Fenil and Bollywood

Rushdie meets Big B in Mumbai

Posted on: January 13, 2010

Salman Rushdie made a hush-hush trip to Mumbai to meet Amitabh Bachchan

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; January 09, 2010)

The last time he came to Mumbai, he was on the rebound after his divorce from Padma Lakshmi, and his attentions to Riya Sen at a party had caused a bit of a flutter. Salman Rushdie arrived in town again this week for a two-day trip, but this time it was sen-sational for entirely different reasons.

Accompanying him was Deepa Mehta, who is making an adaptation of his Midnight’s Children. Both of them had a meeting with Amitabh Bachchan at his Juhu bungalow on January 5. Although Amitabh had met Deepa earlier, this was his first meeting with Rushdie.

Salman Rushdie Amitabh Bachchan

While Rushdie’s visit wasn’t publicised, the low profile had more to do with personal privacy than any security fears. “As far as I could see, there’s no fear to his life. He travels in a relaxed atmosphere. I couldn’t see any security arrangements. He loved meeting Mr Bachchan, whom he was really keen to interact with,” said Deepa, who accompanied the writer.

Even Big B confirmed the meeting saying, “Yes we have met. I am looking at the script.”

Amitabh is playing the key role of Dr Aadam Aziz (the young protagonist Saleem Sinai’s grandfather). The character is that of an Indian doctor with Western sensibilities, struggling to reconcile opposing cultures in post-Independence India.

Interestingly, Abhishek Bachchan will be playing the younger Dr Aadam Aziz, the first time father and son will be cast together in an international project. For now, Deepa, who has collaborated with Rushdie for the film’s screenplay, is reluctant to reveal her cards. “I have met Mr Bachchan…he was warm and welcoming and liked what we told him,” is all she said. However, the crucial role of Saleem is yet to be cast.

Midnight’s Children will also bring together Shabana Azmi and Amitabh Bachchan, last seen together in Tinnu Anand’s Main Azaad Hoon in 1989. Shabana will play Amitabh’s wife Naseem. Shahana Goswami has been signed to play the younger Naseem. Incidentally, Javed Akhtar, (he wrote Main Azaad Hoon and brought Shabana and Amitabh together for the film), arranged the meeting with Rushdie.

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