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"I am Net savvy. But that depends on which month of the year it is!"
That's Abhishek Bachchan for you, who got hooked when he moved to study at Boston. Back then, he used the Internet to communicate with friends and family back home: "Especially my sister. Dad is very Net savvy and gizmo friendly! He logs on every night before he goes to bed. Mom, on the other hand, wouldn't even know how to start a computer."
As a student, Abhishek also used the Net to research for projects, assignments, and even fan sites on his famous father. "I would check out sites like amitabhbachchan.com and amitabhonline.com. I wonder if they still exist."
[Editor's Note: The web sites www.amitabhbachchan.com and www.amitabhonline.com are no longer active.]
Now, Bachchan Junior has a fancy laptop and even a Web cam, but very little time to spend online.
Preferences? He goes wherever the mouse takes him, but particular interests are, "NBA and film oriented sites like Underground and Ifilm.com."
Though the actor is yet to see any movies shot just for the Net, he is visibly excited by the prospect. "That sounds like a completely different world, along with different requirements, both technically, and even for an actor."
Now for a surprise. Abhishek doesn't chat at all! "I hate chatting, simply because I can't type. It is an extremely painful experience, which is why I am not into Instant Messengers or chat rooms. We did a few chats when we were promoting 'Refugee', but that memory is a distant haze because we were doing so many things online at the time. In fact, I can't even remember seeing the official site of the movie."
There are some interesting memories he has about his first movie. "When we were shooting for 'Refugee' in Bhuj, Jaggu Dada, who is a complete Net freak, carried his laptop into that isolated village and spent hours trying to hook up through some Internet connection in Rajkot. Then, we would email a lot of friends and family."
Abhishek admits that actors are narcissists. "I have a Web cam similar to the one Jaggu Dada uses, but we were so horrified with the way we looked that, after trying it once, I have never used it again."
Ask him whether he has been ego surfing and Abhishek asks, "What's that?" Explain the whole process of having to type in his name in any search engine and find a bunch of fan sites dedicated to him and he looks enamoured: "Wow, that is something I must try."
Then, the questions begin: Who is the most downloaded Bollywood star on the Net? How many pages are dedicated to Aishwarya? What do these sites contain?
When asked about what he would sell online if given a chance, the actor is self-contradictory. "I don't know whether I am interesting enough to entice people to buy anything I own. Maybe I could auction a costume or something, though, again, I wonder if it would raise any money. If it was my dad, however, I'm sure it would be a different story!"
Well, we think so too!