When Amitabh Bachchan learnt about the Government's decision to honour him with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for his lifetime contribution, he doubted if it was a gentle nudge for him to call it a day after a half a century-long career in acting.
The megastar shared his first thoughts in a lighter vein that he had on hearing the news about his being selected for the coveted award while accepting it from President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Sunday.
Bachchan's humble request for a clarification of his doubt, at the end of his short speech, drew huge applause from the dignitaries present. Kovind was also seen smiling.
“When this award was announced, a had a doubt in my mind that whether it's a message to me that I had done enough work and now it is time for me to stay home and take rest. Because still, I have some work is left in hands to complete and there are possibilities where I would get the opportunity to work in future too. So, it will be a great favour if this (doubt) is clarified,” he quipped.
The 77-year old legendary actor was supposed to receive the award at the National Film Awards ceremony organised on December 23, but he could not make it to the event due to ill health.
"Many thanks. God has been kind to me. There have been blessings of my parents, the support of the filmmakers, producers, co-actors from the industry. But I'm most indebted to the love and constant encouragement by the people of India because of whom I am standing here today. I accept this award with utmost humility and gratitude," he Bachchan said.
He also thanked the government and the jury members of the National Film Awards for naming him for the prestigious award.
Bachchan's wife Jaya Bachchan, a Rajya Sabha MP (Samajwadi Party), his son and actor Abhishek Bachchan were present on the occasion along with winners of the 66th National Film Awards and various other dignitaries.