Another week, another endearing story from Amitabh Bachchan's endless supply. This week, Big B's subject is the shooting of 1978 blockbuster Don. He posted a film still of himself with co-star Pran, who played a father in search of his two missing children, and a reminiscence of their time shooting the blockbuster film on his Facebook page.
Pran and Big B first co-starred in Zanjeer (1973), and went on to appear in many films together. In his post, Big B praised his friend and colleague's dedication and professionalism, writing: "Invariably his make up involved wigs and beards of different nature, but irrespective of the intricacy of its bearing and the time consumption in putting them on, he was always the first person on set, and never went back to his make up room even if he was not required for the shot. He never argued or disagreed with any procedure on the film, never interfered, just quietly went about his work and left. He has a great repertoire of 'shayari' and would often entertain us with the choicest works through his fantastic memory of them."
Amitabh Bachchan also wrote about cinematographer and producer Nariman Irani, producer of Don, who died tragically on the sets of the film. Mr Irani was famous for his camerawork on films like Phool Aur Patthar and Roti Kapda Aur Makaan. Big B wrote: "He was a giant of a man, but with a heart of gold. Soft spoken with a continuous smile on his face, he always , for some reason kept addressing me with the words 'Keys of the Kingdom'. It was only later, much later that I discovered that it was the title of a Hollywood film he liked, and wished to produce next. Unfortunately he did not live to see it through. At the shooting of one of the films he was doing as DOP, he, seeing a portion of the set breaking and about to fall on a little child that was working in the film, ran to save the child, saved him, but fell in doing so and broke his hip bone. He was hospitalised, one complication followed another and he never came out of it. Sadly he passed away in his prime."
The waistcoat that Amitabh Bachchan wears in the film still is the same one he wore in the famous song Khaike Paan Banaraswala which, as he tells us, was an afterthought, added to the film on the suggestion of actor Manoj Kumar. Shooting the song proved to be no easy task: "Khaike paan ...' was shot at a floor on Mehboob Studios too, in my second shift - we did two shifts a day in those days, for two different films. The morning shift from 7am-2pm was an action sequence at China Creek, during which I had hurt the palm of my feet and developed huge painful blisters. The song was done bare feet as you may see, and with the blisters was an impossibility. But, because DONwas on release, I had to do it. How ? Hmmm ... Pain killing injections, every hour during the shoot that numbed the palm of the feet !! Not something that I would recommend for anyone !!"
As always, we are delighted by Amitabh Bachchan's weekly memoir. And we're looking forward to next week's.