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Amitabh back in action

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

New Delhi(UNI): After being away from the arclights for nearly four months due to an abdominal surgery, superstar Amitabh Bachchan is back to facing the movie cameras. For the first time after undergoing surgery at Mumbai's Lilawati Hospital for diverculitis of small intestine on November 30 last year, the Big B, as the Superstar is lovingly known among his legion of fans, faced the arclights for Karan Johar's 'Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna' on Monday. Though Amitabh had last month recorded two songs for Ravi Chopra's 'Babul' and done some dubbing work for Vidhu Vinod Chopra's 'Eklavya'.

His first "tryst with the arclights" after the long gap saw the Big B enact an emotional scene with Rani Mukerji, trade sources said. Though the scene was canned in a day's time, Amitabh would later this month, on March 30, appear for a photo session for Karan's film. He will also shoot for a song featuring the entire cast of the film. Trade sources say a major part of the shooting for 'Kabhi Alvida na Kehna' is complete. Mr Bachchan has only to shoot a few scenes with Abhishek. Then, yesterday, the Big B participated in a shoot for 'Ganga', a Bhojpuri film produced by his make-up man, Deepak Sawant, at the Film City at Goregaon. The film, which is 80 per cent complete except for a few scenes involving Amitabh, has the superstar playing a Thakur.  Big B's role in the film required him to shoot for just five-six days sources added.

Next week, the superstar is expected to shoot for Ravi Chopra's Babul, one of the films badly affected due to his long illness. The shooting schedule of the film, also starring John Abraham and Rani Mukherjee, in December had to be cancelled due to Mr Bachchan's illness. Also on the agenda of the Big B in future are Gaurang Doshi's 'Happy Birthday' directed by Sriram Raghavan, Farah Khan's 'Happy New Year', Ram Gopal Varma's sequels to 'Sarkar' and 'Sholay', an untitled film starring Tabu, Deepa Mehta's 'Komagata' and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's next, the discussions for which are on with the director.

While in Gaurang Doshi's 'Happy Birthday', Amitabh just appears in a special appearance, Ram Gopal Verma's 'Sholay' and 'Sarkar 2' are still in pre-production stage.  Another film for which shooting remains is Balkrishnan's Cheeni Kam, which also is in pre-production stage. Then there is Afzal Khan's 'God Tussi Great Ho' a film starring Salman Khan and Priyanka Chopra in which the Big B plays a God.Mr Bachchan also has to complete shooting for a few episodes for 'Kaun Banega Crorepati' as per the original contract with Star TV.

The Star has already announced that the episodes to be shot by Mr Bachchan would be aired as part of a new season of KBC called KBC3. The Superstar may have returned to face the arclights but trade observers say that he may not revert to the hectic schedule he maintained before his illness. Infact, in keeping with the advise of the doctors and family members, the Big B is said to have decided to slow down his pace.

Gone is the 18 hours a day seven days a week schedule. Instead, he will be shooting just from 10 am to 6 Pm. Infact, trade sources said that keeping in view his health concerns, Bachchan has decided to go for only one shift a day and would not be shooting at night. Also, his family members, including son Abhishek, wife Jaya, and friend Amar Singh have been voicing concern over the rigorous work schedule of the superstar and want that he should cut down on his work, an opinion which most observers in the film world endorse.

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