by Subhash K Jha
Speculation on political motives behind Mr Bachchan's eleventh-hour absence from the inauguration
of the 35th International Film Festival in Goa, has been running rife.
The mega-star who was in Lucknow on Sunday for an event celebrating his father Harivanshrai
Bachchan's birthday, sets the record straight, just before he was hospitalized.
"There's absolutely no reason to let this incident escalate into a controversy. What happened is very
simple. The Goan chief minister Pratapsingh Rane asked me to be there. I readily agreed. He then
sent another letter informing me that my presence wasn't required. I said, fine. Main to ek rank
(I'm a beggar). I'll do whatever I'm asked to. If I'm asked to be at a venue I will. If I'm asked
not to, I won't…as simple as that."
AB says he chose to be at Goa during the festival for personal reasons.
"Andre Timmins of
Whizcraft who organized the events at the Festival is a friend. He requested me to be there. I can't
say no to a friend. Besides AB Corp's film Antar Mahal was a part of the festival.Sanjay Bhansali's
Black where I play a role was in the panorama section."
"My forthcoming film Ek Ajnabee
was being screened. Also,a retrospective of Hrishi-da(Mukherjee) cinema was held. I had the honour
of being in at least 2-3 films in Hrishida's retro. All put together, my presence at the festival was
In no way has AB dissociated himself from the Festival, as reported. "A section of the press
reports that Jaya and Abhishek are annoyed about what happened in Goa. Nothing happened, and
why should they be annoyed?"
"On the contrary I'm going back to Goa on December 2 to
join the festival for the French section. The French ambassador has invited me. Hopefully he won't
change his mind."