Bollywood biggie Amitabh Bachchan says that he has not forgotten the day of his ‘rebirth’.
He left a post on his blog saying: “Happy birthday Mr B, and never forget I was the first one to wish you”
Neither Amitabh has forgotten that day nor have we. We woke up to this post on his facebook page, he wrote: “Aug 2, the day I lived again … my Coolie accident … brought to Breach Candy Hospital, Mumbai and second surgery performed, where when I did not come out, was clinically dead for a few minutes … so many that know wish me a Happy Birthday for today … Many thanks in advance ..for it was the prayers of millions of my countrymen that saved my life”
31 years ago, Mr. Bachchan suffered his well-known near-fatal accident while shooting Manmohan Desai’s film Coolie in Bangalore on July 26, 1982. He was playing a fight scene with his co-star Puneet Issar which made him hit the corner of the table instead to landing on top of the table as he was meant to.
Excruciating pain, a bleeding staggered Amitabh out of the set and onto the lawns of Bangalore University where the film was being shot. At first, crew members thought he was faking, but then they realized he wasn’t.
The director Manmohan Desai immediately made arrangements to fly Mr. Bachchan to Mumbai. Mr. Bachchan wasn’t in a condition to speak on the way. When the plane landed at Mumbai’s Santa Cruz airport, the director Yash Chopra organized an ambulance to take Amitabh straight to Breach Candy Hospital.
Doctors took immediate operation but Mr. Bachchan remained close to death. His fans thronged temples offering to sacrifies limbs in exchange for their hero’s recovery.
The wife, Jaya Bachchan walked barefoot from hospital to Siddhi Vinayak Temple every day to pray. Prime Minister also visited Amitabh at Breach Candy.
Even after emergency steps there was still no sign of life till August 2. In a last ditch measure, doctors injected adrenaline straight into Mr. Bachchan’s heart. Almost immediately, Jaya Bachchan saw one of his toes move and exclaimed “Look, he is alive”. And then, August 2 became Amitabh’s rebirth-day.
Amiatbh stayed in hospital for many months before his full recovery. After that he resumed his shooting for Coolie.
The film got released on 14th of November, 1983 and went straight to the top of the box office charts. The fight scene between Puneet and Amitabh was frozen at a certain point and a superimposed message marked it as the exact moment when Amitabh was injured.
The director of the film, Manmohan Desai, rewrote the ending of the film as the exact moment when Mr. Bachchan’s character recovers from an operation just like he had done in real life. He said that it would be inappropriate for the man who had cheated death for real not to do on screen.
Today (August 2) is truly a second birthday of Bollywood’s Mega-star Amitabh Bachchan.