In an exclusive interview to Mumbai Mirror, Amitabh provided answers to all the questions that were circulating in the media. Here’s the complete interview :
How does it feel to have Aishwarya in the house?
It’s wonderful! I’m sure there’ll be even more happiness in the house because of her.
Will Aishwarya assume the Bachchan name on the passport, would you like a working bahu?
I’ve no problem with whatever name she uses. As far as her continuing to work is concerned, Jaya and I have no problem with it. It’s for Aishwarya and Abhishek to decide.
Were you happy with the wedding?
Yes, by the grace of God everything went off well. We’re happy that the union has taken place. There were some truly heartwarming moments during the wedding and I’d like to believe they were moments that will remain with us for the rest of our lives.
There were many people who felt hurt because they couldn’t come to the wedding.
Let me put my situation before you, and leave it to you and the world in general to judge and sentence us. We were dealing with a marriage and a guest list that was going out from seven important personalities and celebrities like my father Dr Harivanshrai Bachchan, a literary giant who has his own admirers in the literary world, my mother Teji Bachchan who has relatives, friends and associates going back to 90 years. There was Jaya, a personality in her own right with a large circle of relatives and friends, there were Abhishek and Aishwarya and there was Amar Singhji. And then finally there was yours truly… we were the hosts of the wedding. Please tell me, how do we even begin to invite all the people who are associated with these seven people?
What would the numbers have come to?
If we invited all the friends of all the hosts, the guest list would have run into 20,000 people. Where would we have accommodated so many people? In our home or in a hotel? No hotel in India could accommodate 20,000 people. In any case, the family decided that an event like our children’s wedding couldn’t be held in a hotel. It would be too impersonal a venue. So should we have had the wedding at the Bandra Kurla Complex like the Filmfare awards night? We needed two acres of land for such a guest list. Where do we provide air conditioning to so many people in this heat? How would I’ve accommodated and fed 20,000 people? I’d rather give that kind of money to charity.
So, how did you decide on the guest list?
The most crucial factor while deciding the guest list was my critically ill mother. In the last one year we haven’t celebrated Diwali, Holi or my father’s birth anniversary in Lucknow. We didn’t want to have any celebration when my mother is lying in the hospital. At the same time, Abhishek is my only son. And it was his only wedding and the happiest moment in his life. How could we ignore that moment in his life? How could we deny him that moment of joy? This is what the circumstances were. We decided to have an intimate family gathering. Aishwarya’s family and we decided to have a common wedding card and a common venue. And we chose friends who were absolutely impossible to ignore. Whatever we did we did it with the concurrence of both our families. We’re happy with our decision. I’d like to believe that the industry too would share our happiness.
But some of your colleagues are hurt because they weren’t invited.
Perhaps they are, perhaps they aren’t. Either way, I’m fine with it. I respect their sentiments and I expect them to respect mine. If they’re offended because they weren’t invited then they weren’t my friends in the first place. I couldn’t go beyond the list we had. And in any case, everyone, from Shah Rukh to Hrithik to Salman, has sent their good wishes.
What about the accusation that a section of the media was manhandled?
There was a virtual assault on our privacy. I had 40 cars following us when I was driving Aishwarya and Abhishek home after the bidaai. We were bringing the new Mrs Bachchan home. It was big moment for us.
It was big moment for us. The auspicious time to reach home was 6.57 pm before sunset. We were stuck in traffic jam. And we were desperate to make it on time. In the middle of this Amar Singhji needed urgent medical attention. At 6.55 pm, just as I was about to enter Prateeksha, 50 photographers charged towards us and wouldn’t let us move. I had a sick person who desperately needed a doctor, and a bride who needed to get to her sasuraal. And we couldn’t move! Do you know what that felt like?
They were doing their job.
The worst was yet to come. After the wedding late at night, Aishwarya and Abhishek wanted to visit the hospital to take my mother’s blessings. But the couple was stranded in the car. They couldn’t get out of the car to take my mother’s blessings. I was reminded of the time when I fell ill and my stretcher couldn’t be brought out of the ambulance for nearly half an hour. My mother is now oblivious to her surroundings. She wouldn’t even have known what’s happening. But Abhishek and Aishwarya wanted to touch her feet. I visit her every day and she can’t even recognise me. Can you imagine how frustrating it is? Every day I go to my mother and feel so helpless. Then I’ve to change my mood to comply with the demands of other activities in my life. Does anyone know what a physical and psychological strain I’m going through? And then to have people shouting and abusing me in front of my own home. It’s unfair.
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