Jaya & Amitabh Bachchan On Their Shaadi Ka Silsila
Here’s what Jaya and Amitabh Bachchan have shared about their dating period and marriage through the years.
She was thirteen when she worked in Satyajit Ray's Mahanagar (1963), but Jaya Bachchan made her entry into the Hindi cinema world with Guddi (1971). Jaya Bhaduri, as people knew her then, turns 73 today.
It was, in fact, on the sets of Guddi that Jaya and Amitabh Bachchan first met. But this wasn't the first time they were seeing each other.
How the 'Bachchans' Met
"I saw Jaya’s photograph in a magazine for the first time and I enquired. Then we got cast on 'Guddi' together and we met on the set for the first time. There was this traditional look in her eyes that caught me. That’s something I was looking for in my future wife".Amitabh Bachchan
Both Jaya and Amitabh were hugely popular then and the media was interested in every story that surrounded them. Despite that, the two kept their relationship under wraps. They were the most talked-about couple then. You could say, they were the Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor of the 70s.
Jaya Bachchan was riding high with films like Piya Ka Ghar, Bawarchi, Jawani Diwani...the list can go on and on. But for Jaya, the memory of seeing Amitabh Bachchan for the first time goes a little back in the story.
"I first saw Amit ji at the Pune Film Institute. I saw him and I liked him and I told my friends he’s got personality. They said ‘what, he looks like a stick. He’s very thin and his face is full of his eyes.’ I remember I fought with my friends".Jaya Bachchan
In an interview with Simi Garewal, Jaya recalls, "When I met him first I saw the danger. He was the first person who could say things to me and I would do it and I would want to please him and that's something that doesn't come to me very easily or naturally." Amitabh cheekily asks for the tape of the interview as proof.
When asked if it was "love at first sight", she says, "Maybe."
'When We Were Dating, He Hardly Spoke. He Was Very Shy.'
Jaya Bachchan, in many interviews, has recalled how Big B was very shy and a man of few words. He, too, admits that he was reserved because he didn't want to disappoint anyone. "They expected something from me which I couldn't give," he says.
It wasn't until they met on the sets of Ek Nazar (1972), that the two figured they wanted to be in each other's company.
Both, Amitabh and Jaya, have gone on record to talk about how they got married. In a blog, Big B has talked at length about his father insisting he get married to Jaya Bachchan before he went on a trip with her to London. Jaya, Amitabh and a couple of friends had decided that they would take a trip to London if Zanjeer did well.
"Seeking or rather informing parents that we were a group of friends going to England .. who all are going came the query from Babuji .. names disclosed .. Jaya is also going with you .. you both are alone .. yes .. if you have to go marry and go".Amitabh Bachchan in a blog
Jaya Bachchan says she was okay with the idea.
"He had already told them that he wants to marry me. So I said, 'What’s the big deal? We’ll get married'. I was shooting in Calcutta and he called me and told me what happened. I said it’s okay with me, doesn’t matter. You’ll have to ask my parents. My parents hesitated but agreed".Jaya Bachchan
Big B writes in a recent blog that both families prepped for the "next day" (wedding) in full swing as the ceremonies had to be completed before their flight to London on the night of the wedding day itself.
He writes, "Panditji and family informed... next day all set... flight at night... marriage to finish before the flight... I dress up in formal marriage Indian... get into my car and want to drive to Malabar Hill where her friends lived and where the ceremony was to be done... my driver Nagesh, pushes me out and insists he would drive me to the wedding... the substitute for the tradition horse. And it begins to drizzle... neighbours rush out to me... leave for the wedding now ... the rain is a good omen... off I went... wedding over in a few hours... done... Mr and Mrs proclaimed... over!"
48 Years of Marriage and Counting
In a candid conversation with Simi Garewal, Jaya Bachchan cheekily rates Amitabh as a 5 on 10 when it comes to being a husband. She goes on to complain about how it annoys her that he doesn't join the dinner table when the food is ready at the right time and never eats the food at the right temperature, giving us a sneak peek into the fact that they are no different from any other couple who aren't celebrities.
With a chuckle, she then goes on to say that she’s probably his last priority.
Jaya Bachchan stopped acting in films briefly after she had kids. "It wasn't something I discussed or decided. I was bored of doing what I was doing at that time and being home with the kids seemed like a better use of my time. Nothing interesting was coming my way," she says. Quitting films at the pinnacle of her acting career was a choice she made.
"The best thing about our relationship is Shweta and Abhishek".Amitabh Bachchan
The couple has been through a slew of controversies over the decades and Jaya Bachchan in an interview admitted that the gossip around her family makes her "angry".
"It’s so sad that journalists have to write gossip about him to earn their bread. Do they ever think that there are families involved? I never ask him for explanations because that would just be petty".Jaya Bachchan
Over the years, Jaya Bachchan has been asked multiple questions about her marriage with a "superstar" like Amitabh Bachchan. She has been called "The First lady of Bollywood". Some might think that the label takes away from her credentials as an actor. But here's what she says about the key to her successful marriage.
"Three things essential for a successful marriage are respect, understanding and space".Jaya Bachchan
(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.