HBD Jaya Bachchan: “Mai ne kaha phoolon se hanso to wo khil khila kar hans diye…” still mesmerizes people cutting across two generations

Jaya Bachchan – wife of the megastar Amitabh Bachchan needs no introduction. An actress par excellence, who played opposite to several big names of her time, won the audience attentions through her simple and natural acting. In Anamika where she appeared with veteran actor Sanjeev Kumar, made the audience dumbstruck through her complete immersion into the character she essayed. Even the great Sanjeev Kumar couldn’t stop praising her. The song, “Meri bheegi bheegi si palkon pe rah gaye jaise mere sapne bikhar ke…” still plunges one into the deep abyss of melancholy. On the other hand, the playful village damsel in GP Sippy’s Sholay had brought smiles on the faces of audience. In Mili, she played a cancer patient, who despite the disease brought happiness in the life of others. The audiences were seen with their hankies - wiping tears from their eyes in cinema halls!     

Turn the clock back by thirty seven odd years and a short-statured ‘next-door’ girl appears on the silver screen with her infectious smile in 1981 in multi-starrer blockbuster of the time 'Silsila'. The movie, according to B-Town grapevines, was based on the life of Amitabh Bachchan. Bachchan’s life brushes with flirtatious relations with the filmdom’s most charismatic gal of her time – Rekha. Even the prominent actors of that era vied for playing opposite her.  Such was the Rekha’s charm that the lanky tall young man with baritone voice got sucked into it and the tabloids and broadsheets of that time spun crispy and salivating stories on the B-Town once most famous affair. The superstar charmed by the leading lady of Bollywood’s aura had even bet his dignity and family life to possess her.

But the lady luck frowned on him and Jaya invited Rekha to her house in Mumbai. The gossip-mills fabricated many versions of what transpired between the two, but no one exactly knew what happened within the four walls of Amitabh’s house.

Like 'Silsila' – which had shown Rekha distancing from Big B, the millennium star, returned back to her family in real life too – wife Jaya, son Abhishek and daughter Shweta. The doting wife was the happiest person in the world then. Rekha bore such deep scar post dissociation that even years after the incident, she failed to forget one of the most famous love stories of the time. At the one end there was the family re-union and on the other heartbreak, heartburn and a complete shattered persona.

Jaya, who met Amitabh on the sets of Zanjeer, developed proximity with the star and started drawn towards him. There was a brief love affair that crystallized into a marital bond – making her Jaya Bachchan from Jaya Bhaduri on June 3, 1973.

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