Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Abhishek Bachchan fans, who were thrilled at the prospect of the star couple appearing in a film together, will have to wait for some more time. Abhishek and Aishwarya are not doing Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s next, a biopic based on the life of poet and Bollywood lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi. A few weeks earlier, the couple had opted out of Anurag Kashyap’s production Gulab Jamun due to creative differences over the script.
Says a trade source, “Aishwarya is not doing the biopic on Sahir Ludhianvi opposite Abhishek. In fact, nobody from Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s side has not even approached her for it. So, she was shocked to hear reports of her having signed the film. While she has great regard for Bhansali, having worked with him in some great films like Devdas and Hum Dil Chuke Sanam, she is not doing the biopic. She is considering a couple of announcements which should be coming soon but the biopic is not one of them.”
Aishwarya and Abhishek’s last few films together included Umrao Jaan (2006), Guru (2007) and Raavan (2019). If they had done the biopic on Sahir Ludhianvi, it would have meant the duo coming together on screen after nine years. Abhishek would have played the role of poet and Bollywood lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi, who wrote in Hindi and Urdu, while Aishwarya would essay the role of the celebrated Punjabi poetess, novelist and essayist, Amrita Pritam. Earlier there was talk that Shah Rukh Khan or Irrfan Khan would play Ludhianvi’s story. Abhishek himself was in talks a couple of years ago to play the celebrated poet and lyricist with rumours that Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone had been approached for playing Amrita Pritam’s role but things fizzled out.
According to reports, a few months ago, Abhishek was again approached to play the poet and lyricist, while Aishwarya was chosen to play the role of Amrita Pritam. The source adds, “Aishwarya wonders where these rumours are coming from as she was never approached for the biopic so where does the question of her role come into it? She has no clue who is spreading these rumours and apparently, Bhansali himself has expressed keen interest in casting Alia Bhatt for the role of romantic, sensitive and spirited Amrita Pritam.”
The love story between the two poets is an unusual one. Amrita and met Sahir in 1944 at a mushaira (poetry reading) in the village of Preet Nagar, between Lahore and Delhi. She was married so her relationship with Ludhianvi developed through poetry and love letters that they wrote to each other. He was in Lahore, she was in Delhi; but that didn’t stop them from falling madly in love with each other. They built a world of romance through poems, yet their romance was not forever. Ludhianvi never committed to her and hers was said to be an unrequited love. Amrita finally found solace and comfort in the companionship of the artist and writer Imroz and spent the last few years of her life with him.