Amitabh Bachchan bowed out of the inauguration of the 25th Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF), which took place on 8 November, after being bed-ridden due to health concerns. The actor tweeted expressing his regret at not being able to attend the festival and apologised to fans. “Was to be in Kolkata for KIFF, but a medical condition put me in bed. Apologies KIFF and the passionate people of Kolkata. I shall make up (sic) some day. Sorry,” he wrote.
Amitabh Bachchan took to his blog to share a photo of his bed-ridden self. He also expressed his contemplative thoughts. He wrote, “so one listens to the body .. and many shall there be who will applaud and commit to say .. “did we not tell you this to slow down” .. Slow down .. ? That’s what you tell the vehicle or the train on road and track .. so .. what”
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee acknowledged Bachchan’s absence in her speech at the inauguration ceremony. She said, “Amitabhji comes here every time. But he could not turn up. Since last night he is unwell. So doctors have restricted his movements. He is suffering a lot since last night.” She said that both Big B and Jaya Bachchan messaged her early Friday morning to inform her that he would not be able to make it to the event. “He contacted me, Jaya ji (Jaya Bachchan) also. .. We pray for his long life and good health. Today though he could not come, I believe Amit ji's mind is with this festival. We cannot think of this film festival without him,” she said.
Bachchan also cancelled his appearance at the Sharjah Book Fair, which was scheduled for 30 October, owing to health issues which prevented him from travelling overseas.
Recently, there were speculations that Amitabh Bachchan had been admitted to Mumbai’s Nanavati hospital for a liver problem. According to a report in Times of India, the actor was rushed to the hospital at 2 am on 15 October. However, sources told The Quint that the veteran actor has been admitted for three days as part of a regular check-up.
The festival was inaugurated by Shah Rukh Khan, who was presented with the 25th Kolkata International Film Festival trophy. Raakhee Gulzar, Mahesh Bhatt, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly also attended the event alongside Oscar-winning director Volker Schlondorff, Sex, Lies and Videotape actor Andie MacDowell and Slovak filmmaker Dusan Hanak.