Amitabh's special birthday gift

  Jaya on Amitabh

  Ajitabh, Ramola on AB

  Abhishek on AB

  Shweta on AB

  'Doctor, will I act again?'

  Hema Malini
  Nirupa Roy
  Puneet Issar
  Shashi Kapoor
  Shatrughan Sinha

  Prakash Mehra
  Ramesh Sippy
  Tinnu Anand
  K Bhagyaraj
  Rakesh Mehra
  Prahlad Kakkar

  Slide Show
  AB's birthday gift
  The director's actor
  The family man
   A day with AB

  Neerja Shah
  Anwar Ali
  Romesh Sharma
  Khalid Mohamed

  Age is just a number for AB
  AB, rare class act

  Sweet 60! A factfile
  Jessica Hines

  Readers' take
  'AB is the greatest entertainer'
  Happy birthday, Amitabh!

  AB on Rediff
  AB's filmography

  Who was AB's best heroine?

  Zeenat Aman
  Parveen Babi
  Hema Malini
  Neetu Singh



'Amit is a gem'

Neetu Singh

Neetu Singh It is difficult to decide which aspect of him to talk about -- Amit the person, the actor, the costar.

I can keep on talking about him and it will not be enough. He is such a great actor. I was very young when I started working with him, just in my teens. I remember how frightened and nervous I was when I had to shoot with him.

My very first shot with him was for the film Yaarana in which I had to say, "Dekho Kishen, koi aa gaya hai." I was so flustered I said, "Dekho Amit, koi aa gaya hai."

The director said, 'He is not Amit in the film.'

Most people see him as this rather reserved person, but he is the biggest comedian in the world. He has a fantastic sense of humour. He used to keep me in splits. I used to laugh so much that tears would roll down my cheeks. I would fall off and roll on the ground till I had to tell him to stop. But he wouldn't.

When we were working together, he would come and tell me, '[His daughter] Shweta said this, [Ajitabh's son] Nikhil said this,' and he would mimic them till you couldn't stop laughing.

There was a costar we both found very funny. Both of us used to imitate him. This was such a secret between us that whenever, wherever I met him, I just had to look at Amitabh and know what action he will be doing!

I remember we were in Kolkata shooting for a song in a stadium. We were sitting together and I was crying. I had just got engaged and I didn't want to be away from Chintu [Rishi Kapoor]. The phones in Kolkata weren't working and Chintu was upset that he couldn't get through to me.

Amit asked me why I was crying. I said, 'I want to go back.' He called the producer, asked him to book my ticket back to Mumbai and said they would manage the song without me. They changed the whole song. You will notice I am there for half the song [in Yaarana] and then I disappear.

We meet often because his daughter Shweta married my sister-in-law's son. Amit is such a gem that wherever he may be, he rings up to wish me on my birthday. I just adore him. He was a fantastic costar and is a fantastic human being.

Neetu Singh spoke to Lata Khubchandani


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