Amitabh Bachchan is one actor who has been ruling our hearts and minds for decades. The actor has shot several of his films at international locations, including now-in-turmoil Afghanistan. Mr Bachchan visited Afghanistan for the shoot of his 1992 film Khuda Gawah. While the nation is currently making the headlines owing to the Taliban taking over it, the time he was shooting, there was another moment the country was facing troubled times.
In this past post, Amitabh opened up about shooting in the country that had its streets filled with tanks, armed forces and heavy security. He even wrote about the warmth and hospitality he and the film’s team received while there. Read all he said below.
In a throwback post shared on his Facebook handle in 2013, Amitabh Bachchan wrote, “It was produced by Manoj Desai, it was supposed to be a six-day guest appearance but developed into a full-fledged role at his insistence. I cherish the memory of the movie entirely for the trip where it was shot during extremely troubled times.”
Amitabh Bachchan continued, “The Soviets had just left the country and power handed over to Najibullah Ahmadzai who was a die-hard fan of popular Hindi cinema. He wanted to meet me and we were given the right royal treatment. We were treated as VVIP state guests at Mazare-e-Sharif and taken through the length and breadth of the incredibly beautiful country in airplanes with armed escorts. We received the traditional warmth of the locals who have a passion for hospitality. We weren’t allowed to stay in hotel… a family just vacated its home for us and moved to a smaller house.”
He further recalled the presence of tanks and armed soldiers all over Afghanistan during that period. Amitabh Bachchan wrote, “There were security problems, of course, with tanks and armed soldiers all over the streets. Still, it’s been the most memorable trip of my lifetime. The unit was invited by a group of warlords, Danny Dengzongpa, Biloo, Mukul and I boarded a chopper gunship, flanked by five other helicopters. It was an unforgettable ride. The aerial view offered us the vista of purple mountains turning pink and red because of poppies growing there. Time seemed to have stood absolutely still in the valley where the chopper landed.”
Talking about meeting the warlords and how they welcomed them, Amitabh said, “We could see a medieval castle-like structure in the distance. We were bodily lifted by the warlords and carried there because traditionally, the feet of guests aren’t supposed to touch the ground. From the castle, we went to the grounds where the Buzkashi tournament had been organized for us. Colourful tents had been set up, I thought I was in Ivanhoe land. The warlords insisted that the four of us spend the night there, the palace was emptied and the four of us kept eating and drinking and looking as if we’d wandered into an unbelievable fairy tale.”
He added that they received several guests while there. He wrote, “We were smothered with gifts. In Kabul, the night before we flew back to India, Najab called us to president’s residence and decorated all of us with the ‘order of Afghanistan’. That evening his uncle sang an Indian raga for us with impeccable ease. I don’t know where our hosts are, I often wonder where they are today.”
Check out the post here:
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