When Jaya Bachchan said she saw ‘danger’ when she first met Amitabh Bachchan, left her husband shocked
According to Jaya Bachchan, her husband Amitabh Bachchan is not a romantic in his personal life. “Not with me!” she said amid laughter teasing her husband. She, however, believes, “It’s good for me and it’s worked for me.”
Bollywood’s most famous star couple appeared in one of the first episodes of Rendezvous with Simi Garewal in 1998. Bachchan elders spoke candidly about their first meeting and the first impressions they had of each other.
Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya first met while filming Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s cult classic Guddi (1971). The film was Jaya’s first screen role as an adult and also her Bollywood debut. In the film, she played a star-stuck schoolgirl who is madly in love with Dharmendra, who played himself. Guddi traces his journey to realizing the fictionality of cinema and how things on camera are just illusions and make-believe stories with heroes being ordinary human beings in real life.
Revealing how fascinated he was after seeing Jaya’s picture for a magazine ad, Amitabh recalled in the retrospective interview, “I inquired about her and they gave me information about her. . It happened that Hrishi da (Hrishikesh Mukherjee) had chosen her for Guddi. It kind of got me excited to work with her because she came with huge credentials. I went to the (Guddi) set and that’s where I first met her.
Amitabh candidly added, “When I saw her photo, I liked her eyes. I saw that traditional-conservative blend I thought I was looking for in my future wife. When I met her I realized that with it came several other Guddis, the pun is not intended! (laughs) I said okay, that’s it.
After being prompted by host Simi Garewal, Jaya also shared her side of the story. “When I first met him, I saw the danger,” she said, leaving Amitabh Bachchan in shock. She added: “I was scared because he was the only one of many people I knew who could dictate things to me and I allow him to do that.”
She further explained, “(But) it’s not like he dictated things to me, it’s just that even if he said something to me gently, I would do it. I would like to please him. It’s something that doesn’t come easily and naturally to me, wanting to please people.
Amitabh teased Jaya that “25 years later, it’s just the opposite. How beautiful!” leaving his wife blushing. According to Jaya, it was the first time she said all this. The actor-politician however said that he needed someone like that (Amitabh) , calling it love at first sight for her. “Yeah it was, I think so!”
But Amitabh begged to differ. “Love at first sight is a connotation that has been so abused, both orally and in writing, that it has lost its meaning. We therefore do not want to be classified in this category. You know, the beautiful thing about it is that we haven’t made a commitment yet. We are still groping in the dark. It’s a foreign area, it’s new to us. And what I think is that it just happened.
Simi Garewal, a star of yesteryear herself, reminded them that they had always been an “unlikely match” due to their different temperaments and a stark height difference, and the pair nodded with a to smile.
Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan then shared screen space in movies like Sholay, Abhimaan, Zanjeer, Chupke Chupke, Mili, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham and much more.
The two were married on June 3, 1973.
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