Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Amit, Amitji aur Supremo

(Guest piece by Amit, le thinner half!)

People in the West use the term ‘fixer’ to describe what we call film / tv production here. ‘Fixing’ for international crews has taken me to some strange and wondrous places. Starting with Dharavi, to a mass wedding for  famillies of cotton farmers in Vidarbha, all the way to the sets of Ram Gopal Verma’s Sholay (or Aag or Matchstick or whatever it is called now). Some time back, I worked with a BBC crew for a programme called Imagine, where Alan Yentob interviewed Amitabh Bachchan over a period of a year.

I was thrilled to be meeting the great man, and we were introduced briefly, just before he got busy grooving to a butchered version of ‘Mehbooba’. I stood back and watched the 65-year-old Jai - Gabbar shoot for the song.

Months later, this Saturday, the same crew was back for a long interview scheduled with him. I had carried our copy of the Supremo comic with me. After three-and-a-half hours of a great interview (and some fantastic snacks from the chef at AB’s office), I snuck up to Mr. B and gingerly took out the comic from behind me. He held it close to his eyes, peered, and exclaimed, “Ah, Supremo!”

Then he excitedly flipped through the pages and saw the letter written by him to his fans after his critical illness. He looked me straight in the eye and said, “Bhai you have to give me this!”
Being a fanatic book collector is not an easy job. You have to say NO! to people who fall in love with a book you have ever so often - and in this case, it was harder still, because like most subcontinental men of a certain age, Mr B was my childhood idol! So I politely refused to part with the comic, and Mr. B very sportingly autographed it. I promised to give him a photocopy instead.
Our valuable comic has just turned priceless – bids are hereby closed!

6 comments:

SUR NOTES said...

can we start bidding for the photocopies???
or can we begin bidding for a handshake with the hand that took the autographed copy back home?
oh, and can we felicitate the person who said no to the big b?

Space Bar said...

i also want! i also want!

SADHANA RAMCHANDER said...

Bravo! In the battle between Supremo and a book lover, the book lover wins. I like that!

MRINAL DESAI said...

and nayana's college education is taken care of!

Batul said...

What cool gumption, to say 'NO' to the BIG B. Bravo! Don't think I could have done it in your place.

Qaseem Abbasi said...

Can you please share SUPREMO?
Ishall be indebted to you.
My e-mail ID is:
qaseem.abbasi@gmail.com
Regards
Qaseem