MUMBAI: Fans of the ageless Amitabh Bachchan-Jaya Bhaduri jodi – who still swoon over their tender chemistry in classics such as Abhimaan, Mili, Chupke Chupke and Zanjeer – are in for a treat next year.
The timeless pair, which has not come together since Karan Johar’s Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham in 2001, will be seen in two back-to-back releases close to their 40th wedding anniversary on June 3, 2013.
While the Hindi version of Amitabh’s faithful make-up man Deepak Sawant’s Bhojpuri release Ganga Devi is being held back this year to coincide with the 40th wedding anniversary celebrations, Shoojit Sircar is feverishly scripting his Amitabh-Jaya drama Garden House which he hopes to make and release to coincide with the Bachchans’ 40th wedding anniversary.
What makes Bollywood’s First Couple’s 40th wedding anniversary so special?
Says Deepak Sawant emotionally, “It’s been 40 years since I’ve been with Bachchan Saab. To me, Bachchan Saab and Jayaji are Ram and Sita. I am their Hanuman. When I wanted to cast them together in Ganga Devi I wasn’t thinking of when they were last seen together on screen or what box-office value they’d bring to my film. I just thought they were perfect for the role of the hero’s progressive parents who helps their Bahu to get her rights.”
Interestingly, Sawant released the Bhojpuri version of his film on September 14, but will hold back the Hindi version till next year. The Bhojpuri film has proved a runaway hit.
Says Sawant emotionally, “The Hindi version of Ganga Devi is completely ready. All the dubbing by Bachchan Saab and Jayaji and all other artistes is done. But we’re going to release the Hindi version next year.”
Shoojit Sircar is also aiming for the same target. Interestingly Garden House is the story of a couple married for 40 years looking back on their marriage with affection and curiosity.
Says Shoojit, “No, it won’t have any biographical elements from Amitji and Jayaji’s marriage. But yes there will be parallels between their on-screen togetherness and their real-life relationship. I am sure of that.”
Interestingly, Shoojit’s film is one of the three projects that the Big B has given his nod to after his surgery. The other two are with R. Balki and Sujoy Ghosh.
Says the Big B, “Shoojit came up with an interesting concept for the two of us (Big B and Jayaji). So why not? As for Deepak Sawant, he has been with me from the beginning of my career. Neither Jaya nor I can say no to him.”
Significantly, the issue addressed in Deepak Sawant’s Bhojpuri-Hindi film, financial and educational empowerment of the rural woman, is very close to the Big B’s heart.
Says the Big B, “I meet so many such women when they come on Kaun Banega Crorepati. Their resilience, inner strength and the determination to overcome their poverty and misery are simply overwhelming.”
As for the 40th wedding anniversary, here’s the inside information. Besides the two back-to-back Amitabh-Jaya releases, R. Balki is planning a documentary tribute to one of the most enduring and endearing screen pairs.
Abhishek and Aishwarya are already planning several week-long events in the first week of June next year.