India’s biggest superstar whom his co-star Ayushmann Khurrana bills “A 77-year man with the mind of a 24-year old” is in no mood to celebrate his birthday. “What is there to celebrate? It’s a day like any other day? I’m grateful that I am still working, that my body is able to keep pace with my spirit,” he says humbly urging his well-wishers to wish and pray for his good health.
Bachchan Saab recalls his childhood birthdays when his father the great poet Harivanshrai Bachchan would always write and recite a poem for him. “It was a family tradition. But this tradition took an entirely new definition when after my near-fatal accident in 1984 (when Mr Bachchan nearly lost his life after a mis-aimed punch in his solar plexus while shooting Manmohan Desai’s Coolie) my father recited my birthday poem. It was like a new life for me. While reading the poem my father broke down. It was the only time I’ve seen him like that.”
The mega-star who will soon be seen in the sports drama Jhund, says he misses the annual ritual “My father’s poetry is much-missed, as is my mother’s excitement on that day. The annual ritual of cake-cutting no longer interests me. It has been replaced by a plate of dry fruits.”
Though having achieved more than most dream about in seven lifetimes, Bachchan Saab has many, many unfulfilled dreams. “There’re so many! I want play the piano. I want to learn many languages. I’d have liked to work with Guru Dutt.”
As a parting shot I ask him to choose one of his films that he would like to remake for himself. “None at all. What was to be done was done to those films. Why not look ahead?”