Amitabh Bachchan is back, older, wiser and as
charismatic as ever. To say that Kaun Banega
Crorepati, the Indian version of the American quiz show
Wants to be a Millionaire, gave the actor a new lease of
life is not enough. At least, not by the way, Mumbai's
crowds went berserk over the actor's brief appearance
for a film shot at the crowded Mahalaxmi
Bachchan was shooting for the film
produced by Gaurang Doshi and directed by Vipul Shah.
The venue was the crowded Mahalaxmi. Platform No 1 of
the station. The said platform is the disused portion of
the station that was recently refurbished and revamped.
"It is nice to be back at a railway station and
shooting. For me shooting at a station is like shooting
anywhere else. I have shot at railways stations twice
before. But now the crowds are much more. I have got an
empty rained filled with junior artistes for the shoot.
I didn't get the crowd," remarked Bachchan visibly awed
by the commotion his presence was causing.
The crowds, however,
could not have enough
of Bachchan as they
chanted "Amitabh, Amitabh"
and implored him to
wave at them. Which he
obliged every few
minutes. "Sahi jawab, they
shouted," as Amitabh
waved. There was palpable spasms of ecstasy when
he got up and moved
informally to tehelka he said, that he's had his
moments of insecurity and that desire to do something
about it has urged him to go on. Standing next to him,
Paresh Rawal, looked relaxed. He said he was enjoying
himself to the hilt, playing a comic character in the
film. "I am also doing serious roles, but here I love
the character. I knew about this character long back. I
have seen the original play Andhalo Pato (Blind Man's buff) and I
have loved it," says Rawal who plays a blind man in the
The crowds, however, could not have enough
of Bachchan as they chanted "Amitabh, Amitabh" and
implored him to wave at them. Which he obliged every few
minutes. "Sahi jawab, they shouted," as Amitabh waved.
There was palpable spasms of ecstasy when he got up and
And he moved like a king.
wonderful to see this man back at work. "I used to
travel from Churchgate Station before. I used to live at
Marine Drive. I used the train often before my first
film. Even in my first film K A Abbas' Saat
Hindustani, I shot a scene inside a train. The next time,
it was during the shoot of the film Shakti. I had also shot at railway station
for Coolie, but that was different," says
"It was essential for us to shoot at a
railway station," says producer Gaurang Doshi. "We had
no choice. The story demanded it."
they shoot at the Kamal Amrohi Studios where a readymade
railway station is available? "If you have noticed, it
is not the one for 'local trains'. Even if we get a
local train there, the problem at the Amrohi Studios is
that, we have to do so many adjustments, and on top of
it the city will not be visible. Here at Mahalaxmi
station, you can see the city. At Kamalistan studios you
can only see a jungle next to the station and that is
not what we wanted," says Doshi.
As the crowds
increased in numbers and every now and then surged
forward to get a better glimpse at the actor it was left
to the hapless cops to keep people at bay. Incidentally,
the police at Amritsar Railway station faced a similar
problem of controlling the crowds, when
da puttar, Sunny Deol was shooting there for the film
At Mahalaxmi, the heart of
Mumbai, there were over hundred policemen. Many were
armed with batons. Some even armed with revolvers.
Finally, after Amitabh enacted his role and
emerged from the train, people went wild. Some ran
towards him others arched forward only to be stopped
short in their tracks by the lathi-wielding
Some even stood on top of the railway
signal to see Bachchan and were also given the stick.
Everyone wanted to see and meet Bachchan. "It is
amazing. The love of the people is amazing," said
Bachchan has a negative role in the
film. "It is about a bank manager," says Bachchan. "I
play an honest bank manager. I get angry every easily. I
cannot tolerate indiscipline. One day, I see one of the
employees in the bank cheating the customers. I am very
upset. I have the habit of losing my temper often, and
in the ensuing melee, I get very violent. A committee is
appointed and I am removed from the bank. I am very
angry now and want revenge. The only way I see out of
this is to rob the same bank. I take the help of various
people like Arjun Rampal, Akshay Kumar and Paresh Rawal
to accomplish my goal. In the process I reach the
station - here," said Bachchan.
The film has
music by Jatin Lalit and has been written by Aatish
Kapadia who had also penned the original play Andhalo