By Subhash K. Jha, Indo-Asian News ServiceMumbai, (IANS) Still on the road to recovery, Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan says he will return to the arc lights by end-March. In the meantime, he is keeping himself busy with less stressful jobs like dubbing and singing.
“I’ll be undergoing my final tests at the end of this month or the first week of March. Then we will start allotting my dates for shooting,” Bachchan told IANS in an interview.
“For ‘Kabhi Alvidaa Na Kehna’, most of the work is over. Some small scenes with Abhishek remain. ‘Babul’ requires a heavy amount of dates. Their 20-day December schedule was cancelled because of my illness. Those are the only two films I have on the floors.”
Bachchan, who had to be operated upon for a stomach ailment last year, is also going to sing a song with son Abhishek for a private album.
Q: This sudden decision to get back to work…
A: It isn’t sudden. I am starting with some dubbing for Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s “Eklavya”, which I hope wouldn’t be strenuous. A few days ago I did some recording with Aadesh Shrivastava in “Babul”. I shall also be singing a song with Abhishek (Bachchan).
Q: A song with Abhishek!
A: Yes. It is a private album that Rohan Sippy is producing with music by Vishal-Shekhar. I don’t know what kind of a song it is. They are keeping it a secret from me. Once the track is ready, they’ll ask me to come and record with Abhishek.
Q: When will you start shooting?
A: It should happen by the end of March.
Q: Do you think you’ve regained your energy to that extent?
A: I don’t know. I’ll soon find out. Let’s see how it goes. I am going to take one step at a time. I am starting with what’s less stressful and what doesn’t require me to go into the studios. I’ll be undergoing my final tests at the end of this month or the first week of March. Then we will start allotting my dates for shooting.
Q: And that would be for Karan Johar’s and Ravi Chopra’s films?
A: That’s right. For “Kabhi Alvidaa…” and “Babul”. For “Kabhi Alvidaa…” most of the work is over. Some small scenes with Abhishek remain. “Babul” requires a heavy amount of dates. Their 20-day December schedule was cancelled because of my illness. Those are the only two films I have on the floors.
Then I have Balkrishnan’s “Cheeni Kam”, Ram Gopal Varma’s “Sholay”, “Sarkar 2” and “Ek” in various stages of pre-production. And I must tell you, my makeup man Deepak Sawant has been waiting patiently for me to make a special appearance in his Bhojpuri film.
Q: You’ll be in a Bhojpuri film?
A: I must try and do that as soon as I can. His is a small film. And he doesn’t have that much resource. Deepak was supposed to finish his film by November. This (my illness) has been a terrible blow for me. As it is Bhojpuri cinema isn’t flush with funds.
Q: Would you like to say something to those who are waiting for your return?
A: Arrey, why make such a big fuss about it? Everyone has to work. And I must do the same. I am not doing anything extraordinary. I need to get back to work a little at a time. So it’s just a bit of work now. A bit of singing here, a bit of dubbing there.
Q: When did you actually take the decision?
A: I asked my doctors. They have been monitoring my health. And they said I could do some work to start with. I am starting with the dubbing of “Eklavya”. The film has sync sound. But needs my dubbing here and there… hardly an hour’s work. Vinod has been waiting since December.
Q: There’s a queue of producers waiting to sign you.
A: I can’t meet too many people right now. Some of them have left scripts. Deepa Mehta has spoken to me about “Komagata Maru”. I am waiting for the script.