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Last Updated: Sunday, 12 October, 2003, 10:44 GMT 11:44 UK
Inside Bollywood legend's birthday party
By Navdip Dhariwal
BBC correspondent in Bombay

Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan has celebrated his 61st birthday with a birthday bash at which he announced the resurrection of his film company.

Amitabh Bachchan
Amitabh Bachchan relaunched his film company, AB Corporation
Someone had already warned me that the legend of Indian cinema always started his parties on time.

We were fashionably late, but turned up to face a star-studded array of celebrities that would make most Bollywood fans green with envy.

It was a party that everyone - all the actors, politicians, industrialists and media who mattered - had clearly made the effort to come to.

This was a Bombay mix of money, glamour and politics.

Big business players like the Hinduja brothers rubbed shoulders with cinema giants Hemma Malini and Dilip Kumar.

The award-winning actress Tabu and up-and-coming star Fardeen Khan were among those paying homage to the man who's face still lights up billboards across Bombay, also known as Mumbai.

Ranveer poster
The 61-year-old will star with son Abhishek in Ranveer
Bachchan's speech was relayed across two giant screens flanking the stage. He told his captive audience of 1,000 guests that this was not a birthday bash - but the launch of his film and his company.

He told the BBC: "This is not a celebration. I lost my father earlier on so we don't celebrate for a year.

"This is an inspiration to what he has left behind. His strength, his will power, his faith in doing things correctly and doing things with confidence. I hope I am able to live up to his aspirations."

His film company, AB Corporation, which he is slowly re-building, will co-produce the first movie to star Bachchan and son Abhishek, he announced.

In Ranveer the Warrior, they will play father and son and the film promises to delight and intrigue fans as the clash of relationships and ideals between the two actors unfolds.

About 1,000 people attended the party
Last year, the company went bankrupt and had to shut down after making huge financial losses.

But the message to his fans, who were able to watch the coverage live, was one of thanks for all the greetings and support.

And the highlight of my first Bollywood bash was the one shot any admirer of Amitabh would cherish and the snappers captured.

A reunion of three veteran actors, Vinod Khanna, Rishi Kapoor and Bachchan, who starred in the enduring movie of three men from three different religions, Amar Akhbar Anthony.

That was a pretty impressive way to end a party.


SEE ALSO:
Bollywood breaks budget record
28 Apr 03  |  Entertainment
Kaante revives Bollywood
06 Jan 03  |  Entertainment
Bollywood's Bachchan turns 60
11 Oct 02  |  Entertainment
Bollywood legend eyes fruitful future
04 Oct 02  |  Entertainment


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