Bombay aka Mumbai is the epicenter of all the creative energies that churn out Hindi films and music which is celebrated and enjoyed in India and world over. Bombay is about Bollywood and Bollywood is all about Amitabh Bachchan aka the Big B. It is a well-known fact that every Sunday if he is in Mumbai the gates of Big B’s house- Jalsa open, he comes out, stands on a platform and waves to his fans. If you are a Mumbaikar and living in the suburb you will be bothered and irritated about crossing the Juhu road on Sunday evenings which is jammed due to the crowd outside his house for almost 3 hours but if you are new and have come to Mumbai for work, study or to experience the city and a Bollywood fan, you will be one of those forming the crowd and jamming the road.
I always knew about this phenomenon but in my numerous previous visits, I was not able to witness it myself, finally the plan fell in to place today. The eager fans were waiting for more than an hour. I managed to squeeze through the crowd and reach as further towards the gate as I could. The gates finally opened at around 6 pm and the man himself came out, stood on the platform and started waiving while the star struck crowd erupted with joy and turned in to mayhem. There was pulling, pushing, shouting, screaming and cheering as everyone were trying to get a look of him and simultaneously capturing the moments on their phones/cameras. It went on for just a brief few minutes before one can realize what’s happening, the gates started to close and he stepped down. The frenzy came down and people started collecting things from the ground that they had dropped in those few minutes, the police and the guard immediately started clearing the crowd and it was dispersed within the next few minutes.
While studying in the US, in my interactions about films with students from US, Argentina, China, Norway, Ireland, France and other parts of the world, they all knew Bollywood for the songs, a group of people wearing colourful clothes and dancing in unison. Also, almost all were unanimously familiar with two names; that of Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan.
It’s one thing to watch him on screen but a totally different experience to see him live in front of you. You can feel the aura of the personality which justifies the hysteria outside his house every Sunday when he comes out.