Sporting T-shirts imprinted with a young Amitabh Bachchan’s face and spreading out a large cake with an image of Coolie’s iconic poster where Bachchan has his pet falcon resting on his left hand, a bunch of middle-aged fans, some still donning his trademark hairstyle, celebrated the 39th anniversary of the megastar’s “rebirth” on Monday, when he had come out of coma after a near-fatal accident while shooting for ‘Coolie’.
Scores of members of the All Bengal Amitabh Bachchan Fans’ Association commemorated the day by celebrating the day with a group of transgenders and sex workers at Sonagachhi in north Kolkata, where they distributed sanitizers and masks and organised a lunch for 300 guests.
On July 26 in 1982, Bachchhan had suffered his famous near-fatal injury during the filming of ‘Coolie’ in Bengaluru when due to a mistimed jump during a fight scene with co-star Puneet Issar, he hit the corner of a table instead of landing on it. He underwent a surgery at Bengaluru’s St Philomena’s Hospital before being flown to Mumbai and was admitted to Breach Candy Hospital.
With the emergency splenectomy, Bachchan fought for his life and slipped into a coma. Fans across the nation thronged to shrines offering to sacrifice limbs in exchange for their favourite hero’s recovery. Jaya Bachchan walked barefoot from Breach Candy to Siddhi Vinayak Temple to pray.
However, with no sign of recovery, doctors on August 2 had allegedly injected adrenaline into Bachchan’s body when his toes moved and the megastar was “reborn”. The actor remained in hospital for many months before he resumed shooting ‘Coolie’, which released on November 14, 1983, and became an instant hit.
“This is a special day for fans across the world. Like other years, we sent him a text message wishing him and also sent photographs and details of our activity. He has replied to us and has asked us to carry on the good work,” said Sanjay Patodiya, the state secretary of the association.
Remembering the day and responding to thousands of wishes pouring on his social media handles, the 78-year-old actor wrote on Twitter in Hindi – “Vyatigat abhaar aur dhanyavaad de na paaunga.. aapka ashirvad aur sneh bas yun hi bana rahe.. (can’t give personal thanks, may your blessings and love be like this forever).”