Life was very boring inside the lamp: Amitabh Bachchan

Life was very boring inside the lamp

Amarendra Mishra05 Nov 2009

Amitabh Bachchan talks about how, life was boring inside the lamp for the genie in Aladin. He also recounts his experience of fulfilling wishes, fairy tales and how his grandchildren don’t seem to be interested in books. He also talks about his co-stars Riteish and newcomer Jacqueline

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Mr. Bachchan, how was your life inside the magical lamp?

Life was very boring inside there. It was more like my retirement age, which I am coming very close to. The genie is fed up of being called out so frequently as he was having a very good time being inside the chiraag and because Aladin rubs the lamp he has to come out. He is a slightly uptight and upset genie when he comes out. And that′s why he keeps asking Aladin to hurry up and ask for the three wishes so that he can go and then lead a retired life. Aladin takes his own sweet time and gets two of his wishes come true by mistake. In the end he is left with just one wish. Aladin very nobly desires to win Jasmine not through magic or not through any help from the genie but he wants to be just like an ordinary human being and to be able to woo her and win her. He does not want any sort of support from anyone and that′s what the genie finally does. So I thought that was a very noble little touch in the film.

How easy was it for you to fulfill Aladin′s wishes?

There are three things that are common in this film  - Aladin, lamp and the genie otherwise it′s a very contemporary story and therefore it′s got nothing else to do with anything else. Aladin is not actually ‘the’ Aladin in the film, he is Aladin Chatterji in the film and it just happens that his first name is Aladin and because of his first name he is always pestered and bullied in school. He is always asked in his school as to where is his lamp? They always keep forcing him to rub a lamp of similar kind and of course no genie appears and then they bully him more. They tease him and they also beat him up. He is kind of a loser in school. Then quite by chance and circumstances one day his lady love gives him a birthday present in the form of a lamp and when he rubs it which he is forced to do so by the bullies to make fun of him, appears this genie and then the story goes forward. In real life he is a very hesitant and very weak kind of a character and is not sure of himself. He is unsure as to how will he express his love to Jasmine but because of the genie everything falls into its own place

Sir, these days both Riteish and Jacqueline are seen promoting Aladin wearing T-shirts which mentions ‘a’ on it, how come you are not wearing it?

They both are wearing an ‘a’ these days and it′s also a very significant part of the story which will be disclosed once you see the film. This is not as you might assume an initial for Aladin. It′s actually the initial of his father who perishes during the time when the lamp is first discovered. He was a little kid at that time amidst all these things the ringmaster wants to get these powers back. He is on the lookout for this lamp and in the whole process torments their life. He wears the T-shirt in remembrance of his father.

Is there anything, which is akin to the magical lamp that you guard fiercely in real life?

I like to keep all my interviews. I record them and then I keep them and then see them at a later stage to feel nice. I can even show them to my grandchildren. My actual grand children have not yet arrived because I don′t know when my son will decide to have one. My grandchildren from my daughter′s side, I think have just gone beyond that age when they can notice all this. But yes they do see my interviews but they don′t make any comments. So I am presuming that they are ok with it. I should start asking them about feedback to my interviews.

Do you also tell your grandchildren any kind of such stories?

Yes, when they were younger I often told them such stories but now they are beyond that age. Now we hear tales from them. We bring them all kind of fairy tales story books form book stores but they only look at the book without saying anything and think that we should rather be given some electronic gizmos. I don′t know how to operate them, I recently got one for my grand kid and also gave him the manual to go through it but two minutes later he was operating everything on his own. When I asked him that did he go through the manual, he very calmly said to me what manual? They are so tech savvy all the time that it′s just so fantastic.

Amitabh BachchanAmitabh Bachchan (more photos on gallery)

Any particular story or fairy tale that you still remember from your childhood days.

I remember all the usual ones. Cinderella, Snow white and seven dwarfs, Peter Pan and mostly during our growing up years we heard stories from the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Bhagwad Gita. We lived with stories from these. My parents used to tell these stories to me.

Sir please share with us one thing about Riteish and Jackie that not many people are aware of? 

I always felt that Ritesh has been a very dedicated actor and I like his devotion a lot. I had said this in an earlier interview too that he is seen yet he is unseen and that means that obviously he is never in your face. He is very quiet and remains to himself yet he continues to do film after films. I wish him all success because I think he has a huge journey in front of him. He has been very good with every kind of genre that we have seen so far be it his comedy or dramatic or fantasy so one wishes him all the best. He has been a very close friend of Abhishek and we see him often at the house. But he has always remained very quiet and he is somebody who is always three or four steps behind everybody else but that should not be misconstrued as any kind of lack of talent. His presence is very powerful on screen. About Jacqueline what can I say? She is a foreigner to this land and she never knew the language or the custom and neither about filmmaking craft. But when you will see her in Aladin she is like a breath of fresh air. My wife Jaya is a strong critic of everything that I do or what she sees around, she feels very strongly about few things. She would not hesitate to give her opinion on things and I have to say this that when she saw some portions of Aladin, she came up with this remark that this girl is the best thing about Aladin.

Thanks a lot sir.


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