Megastar Amitabh Bachchan, son of late celebrated poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan, says writers are the most important part of the filmmaking process.
Talking about his father at the Tata Literature Live here, Big B said: “Every time my father wrote a poem, we were the first he would introduce the poem to. In particular he would ask us to read it in almost the same graph and tone with which he had written and I felt that it was extremely important and has affected my work as a professional actor. I feel that writers are the most important ingredient in filmmaking.”
Amitabh was accompanied at the event on Thursday by his politician-actress wife Jaya Bachchan. They launched author Siddharth Shanghvi’s new book “The Rabbit and The Squirrel”.
On being asked about the importance of storytelling and whether she reads to her grandchildren, Jaya said she made a habit of reading to them every night.
Commenting on reading stories to the eldest, Navya Naveli Nanda, she said: “I used to make up stories every night when she was little and when my grandson (Agastya) arrived, I started telling the same story, adding a little bit and paying a little more attention to the prince. It used to be a bit more on the princess before.”
The 70-year-old actress said when the two grew up, she stopped making up stories and read proper published books to them.
Why are the Bachchans reluctant to part with books?
Jaya said: “When we were little and invited to birthday parties, I remember kids would bring a box of sweets or cookies to birthday parties. But when we grew a little older my father would always say, give a book, it remains on the shelf; at some time you pull it out and read it.
“That’s more important than eating chocolates. It was my job in the house to clean the book shelves every Sunday and I would browse through the books. It was such an interesting activity.”
She said being brought up with books taught her that “their value was more than anything else, even more than a piece of jewellery”.
“It’s difficult to part with books,” said the mother of Abhishek Bachchan and Shweta Bachchan Nanda. Shweta recently turned an author.
Big B himself ensures he writes everyday — even if it is to connect with his fans, whom he calls his extended family.
On blogging every day, he said: “I have dedicated followers on the blog and I call them my extended family. I feel very committed now because there are people who are waiting for the blog to come.”
He calls blogging “a commitment”.
“No matter what time I finish at night I do find time to write something. It is not for any kind of commercial or personal gain,” he added.