biggest Bollywood news this year has just been delivered. Aishwarya Rai
Bachchan has delivered a baby girl today (November 16, 2011) at
Mumbai's Seven Hills Hospital.
Abhishek Bachchan tweeted, "IT'S A GIRL!!!!!! :-)))))".
Photos: Aishwarya in hospital
The Bachchans went in for the unconventional suburban choice of
hospital, side stepping the more popular celebrity choices such as the
Breach Candy Hospital.
Reportedly, this is the same hospital where Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's sister-in-law, Shrima Rai, gave birth.
It was her father-in-law, legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan, who broke
the big news on behalf of Bollywood's "first family." On June 21
(Tuesday night) @SrBachchan tweeted: ""NEWS NEWS NEWS !! I AM GOING TO
BECOME A GRANDFATHER .. AISHWARYA EXPECTING .. SO HAPPY AND THRILLED
Those 104 characters in all caps confirmed the news India waited for
ever since the Abhishek-Aishwarya wedding in 2007. Hardly surprising,
but awe-inspiring nonetheless that in half an hour Mr Bachchan's Twitter
page received 2,843 congratulatory messages. Fans and the media poured
into the boulevard outside their Juhu bungalow the next morning.
Photos: Aishwarya's rare childhood photos
Despite the obvious goodwill and excitement surrounding a Bachchan
pregnancy, it has not been controversy-free for Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.
After spending a good part of her married years fending of pregnancy
rumours, things came to a head when rumours surfaced of a stomach
uberculosis plaguing her which was preventing her from getting pregnant
and delivering a Bachchan baby to anxious in-laws counting down to
Photos: Days before delivery, Aishwarya is angry
A furious Amitabh Bachchan demanded an apology from the Mumbai tabloid
which had carried the story and asked for a donation to a national
charitable foundation working for tuberculosis. Through his blog Mr
Bachchan demanded an apology for the "defamatory" article.
The actor also posted on his blog a letter written by Aishwarya to the
tabloid asking for a denial and an apology which the tabloid printed.
"Do note that the last few lines of the letter seeking apology have been
conveniently deleted in the print," Mr Bachchan posted on his blog.
The next controversy hit right after Mr Bachchan's breaking news tweet.
Just a month ago, in May 2011, Aishwarya was introduced as the leading
lady of Madhur Bhandarkar's ambitious new project, Heroine. The film was
announced in Cannes, no less, during the Cannes Film Festival by
Bhandarkar and production house UTV's Ronnie Screwvala.
Photos: Aishwarya at Cannes 2011
By July, days after Mr Bachchan's public announcement, the producers
shelved Heroine. Certain scenes with adult content and physically
excruciating were not fit for a five-month pregnant Aishwarya.
The director sank into depression over the loss of his "most ambitious
dream project" - and total silence - as the rest of Bollywood furiously
debated the inclusion of a no-pregnancy clause in the contract of
When Bhandarkar did speak finally, he dropped another C-bomb. "The truth
was hidden from us," he said. We learnt about it from news channels
like the rest of the world. Filmmaking functions on faith and trust. The
film was announced in Cannes on May 13 while we commenced shooting on
June 7. There was a gap of 24 days, if we had known the truth things
could have been reworked."
While Mr Bachchan continued to use his blog and Twitter handle to
connect with fans and occasionally dispel rumours and tell off those
whom he felt were infringing on the family's privacy, Abhishek and
Aishwarya maintained a stoic silence.
Aishwarya discreetly moved away from public appearances, generating much
interest in the few initial sightings. These included an appearance in
the Delhi with the whole family in tow to collect an award from the
French government in July. However, the award ceremony was put off at
her request due to three blasts which hit Mumbai the same day. "This
isn't the time to celebrate. Me and my family felt it was correct to
request the French ambassador to postpone the ceremony to some other
time," she said.
The festive season saw Aishwarya attend a slew of religious functions - from Durga Puja at the Ramkrishna Mission in Khar to Mata ki Chowki
at Sanjay and Maanyata Dutt's home. She remained protective of her
baby bump, throwing her trademark chic style to the wind and opting for
loose traditional outfits as new rumours began to engulf the Bachchans.
Photos: Bachchans' grand Diwali party
The name of the hospital the Bachchans picked was revealed along with
other "details" such as 11.11.11 being the day handpicked by the family
for the birth of the new Bachchan. The "regressive remarks" evoked a
reaction from Aishwarya Rai Bachchan through her spokesperson. The
rumours were trashed as "Ridiculously insinuating such an esteemed and
respected family would actually turn nature's course for such blind
The hospital too strongly refuted the stories on 11.11.11 being the handpicked date.
This time, Mr Bachchan took a softer tone on Twitter, perhaps preparing
finally for the great joy at home. Sometimes criticised for being
supercilious about family and values, Mr Bachchan tweeted on shopping
"for the house" with Jaya Bachchan and said he was enjoying a surprise
A recent tweet from Mr Bachchan sums it up for the happy Bachchans who have undoubtedly gathered with family now.
"The strength of a family is its relatives in unison..break that up and
you break the family..Happy hours spent with family relatives."
Mr Bachchan has just received happy hours forever.