Big B had to decline.
Says Deepti, "Can you imagine! Such a big moment in my life. And my throat was completely gone! I couldn't speak. So I requested Mr. Bachchan to read out some excerpts. But he couldn't do it for some reason. I completely understood his point of view."
Apparently, the contractual obligation regarding public readings regularly eventuates in such moments when the Big B regretfully declines to read the book that he has just released.
Says a source, "Mr. Bachchan hates saying no to anyone. When it comes to releasing books, he's the No.1 choice in the entertainment industry. But how does he explain at every book launch that after releasing a book, he can't read aloud from it?"