Bangalore beckons Big B again

Bangalore beckons Big B again


Bangalore beckons Big B again

Actor Amitabh Bachchan at a press conference in Bangalore on Saturday. DH photo

The Big B of Indian cinema, who has bitter-sweet memories of Bangalore, arrived at the venue of the press interaction on Saturday dressed in an all black bandagala. Yeddyurappa was in his trademark all white safari suit.

The common bond that held and brought them together was to address the sensitive issue of  progeria, a disease that accelerates ageing.

It was the state government that set the ball rolling by giving 50 per cent tax exemption to the movie “Paa,” an emotional story of a father-son relationship that has Amitabh playing Auro, a 12-year-old child suffering from progeria.

The legendary actor started by showering lavish praise on Bangalore, notwithstanding the bad memories - the life threatening accident during the shooting of “Coolie” in the 80s and the protests during the Miss World event his company Amitabh Bachchan Corporation, organised in the city, a decade later. “It’s a pleasure to come to Bangalore. I have had some wonderful experiences in the beautiful city. It was because of Bangalore that the attention of the world was drawn to India, ” he said even as photographers jostled for space while snapping it all away.

“I have many friends here including many artistes and producers. I had a close association with the legendary Rajkumar,” he added.

The star said he did not like to remember ‘bad things’ a la the “Coolie” incident. “There are ups and downs in life and one has to face them. I am indebted to the prayers and support that I got. I cannot repay the debt, I will always be grateful,” he said. Then came the witty one-liners. To a query, whether his recent visit to the BJP ruled Gujarat to promote “Paa” and his present interaction with Yeddyurappa, had political connotations, Amitabh replied, “I have visited West Bengal too ... That does not mean I am a communist!”

Having had tumultuous relations with the ‘first’ Gandhi family, Amitabh, asked about Rahul Gandhi, side-stepped a minefield by merely saying - “I wish him all the best”.

“Paa,” he said, had a warm story and the film was made with a lot of love and affection. “I am grateful that some of the sensitive points were recognised by the government,” he said. Of course, he was quick to mention the Karnataka ‘contribution’ in “Paa” – award winning actress Arundathi Nag, playing the role of Auro’s grandmother.