Amitabh Bachchan’s Generous Guest Appearances

Amitabh Bachchan shares a  very special rapport with  Ajay Devgan . Ajay’s father the famed  stunt co-ordinator VeeruDevgan ,is  a friend of  Mr Bachchan.And  the friendship continues with the  next generation with Ajay and AbhishekBachhan sharing very warm  vibes.

 Hence when Ajay requested the  Senior Bachchan to make  a very special appearance in Ela Helicopter,  the  film starring Ajay Devgan’s wife  Kajol  that Ajay has  produced, Mr Bachchan  readily agreed.

There’s  no question  of any money exchanging hands. Mr Bachchan has appeared  in many films  for fleeting appearances out of goodwill.

In the Madhavan starrer Ramji Londonwale and  in R Balki’s  English Vinglish  Amitabh Bachchan had appeared as himself, as too in Basu Chatterjee’s Piya Ka Ghar(which starred  Mr Bachchan’s superstar wife Jaya Bhaduri) and in Dulal Guha’s Dost.

But to me Mr Bachchan’s most memorable guest appearances as himself  was in  the Kannada film  Amrithadhare.

This was  special, because  I was instrumental in getting him to do this vital role. The film starred  Ramya a.k.a DivyaSapandana who  is now  a spokesperson  for Rahul Gandhi. Back then she  was a very polite guileless  wannabe actress who played the role of a  terminally ill  woman whose dying  wish was to meet THE Amitabh Bachchan.

The director Nagathihalli Chandrashekhar didn’t know how to approach  Mr B. He reached out to me for help. Since the film couldn’t be made without Mr B’s  vital appearance(unless  they got a duplicate to stand and behave  like Mr Bachchan in the crucial scene where the  dying girl finally meets Mr Bachchan) and since they had heard of my closeness to him, they made this one last attempt.

Considering the urgency  of the situation this was  the  only time I asked Mr B for a  favour. He immediately agreed. On  the appointed day, the  crew  of Amrithadhare  landed in Mumbai to shoot the required sequence. Mr B arrived at the exact time and  shot  the scene. He took pictures with the awestruck crew  and was about to leave when the nervous director came forward with a  gift.

“Sir,you have  been generous and refused to accept  any money.We have this small token of appreciation  and gratitude,” the director mumbled.

 But Mr Bachchan  refused  to take  the  gift(an expensive pen)  saying, “Subhash won’t like  it if I accept anything for the role.”

No  amount of coaxing and cajoling  could convince  Mr B to the contrary. Finally I  got a phonecall from the  frantic director asking me to request  the Icon to accept the  gift.

Only then did  Mr B oblige.

Such  is the greatness and  generosity  of this Mega-star. I  later asked him why he  was so reluctant to accept the gift from the grateful director and he had replied. “Won’t accept any remuneration means won’t accept anything. You told me the  film needed my presence. That  was  it.”

Cut to  many decades later when Dibakar Banenerjee needed  Ranbir Kapoor to appear as himself in Bombay Talkies.  Many foiled attempts  get the  actor , and Dibakar finally had to use a  double. There is a lesson to be had from the above incident on why there will never be  another Amitabh Bachchan ever again.

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