By Team Bollyy
New Update
Ali Peter John
To be part or even crushed between two great or even not so great people is a way of life for smaller people like me . I have had my share of such experiences and they have taught me lessons for a lifetime and more .
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It was the eve of republic day (January 26) and I was at the Filmistan Studio where Amitabh Bachchan was shooting ....
I had an idea of how the workers of the Indian Express were going to start their republic day celebrations. They were going to have a mass (the Christian ritual of praying ) at the express towers and follow it with various cultural activities, which was an annual affair .
I don't know how I thought of asking Amitabh for a letter addressing the workers and congratulating them. I told him what I had in mind and he immediately said, "Why do you want a letter ? I will come personally ". I was very thrilled and couldn't imagine how happy the workers would be when I told them about what was going to happen the next day .
There was excitement on every floor where the Indian Express had its offices and in the press where hundreds of men worked in different departments. Some of them came to my table to thank me and told me how happy they were . But my happiness and their excitement was not going to last long.
Mr. Vivek Goenka, the Chairman heard about Amitabh's coming to the express tower and sent me a message through his PA saying that if , AMITABH WAS GOING TO COME TO THE FUNCTION OF THE WORKERS , HE WOULD NOT COME . The message spread and where there was so much excitement, there was a sudden sadness and it could be seen on the faces of all the workers . They wanted to know why Mr.Goenka was trying to take away their few minutes of happiness , but I didn't know how to answer them, I was more worried about how to tell Amitabh about this unexpected development .He was kind to make his contribution to the celebration of the workers and had almost forced an invitation for him .He was always kind whenever I asked him to do me a favour .
I couldn't sleep that night. I didn't have a phone those days and so had to walk down to my chaiwala's shop where I could have my tea and even make the call .
I was a little nervous when I dialed his number , but he came on the phone within a minute and before I could say a word , he said,"don't worry ,Ali .I knew this was going to be the reaction . You don't worry ,I will deal with it "I didn't know whether I was happy , sad or relieved , but all that happened between Amitabh and Mr.Goenka has stayed on in my mind .
Years have passed since that major happening in my life . Everything has changed so much . Everything at Indian Express has also changed .
Mr.Goenka's son , Anand Goenka has now taken charge . And Amitabh and Anand are very good friends even though there is a huge gap in their age . I read this story about Amitabh and Anand . They had a common passion for cars and Amitabh had once men to mentioned the Ford Special (I hope I have got the name correct, because I am not in a position to be caught between two great men again . Anand is supposed to have driven the Ford from express tower to "Jalsa"and Amitabh is said to have received the gift and thanked Anand in the presence of Anand's mother , Mrs.Ananya Goenka, the former wife of Mr.Vivek Goenka , I was told . How times have changed !
Incidentally, just a few days after that republic day, Jaya Bachchan was in Nagpur and so was the senior leader of the now BJP ,Nanaji Deshmukh.I got a call from
Mrs. Goenka .She wanted me to ask Jaya to go to a function organised in honor of Deshmukh . I called Jaya and told her about what Mrs. Goenka had told me to tell her. Jaya was furious and said,"I am not going, tell them I am not ".I told her I could get into a problem , but she said ,"No ,Ali, don't worry . If they do anything to you , I will take care of it". I don't know what happened to that function , but I know that it has been one more experience in my endless book of many -splendored experiences .
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