It was in July 1982 when the entire nation had held its breath and prayed for the Shahenshah of Bollywood, Amitabh Bachchan as he battled for his life after a fatal accident at the sets of his film, Coolie. The living legend of B-town, Mr Bachchan truly deserves to be the face of the Bollywood, who had his own fair share of ups and downs to be where he is today! Movies are not just about ‘lights, camera and action’, as there is a lot of khoon, paseena involved. And by far, Big B’s on-set injury has been the most frightening one in history!
To give you a recap of what had happened, it was on August 2, 1982, when by Amitabh Bachchan’s own admission, he was reborn! On the sets of Coolie, while shooting for an intense fight sequence with Puneet Issar at the Bangalore University campus, Big B was supposed to land on a table, but instead, he misjudged the jump and landed abruptly with the edge hitting his abdominal part causing massive internal haemorrhage and internal bleeding. Mr Bachchan was then rushed to the hospital and he had to go through multiple surgeries. Amitabh Bachchan was also declared ‘clinically dead’ for a few minutes before being put on the ventilator. In fact, for a week or so, he wasn’t responding to any kind of treatment.
While the entire nation prayed for his well-being, his fans walked barefoot to the temples and pilgrimage sites, do you know how his family reacted to the devastating incident? On Rendezvous with Simi Garewal, the Bachchan clan including Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Shweta Bachchan Nanda and Abhishek Bachchan had made an appearance and the host of the show, Simi Garewal made them recall the horrifying incident.
When Simi Garewal asked Shweta Bachchan Nanda and Abhishek Bachchan if they were aware of the gravity of their father’s fatal accident on the sets of Coolie, Shweta, who was then 8-year-old, had replied, “I don’t think we knew how serious he was.” And Abhishek, who was then 6-year-old, retorted, “Much later.” Narrating an incident with Abhishek from that time, Jaya Bachchan had shared, “There was one time when Abhishek had a huge, a very bad Asthma attack. We didn’t know what caused it and then I asked my niece who was in the same class and she said that one boy came and said, ‘Abhishek your father is going to die.’ So you know, maybe he didn’t know what it was but he reacted.”
Simi Garewal further probed Mr Bachchan to recall the time when he was declared clinically dead. Amitabh Bachchan had said, “I was in comma. I had ruptured my intestine at the accident on the set. And then there was the surgery which was conducted almost as an emergency. We went to Bombay 5 days later, the sutures ruptured, and I had to have another surgery. It was end of that surgery where I couldn’t come out of anaesthesia for 12-14 hours. That’s when they felt it’s all over because there was hardly any pulse, BP was down to almost zero.”
Revealing her reaction when her brother-in-law told her about Amitabh Bachchan’s condition, Jaya Bachchan had continued, “When I had reached the hospital where my brother-in-law said, “Where were you, we were searching for you? We have been looking for you?” And I said I went home to see kids. Then he sort of took me up, he asked me to be brave and then I am going to tell you. I was like, no it’s not possible, he’s not going to do this. I know it’s not possible. I had the prayer book in my hand, hanuman chalisa. Dr Dastoor passed by and said, ‘It’s only your prayers that’ll help.’ But I couldn’t read it. I couldn’t see what they were doing but I could see that they were pumping his heart, they were giving him injections. And after they gave up, I saw his toe move, and I said, ‘He moved, he moved.’” And then he revived. (Also Read: Amitabh Bachchan Reveals Story Behind His 'Next Day' Wedding With Jaya Bhaduri On 46th Anniversary)
Commenting on how it was after August 2, when the hard time really began for him, Amitabh Bachchan had stated, “That was a devastating time for me because of the first time they put me on my feet to get me walking, my legs crumbled and I fell on the floor. I felt that I had lost my power. I had to learn to walk again. It’s like teaching a child how to walk again. And the repair work after you leave the hospital because you are not the same person and you’re never going to be the same person again. You have lost almost 75% of your body. Your face doesn’t look the same, your hair doesn’t look the same.” When asked if he’d ever panic about the future, Big B had said, “Not really panic. It was realisation that fine this has happened to me and either I succumb to it or I keep trying. I chose to keep trying.”
When Simi Garewal had asked Jaya Bachchan, what was going inside her during that time, she had retorted, “I think I had just stopped thinking about what could have happened or what can happen. I was sort of always felt that he’ll fight. He’ll overcome all his problems. And because in Bangalore, he was very bad. There were certain things he said to me, that were there in my mind and there was no way that he’s going to let us down. That was the faith I had.”
Since then, the fans have marked the day by wishing Amitabh Bachchan ‘Happy Rebirth Day’ and he too, takes it to the social media to thank everyone, who prayed for him when he was fighting for his life. In one of his blogs, Big B had written, “To them that have sent greetings for my 2nd birthday Aug 2, a recovery from my Coolie accident, I send my gracious thanks... it shall be difficult for me to acknowledge and thank all... but I do know that it was your prayers that saved my life.” Mentioning the incident in his blog, he had continued, “There is enormous amounts of celebratory mention and wishes for the 2nd of August, the day when I recovered from my Coolie accident... to live another day, through the prayers of the millions that saved my life through their devotion to the Almighty... a most heavy debt that I shall happily bear, and ever be in a state of never being able to repay it.”
Concluding his blog, Amitabh Bachchan wrote, “There is sufficient media coverage on those times and days... for me then to elaborate would be boring and repetitious... best then to avoid and be in gratitude and prayer. There is a long history to the events of those times... one that shall not be able to be narrated here... though I do make insincere promises that someday they shall be spoken of.” (Also Read: Despite Many Link-Ups, Legends Jaya-Amitabh Have Been Together For 46 Yrs; A Time-Tested Love Tale!)
Sending truckloads of love, Amitabh ji's way!