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Flashback: When Amitabh wed Jaya
April 19, 2007 17:03 IST
But while Abhishek's wedding is held on such a big scale, Amitabh's own wedding to Jaya Bhaduri, way back in 1973, was more low-key.
Amitabh's father, the late poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan describes his son's wedding beautifully in his autobiography In The Afternoon Of Time. We present an excerpt from the book:Amitabh's two films, Namak Haram and Saudagar were both quite successful when they were released in February and March 1973, and his performance in them brought widespread praise. By the third week of May, Zanjeer had been proclaimed his first hit, and a week later, Amitabh gave us the news that he and Jaya were to marry. Image below: Amitabh Bachchan with his mother Teji
The wedding, long foreseen, was set for June 3, 1973 and was to be kept secret, because with Amitabh's rising popularity, the crowds of admirers gathering round the house had been growing every day. The only guests to be invited from our side were the Rajans and the Gandhis.
Jaya's family decided not to hold the ceremony at their flat in Beach House but at a friend's place on the top floor of the Skylark building in Malabar Hills, where it could pass off unnoticed. We sent a telegram to Jagdish Rajan to 'come with your family immediately,' with no indication of the reason.
Teji invited Mrs Gandhi by telephone: as was expected, she sent her felicitations but could not come herself (just as well -- her coming would have been the end of the secrecy); Sanjay would represent the family.
Amit looked so splendid that his mother prayed to Hanuman to protect him from the evil eye. Before fixing the bridgroom's veil of flowers, I said, my voice thick with emotion, that anyone wanting to see his face should have a good look now.
Then it was time to go out to the three cars that were standing at the ready. When the neighbours asked what the long decorative strings of light bulbs signified, we explained that Amitabh would be shooting a film here the next night. Nobody had an inkling that a wedding was under way, and the three cars driving off were assumed to be part of the film rehearsals.
But he said, 'My family is utterly ruined.'
Excerpted from In the Afternoon Of Time: An Autobiography by Harivansh Rai Bachchan, translated by Rupert Snell, with kind permission of Penguin Books. Rs 450.