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 39 Year Old Autographed  Photo Album of Amitabh Bachchan


              “ During the middle and late 70’s , I was a great fan of Amitabh Bachchan. (Still I am!)The craze was so much so that I changed my name (not officially) from Shivakumar to Shiva Bachchan. I watched all Amitabh movies at least 6 to 7 times without fail. The craze started with the movie Deewar. I was stunned by Amitabh Bachchan’s personality and acting abilities .From that time onwards, I started collecting Amitabh Bachchan’s photographs that appeared in any magazine. I cut the photograph from the magazine and pasted it in an old accounts ledger. I showed it to all my friends.  After Deewar, I watched Sholay and the craze grew to greater heights. I watched Sholay more than ten times only for Amitabh Bachchan, each time taking a new friend with me. After that, I would always look out for any Amitabh Bachchan old movie being released. Whether it was re-released within the city or at the outskirts, I would go and watch it.  That’s how  I watched Zanjeer, though released much earlier than Deewar. This was followed by Bombay to Goa, again an earlier film o f Amitabh. From then on, I had made it a point to watch all Amitabh movies without fail and that too if not the first day, at least within couple of days of the movie’s release.  After Sholay, Kabhi Kabhi was the next. Though not an action film like Sholay, Kabhi Kabhi had some memorable acting from Amitabh. This was followed by Adalat, where Amitabh had played a double role. Another great entertainer from Amitabh was Amar Akbar Anthony. The same year, Parvarish and Khoon Pasina was released.   During these years, my collection of photographs extended to two long sized ledgers. Anyone around me - my friends, my classmates, my family friends knew that I was crazy about Amitabh Bachchan.

                     During 1977, Amitabh Bachchan had come to Chennai (then called Madras) for the film shooting of “Do Aur Do Paanch”. A family friend of mine gave me this news and asked me whether I would be interested in watching the shoot. I was thrilled. In fact, the family friend’s relative had been assigned the job of chauffer to Amitabh Bachcan throughout his stay in Chennai (then Madras) by the film production company and he was the one who helped us watch the shoot.  I went to AVM studios early on the day of the film shoot and was thrilled to see my matinee idol in person (though at a distance of about 20 feet). I had taken both the photo albums to show it to Amitabh Bachchan, but no way could I go near him. Disappointed, I had to be content watching Amitabh Bachchan’s  in person.

                    There are couple of incidents that is still fresh in my memory of that particular day. The movie’s producer, Mr Devar had arrived early for the shoot, waiting for Amitabh Bachchan and Sashi Kapoor. Spot on 8 a.m., Amitabh Bachchan arrived at the studio spot for the shooting. As soon as he arrived, he gave a warm greeting to Mr Devar and had his breakfast (idli and vada). There was pin drop silence on the sets and nobody was allowed to go anywhere near Amitabh Bachchan. I was watching the shooting along with couple of my friends with great excitement. Once break was announced, some Tamil movie actors came to the set and took photographs with Amitabh Bachchan. One of them was actress Ms Deepa. She wanted to take some photographs along with Amitabh Bachchan.I can still clearly recollect the photo shoot incident. When the photographer was about to take the photo of Ms Deepa with Amitabh Bachchan, Deepa called for hair stylist and asked him to give a touch up to her hair. Once it was over and when the photographer was about to take the photo, it was now Amitabh's turn to freshen up himself. The great Amitabh Bachcan stopped the photographer  who was about to take the photo,  called his hairstylist and asked him to do a final touch up on his hair – a great sense of humor from Amitabh Bachchan. Once the photo shoot was over, we had to return back. Though I had carried the photo albums, I could not show it to Amitabh Bachchan. That evening, I gave one of the albums to the person who had invited us to the shoot, to hand it over to Amitabh Bachchan so that he could at least take a glance of it. Having seen my idol at close quarters, had a peaceful sleep that night.

          The next day morning I had a very pleasant surprise when my friend called and said that not only Amitabh Bachchan had seen the album, but liked it and even autographed it.

“to Shiva Bachchan, with lots of love and fond regards”, signed Amitabh Bachchan, Madras, dated 10/12/1977”.

Do I need to tell you how I would have felt? Top of the world of course and the next couple of months I was doing nothing but showing around my album – autographed by the great Amitabh Bachchan to all my friends and classmates. The Album being very special, prized and valuable, I still preserve it, for over 39 years!

        The second time I got a chance to see Amitabh Bachcan shooting was again at Chennai (Madras at that time) for the same movie, “Do Aur Do Paach”. This time, my friend and classmate, Mr M N Janardhanan, owner of Hotel Shree Lekha invited me for the shoot that was being held in his hotel. Couple of my classmates went over and really enjoyed watching Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor film shoot. The shoot was now scheduled in top of the hotel terrace and I still remember the crowds that had gathered around all the house and building tops and at the open grounds below to have a glimpse of the then super star, Amitabh Bachchan.

The films that followed, “KhoonPasina”,“Parvarish”,“Muquaddar ka Sikkandar ”,
”Silsila,”Shakthi”,”Ram Balram”,”Naseeb””Laawaris”,”Satte pe Satta”,“Desh Premee” were all box office hits which I enjoyed thoroughly.”

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