Big B on unrequited love and the challenges of marriage

Big B confesses his eternal admiration for Waheeda Rehman.

Ians March 10, 2014
The iconic Bollywood star reveals that he would have wooed Waheeda with a poem. PHOTO: FILE

NEW DEHLI: Had Amitabh Bachchan not married actor Jaya Bhaduri back in 1973, and got a chance to woo someone else, it would have been the “epitome of Indian beauty” Waheeda Rehman. The megastar says he would have tried to catch her attention with a poem.

At the India Today Conclave 2014, when anchor Koel Purie asked him about one actor he would have loved to court, he took the ethereal Waheeda Rehman’s name, despite the fact that she is six years his senior.

“It’s too late in the day to do that now,” laughed the 71-year-old thespian, adding that he admires her immensely for her grace and poise.

“She’s been one of my favourite actors, along with Dilip Kumar sahab. She is the epitome of an Indian beauty, of simplicity... so genuine, soft and beautiful. If I had to woo her, perhaps I would recite a poem,” he added.

The gathering was floored. Amitabh was in a jolly mood as he also imitated the mannerisms of the different onscreen characters immortalised by him. The actor spoke fondly of his wife, Jaya with whom he has two children  — Shweta and Abhishek. Koel asked Big B about the challenges that came with marrying a popular star of that time, and then later becoming a star himself, with Jaya relegating her career for her family.

“Every marriage is a challenge, and mine wasn’t different. One thing I find very admirable about Jaya is that she chose to give preference to home and not films. There was no obstacle from me ever,” he said.

Was it her decision or a joint decision, asked Koel. “Well, in marriages, all decisions are taken by the wife,” he quipped, adding that it was indeed Jaya’s decision to look after the house and raise the children well.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 11th, 2014.

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