Anxiety & Disappointment All Around “Jalsa” on Sunday Bachchan Darshan Day
By – Ali Peter John
I think it all started after he returned alive after battling death for two long months. It was a phenomenon whose time has come. Earlier, there were stars like Dilip Kumar and Dev Anand and years later Rajesh Khanna who could attract people from all over to there Bungalows on any day and some of the people came from faraway places and even from outside the country. To a large extent, the crowds outside Rajesh Khanna’s house were even manipulated by his men and men,women and children flocked “Aashirwad ” and all this was only to catch a glimpse of the first superstar of India and when girls saw him, they swooned and when they couldn’t fulfill their wish, they were satisfied by kissing the walls of his bungalow or even his staff members, secretaries, managers and even his driver, Kabir or his domestic helps..
Like Rajesh Khanna often said towards the end of his life, ” Woh bhee ek daur tha, yeh bhee ek daur hai” and he soon had to make way for the first angry young man hero of Hindi cinema, Amitabh Bachchan, whose name itself many found difficult to pronounce and some even called him Anitabh Button.
It was in 1983,soon after the close-to- death accident on the sets of “Coolie” and his triumphant return home that the crowds first started gathering all over “Pratiksha”, the first bungalow he had owned as a star. It is difficult to say how this phenomenon of thousands and even lakhs of people started assembling outside his house and even the sick and convalescing Amitabh had to come to the gate, led by three or four of his men. He was reduced to just a bundle of bones and his eyes had sunk “into the sea”, but he still came out for just those two minutes when he faced the crowd, waved at them and then went back into his house.
This was a regular ritual for the first few years and it became a grand show of people who thronged his new house, “Jalsa”. People planned their holidays or visits to Bombay to coincide with a Sunday because he had now cut down on the everyday darshans and had decided to have the Bachchan darshan which had become a part of Bombay lore. No visits to Bombay was complete without having the Sunday darshan which he maintained however busy he was. It was a part of his life, even if he was shooting three shifts and working 18 hours a day. The only time he missed these Sundays was when he was out of the country or was sick.
October 20, was one such Sunday when he couldn’t come out to the gate even though he was very much at home. His staff kept telling the throngs that Amitji was not well and his doctors had advised him not to take any anxiety or stress which meant the cancellation of days of shooting for KBC and dubbing for film awaiting releases and also other activities he was so very much involved with at 77.
Bachchan was admitted to the Nanavati Hospital on the morning of October 14, around 2 A.M. The news like always spread like wildfire and every one in the industry, country and even world had a favourite subject to weave their stories on. Some said it was just a regular medical check up, but some were not satisfied with spreading such tame rumours and created more scary diseases for him, like his liver being bursted, like him having a breakdown and some even said that he was critical. Neither the doctors at the hospital nor his family came up with the truth, which according to some senior doctors at the hospital was that he had a severe liver problem and would have to be hospitalized for three days. Some say there was a minor operation done during these three days , but again both the doctors and the family rubbished these stories.
Bachchan returned home on Friday, October 18th and this hospitalisation of the star of the millennium also made headlines and the media , social or otherwise found one more chance of creating stories about his being in a very bad state.
But before the stories could grow wider, Bachchan himself took to his Twitter handle and his blog to talk about his ailment. He made it clear that he has been having a dangerously bad liver problem ever since his accident in Bangalore, when the blood of a Hepatitis B patient had seeped into his system which gradually led to the damage of almost his entire lever. He made it clear that his was a rare case in which he had lost 75 percent of his liver and has been living on the remaining 25 percent, which could include his being down with Cirrhosis. He made light of such a dismal state when he said he was standing before his people as some kind of a miracle,surviving and working to the hilt during the last twenty years inspite of warnings from the best of doctors.
Amitabh for those who don’t know suffers from multiple ailments. He is an asthmatic, he has this constant problem which is liver, he has what is called in medical terms is called Creatine problem and he has a very rare disease of the muscles which is called Myasthenia Gravis. But he still continues to work 18 hours a day. I once asked him how he did so much of work and had so much of energy, he quietly showed me a box of tablets of all kinds and asked, “what are all these for?”
On this Sunday Bachchan darshan day,he couldn’t come out and that was reason enough for the huge crowd to be anxious and thoroughly disappointed because most of those in the crowd are out of Mumbai. That same night ( night in the time when he writes his blog) he blogged thanking the masses one more time.
He said he couldn’t understand the love and care of people down the years. At certain stages in his blog, one can feel the gratitude he has in the millions of his fans. When he came back from hospital on September 24th, 1983, he had said , ” I will try ,I will try to live up to the expectations of people who have prayed for me and blessed me to bring me back to life”. On has to now wait and see how many more expectations of how many more generations of people who love him still, he will keep.
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Tags: Bollywood, Bollywood News, Bollywood Updates, Television, Telly News, Jalsa, Sunday Bachchan Darshan Day,Rajesh Khanna , Bachchan darshan , Amitabh Bachchan, Pratiksha