As I get up early morning in London for a few deadlines and try to catch up on the remaining interviews for the day, I get an urgent message from one of my colleagues in Mumbai saying that Mr Amitabh Bachchan has been hospitalised on his 66th birthday. As I start sipping the hot ginger tea from my mug, my hands start to get cold. I leave my tea unattended and go to the wash room to splash some cold water on my face. Then I switch on my television and still no news. It was 8.30am GMT. Now that was pretty bizaare.
No news on any Indian channels so far. But I just couldn't resist myself. I pick up my mobile in sheer anxiety and call Apoorva Lakhia, who is very close to the Bachchan family. I get the news. It's the truth, not that I did not trust my colleague but still wanted to clear the air. Big B's 66th birthday and he gets hospitalised. But the gift he gets on this particular day will always remain special - Prayers, prayers and more prayers from millions of Amitji's well wishers. So as the fans pray for his speedy recovery, I try getting some more wishes from his very own colleagues from the world of Bollywood. This is what they had to say:
Apoorva Lakhia: "My message to Mr Bachchan is - A very very Happy Birthday and lots more to come. As far as the film industry is concerned, he is the industry in itself and I think he has played a very prominent part in making the Indian cinema known to the world. Hope he gets well soon because we've got the whole industry in the hospital. So can't really work you see".
Madhur Bhandarkar: "I am a bit disturbed and hope he gets well soon and comes back. We will be eagerly awaiting his arrival back to Bollywood".
Mugdha Godse - "I am concerned and worried about Big B. I would like to go and meet him at this given point in time. He just needs to take rest right now and my best wishes are there with him".
Abbas Mustan - "I am in a state of shock. The entire industry is behind him today and everyday. We wish this pillar of Bollywood a speedy recovery and will pray for him to come back to work soon".
Tusshar Kapoor - "I hope and pray that his health gets better. I'm sure it must be something from which he'll be out very soon".
Sanjay Gadhvi - "Mr Bachchan for India is like the president of the United States. He is the first family of the film industry. I wish him the many many more years to come and wish him a long life. I'd also like to tell him to give me his illness and let him be well".
Shreyas Talpade - "I wish him great health. He has inspired us since decades and hope he keeps inspiring us for many more years to come. I wish him a very speedy recovery and all our good wishes are with him. He should keep rocking the way he does always".
Sujoy Ghosh - "He is a super hero and nothing can happen to him. I wish him a speedy recovery".
Minissha Lamba - "He is the last living legend that we will have out here in India. I wish him a speedy recovery because I am missing him on the silver screen. We pray that he gets back to business soon".
Vidya Malvade - "I wish an extremely speedy recovery. He is one of the most respected and honoured actors we've got in the country today. Everybody wants him to get out of the bed fine and quick. I am sure the doctors will do a good job in getting him out of bed fine and quick".
Farhan Akhtar - "I am hopeful and do wish and pray that he is back to good health as soon as possible. He is an icon as far as the face of the Indian Film Industry to the world is concerned and a very special person on those fronts. Everybody near and dear to him are concerned about him and his family. I hope it's not too serious".
Manoj Bajpai - "I wish him all the best and may he live for two thousand more years to come. May he get well soon. Whenever a popular figure like him falls ill, it is bound to affect the Indian Film Industry. Today I pray for his good health".
Shekhar Kapur - "He has bounced back from so many things that ordinary could not do. So in that respect Mr Amitabh Bachchan is an extra ordinary man and I wish him a speedy recovery. He has got this extra ordinary will power which will recover him soon".
Harman Baweja - "Prayers and lots of prayers to him goes out today. Like the rest of the country, I am an ardent fan of Mr Bachchan and wish him good health everyday and for many years to come".
Anjori Alagh - "I think he is a great role model for everybody in the industry. I really look up to him personally. Hope he gets well soon, hope he fights it and comes well out of the hospital soon. Amitabh Bachchan is a legend. He pretty much epitomises the Indian Film Industry and thus everybody is worried about him and his health. All his co-stars, colleagues and friends wish that he gets well soon and comes out fit and fine very soon".
Jimmy Sheirgill - "I wish him a quick recovery too. I have immense respect for him. I think as far as his films are concerned, he has always been one person who is filled with energy and today I pray that he gets back the same energy which can heal him. He loves working all the time and we want him to get back to what he loves best".
Jackie Shroff - "Hope he recovers soon. Everyone goes through some kind of a problem and comes out of it. Mr Bachchan to will be out of it very soon".
Gul Panag - "He is an icon of the Indian Film Industry and we all would like to see him back on his feet as soon as possible".
Adah Sharma - "I believe one should always be positive. I don't think any of us should panic unnecessarily. He is a legend so naturally when we see him on the television since kids, he becomes a part of our family. So every individual who lives in India feels like they know Mr Bachchan and considers him to be a part of their family. Our prayers will definitely cure him".
Arjun Rampal - "It's a terrible thing to happen. He is the most respected face in our industry. Something like this happens on your birthday and that's the last thing you want. All our prayers are there with his family and we just want him to get well soon".