All the fans in the world celebrate the birthday of their idols with much fanfare; whether they belong in politics, cinema, sports, or any other industry. The Bollywood fans are no less. And the fans of Amitabh Bachchan are the ones who celebrate the megastar’s birthday with such enthusiasm, that it almost looks as if a festival has come alive. However, not many would be aware that Big B rings in his second birthday on August 2. On the same day in the year 1982, Big B was almost reborn, showing the signs of being alive again, while admitted in a critical condition at the Breach Candy Hospital.
Today, now that his cult film ‘Coolie’ completes 34 years, let us tell you a behind-the-scene story.
Who would forget? It was on July 26, 1982 that Amitabh Bachchan was shooting for ‘Coolie’, directed by Manmohan Desai and Prayag Raj. While shooting for a fight sequence with his co-star Puneet Issar, Big B was supposed to fall on the table first and then on to the ground. As timing was not rightly judged, Puneet Issar ended up hitting the actor’s abdomen and he landed on the edge of the table due to which internal bleeding started. (Also Read: When Smita Patil had got an intuition about Amitabh Bachchan’s accident on ‘Coolie’ sets)
As the film was being shot in Bangalore, director Manmohan Desai made immediate arrangements to fly Amitabh to Mumbai after this accident. The actor was barely conscious and could not speak. The plane landed at Mumbai’s Santa Cruz airport where director Yash Chopra then organised an ambulance to take the actor straight to Breach Candy Hospital.
The doctors operated immediately, but, to everyone’s horror, Big B went into a coma. It was during this period when his countless fans and admirers prayed for their favourite star’s recovery. Across the world, and in front of Breach Candy Hospital, there were fans seen praying to God for his good health and in fact, even the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi visited him during this difficult time. And finally, on August 2, when Dr. Wadia injected cortisone into Amitabh one after the other and around 40 ampules was put in, suddenly, his wife Jaya Bachchan saw one of his toes move and she cried out, “Look, he’s alive.”
In one of his earlier posts on Twitter, Big B had written, “T 1188 -What should be said on such occasions. The efficiency of the doctors at Breach Candy and the prayers of millions saved me.” [sic] Further, he added saying, “T 1188 -There is one debt that I shall never be able to repay .. the debt that I carry of the millions who prayed for me ..” [sic]
After his miraculous recovery, the actor was back on the sets of ‘Coolie’. It was after his brush with death in real life that director Manmohan Desai changed the ending of the movie to a happy one. Originally, Big B’s character was supposed to die in the climax, but after this dramatic incident, director changed the ending to show him alive.
Talking about the film ‘Coolie’, that particular scene where Amitabh Bachchan was injured was freezed frame for a second (before he gets punched) with a message saying, “This is the shot in which AMITABH BACHCHAN was seriously injured”.