Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan have shared 50 years of marital bliss. However, their rock-solid companionship went through a turbulence and shaky patch when Rekha happened in Big B’s life. The Evergreen superstar dating is a ghost story that appears in tabloids and interviews with her accepting the love she had for him and Mr. Bachchan never acknowledging it on any public platform.
Even Yash Chopra once, in an interview, addressed Rekha as the Piku actor’s girlfriend and Jaya as his wife. But the actor himself never admitted to this ghostly story of his affair. Still, there are eyewitnesses to this tale and its impact, and one such witness was a big name from the journalism world.
Journalist Karan Thapar, in his book, mentioned one of his interviews with Amitabh Bachchan where the actor allegedly hinted to make the questions spicier enough and include his love life. When Thapar dug him for Rekha, all hell broke loose but not on anyone else but poor Jaya Bachchan. Yes! you read that right. Scroll down more to read this interesting anecdote.
In his book Devil’s Advocate: The Untold Story, Karan Thapar recalled the 50-minute interview which was planned to mark the Silsila actor’s 50th birthday. It was a video interview Ft. the Shehenshah of the Hindi Cinema and his better half, both sharing the frame. During a break, the actor mentioned American actor Warren Beatty’s unfazed interview which was going viral at that time in 1992. Mr. Bachchan explained that the reason for that interview to be such a hit was the interviewer’s questions on Beatty’s love life which he answered himself and that is what clicked with the fans.
Thapar was not sure if he had to consider this as a hint to grill Amitabh Bachchan’s love life as well but he took the opportunity and went ahead to ask questions about his rumoured affairs with Parveen Babi and Rekha. The Angry Young Man of the Indian Cinema obviously denied both. However, what happened next was something none had imagined. The interview shifted to Jaya Bachchan, who was sitting beside and she was asked, “Do you believe him?” “I always believe my husband,” she said. She was further grilled, “Do you really mean that or are you only saying it because he’s sitting beside you?” She paused, looked at her husband, and replied with her infectious smile, “Of course I mean it. Why should I not?”
After the interview, the team was waiting to have dinner with the Bachchans, none aware of the volcano building up inside one of the most loved leading man in the Indian Cinema. However, only Jaya Bachchan was the one who had to bear it. And it started when she offered her husband some rice!
Amitabh Bachchan snapped, “You know I never eat rice. Why are you offering me something I never have?” Jaya Bachchan trying to calm him down said, “I’m only offering you rice because, as yet, the rotis haven’t come.” And then came the lava bursting and Bachchan shouting, “I don’t want rice! I never have rice and you know that. I’m not complaining that the rotis haven’t come, but stop offering me rice instead.”
Jaya still tried to manage the embarrassment and said, “I’ll just check what’s happened to the rotis. Why don’t you have a little rice in the meantime?” But Bachchan was untamed and unpolished by that time. He retorted, ““Stop it. Just stop it. I’ve said I don’t want rice and I’m happy to wait for the rotis. Can’t you understand that? What’s the matter with you? Why can’t you just listen to what I’m saying?”
Jaya Bachchan left the room to check for rotis only to never return. However, the couple managed these turbulent times with strength and maturity and they are still going strong as they celebrate 50 years of their wedding. Hope they share many more such years!
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