By Ranita Ray Last Updated:
Around 46 years back, an angry young man of Bollywood broke many hearts when he tied the knot with his ladylove. Yes, we are talking about Amitabh Bachchan and his pretty and demure significant other, Jaya Bhaduri Bachchan. Celebrating a marital bliss of over four decades, they are standing tall as a time-tested couple, setting new parameters of trust, understanding, respect, and love in the relationship of husband and wife.
Their love story is weaved with all the essential ingredients which make it as interesting as those reel tales they have summed up together. Hold your breath, as this piece of write-up, has many such episodes which are little known to the outer world. Here we spill the beans on their romantic tale.
It was early 1970 when the country’s most celebrated couple had a glance at each other. Jaya saw Amitabh at Pune Film Institute when on one fine day he arrived there accompanying the famous filmmaker K. Abbas and a group of other actors. Though Amitabh’s personality caught Jaya’s attention, nothing substantial really happened. By then, while Amitabh was still struggling to be an actor, Jaya was already a superstar.
Jaya appeared on the cover of a glossy and it worked as a trigger for their love story. When Amitabh came across this cover, he took a thorough look at Jaya Bhaduri. Call it serendipity as Jaya matched all those features of his dream woman– a perfect balance of traditional and modern values. Moreover, he could not get over the charm of her beautiful eyes. Somewhere it rang the love bell in his heart. Much later, Hrishikesh Mukherjee brought them together and the sets of the movie Guddi served as the formal meeting ground for the duo. Amitabh was really thrilled to work opposite her, who had already earned a good name as a versatile actor.
Recollecting the experience, Jaya said in an interview:
“I was introduced to him on the sets of Guddi. I was impressed by him and somewhat in awe as he was Harivanshrai Bachchan's son. I felt he was different, though people laughed at me when I said that. I expressed my feelings and said he's going to make it big, even though I was aware he wasn't the usual stereotype hero. I fell in love with him very soon.”
Jaya was the first one who realised that she had developed feelings for Amitabh and it grew intense with time. It was only the sets of Ek Nazar, which worked as Cupid for Amitabh too and their story took a sweet turn. The angry young man fell in love with Jaya.
Rajesh Khanna, who happened to be a very close friend of Jaya, never really gave his nod to her relationship with Amitabh. In fact, he had cautioned her several times about meeting Bachchan. There were talks that Amitabh was a frequent visitor on the sets of Bawarchi to meet Jaya and Mr. Khanna used to receive him with open ignore. But nothing could stop Jaya from falling head over heels in love with Amitabh.
Life becomes exciting when a bit of drama and thrill is involved, it makes the story worthwhile. When it is about the legendary actors Big B and his biwi, one cannot expect anything to be so plain and simple. A major turn came to their love saga just before the release of Zanjeer (1973) when their friends made a condition that if the movie becomes a hit, they will go to London.
This time it was Amitabh's parents who rejected his idea of London visit, saying he cannot go out with a girl unless he marries her. Instead of feeling dejected about their ‘No’, Amitabh rather took the biggest step in his love life and felt this is the right opportunity to take the wedding vows.
He proposed Jaya for the marriage and it was an instant yes from her. He approached her parents for their approval and they gave their nod immediately. Within a few days, everything was fixed and on June 3, 1973, they tied the knot and the same day they left for London. The wedding was a low-key affair with only a few friends and family members attending it.
The evergreen couple was blessed with two children. In an interview, the couple said in unison that Shweta and Abhishek are the most prized part of their relationship.
Despite being at towering success, Jaya chose to be a dedicated homemaker and a doted mother. Quitting films at the peak of her career was her wilful decision.
Expressing his feelings about his marriage, Amitabh once said:
"Every marriage is a challenge, and mine wasn't different. One thing I find very admirable about Jaya is that she chose to give preference to home not films. There was no obstacle from me ever, it was her decision."
Jaya once confessed that she was really scared when she met him in person for the first time and felt he would be the only one who could ever make her to do things and she would do them without a fuss. She admitted that she even decided that to please him, she would do anything.
Couple lovingly often calls each other with a pet name and Amitabh was christened as ‘Lambuji’ by Jaya. She used to call him with this name, until their daughter, Shweta, too started addressing him the same.
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It was just three years of their wedding when news about Amitabh’s affair with his co-star Rekha started making rounds in the film industry. Things impacted Jaya and Amitabh’s relationship. However, regardless of the rumours and uproar revolving Big B and Rekha’s affair, the Bachchan couple upheld their poise and respect in public, never dragging things to a nasty point. He also had link-up rumours with Zeenat Aman, Parveen Babi, and a few other actresses,
Expressing her stance on such news of link ups, in an interviews Jaya once stated,
"I totally trust my husband and I know this industry. I have never been threatened or felt insecure about anything he did."
Amitabh also voiced his opinion and quipped that he was never troubled by any tittle-tattle about him. Possibly, this is why they never expressed themselves to accept or deny any of the rumours written or said about them.
A few years ago, while celebrating the 42nd wedding anniversary, the Piku star posted an old picture with his wife and on a nostalgic note, added a few beautiful lines remembering those early days,
“After 42 years it all seems so very close and immediate... The decision to be together.. The hurried simple preparations.. the ceremony in Bengali tradition .. The gentle drops of rain that began to fall just before.. and finally after it was all over, the entrance of the bride into our home and the departure soon after to London with some dear friends for a honeymoon.”
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Today Jaya is an actor-turned-politician and a proud grandmother too. Amitabh, continues to rule the Bollywood and a lot of credit goes to the unflinching support of Jaya. We salute them for keeping our faith in the institution of marriage and proving that ‘love does last forever’.