Amitabh Bachchan and reincarnations

BHOPAL: Is Big B the reincarnation of his grandfather? The Bollywood superstar’s father and noted poet late Harivanshrai Bachchan at least believed so.

“Did my father truly believe that I was the incarnation of his own father? A year after the passing away of my grandfather Pratap Narain, my father (Harivanshrai) dreamt of him one night…

“He felt his absence in his life, expressed it and was told by his father to wake up, for he was coming back to him. Startled, my father got up to find my mother missing from the bed. She had gone to the washroom and had collapsed there through her labor pains. It was October 11, 1942, the day I was born!!,” Amitabh Bachchan wrote on his blog last night after reciting poems of his father in a programme ‘Bachchan recites Bachchan’ at the Oriental College here last evening.

“In his autobiography, there is vivid description of the incident and the belief in my being that reincarnation,” the 68-year-old actor said.

Sharing his experience of reciting his father’s classic ‘Madhushala’, Amitabh said, “When I recite my father’s works and after… the elation does not have comparison.

“Worldly wiseness, truths unspoken of romanticism hitherto without experience, fulfilment on life looked differently but mostly correctly, an exuberance of modesty, the acknowledgement of reflected glory, the wonder and amazement of value to him… the body mine, the voice mine… but soul his.”

Speaking about the great literary work in the programme, Amitabh said, “Madhushala is not just a poem; it is a life in itself.”

Amitabh said that though his father was a teetotaler, he got the inspiration to write on ‘madira’ (wine) due to his caste ‘Kayastha’.

Elaborating, he said his father used to say, “I am a Kayastha and my ancestors had so much to drink that blood in my veins is 75 per cent alcohol. I have an ancestral right on Madhushala.”

Looking dapper in a black sherwani and spotless white pyjamas, Bachchan wowed the audience when he sang the verses from the epic poem of his father to the accompaniment of music, garnering thunderous applause.

‘Madhushala’, he said was first published in 1935 and has run into 100 editions till now.

Besides poetry recital, Amitabh, who is currently shooting for Prakash Jha’s ‘Aarakshan’ in the city, also shared tit-bits about his life and experiences with his illustrious father with the students of the college where he had been shooting for the last 10 days.

The superstar said that he had decided to have this recital as a gift to them.

Recalling his earlier days, Bachchan said he was young, it was considered very important for a person like him to be a graduate and even then he too was unable to find a job and used to spend his evenings meeting friends who were also grads and still unemployed.

He said that at one such meeting, one friend said that all their problems arose from the fact that their parents had brought them into this world without their permission.

The filmstar said on that night he asked his father why he had brought him into this world without his permission.

Amitabh said at that time, his father did not say anything but next morning, he kept a poem on his pillow in which he had said that no parent in their family had sought their children’s permission for bringing them into this world.

Harivanshrai also wrote that if it were possible for Amitabh, he should ask for the permit of his children before they were born.

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