When Amitabh Bachchan fell in love with Waheeda Rehman

Had Amitabh Bachchan not married actress Jaya Bhaduri way back in 1973, and had got a chance to woo someone else, it would have been the “epitome of Indian beauty” Waheeda Rehman. The megastar was reported saying in the media that he would have tried to catch her attention with a poem.

At the India Today Conclave 2014, when anchor Koel Purie asked Big B about one actress that he would have loved to court, Amitabh took the ethereal Waheeda Rehman’s name in spite of the fact that the actress was six years his senior.

“It’s too late in the day to do that now,” laughed the 71-year-old actor, adding that he admires her enormously for her elegance and dignity.

“She’s been one of my favourite actors along with Dilip Kumar saab. She is the epitome of an Indian beauty, of simplicity... so genuine, soft and beautiful. If I had to woo her, perhaps I would recite a poem,” he added.

Just then, the versatile star changed the mood of the crowd and recited his famous verse “Main aur meri tanhai aksar ye baatein kiya karte hain.”

The gathering was floored.

Amitabh was in an entertaining mood and he also imitated the mannerisms of some of the onscreen characters immortalized by him. He was sporting enough to sing a few lines of the song “Mere angne mein tumhara kya kaam hai” on the lively anchor’s request.

The actor spoke affectionately of his wife Jaya, with whom he has two children — Shweta and Abhishek.

Koel asked the star about the challenges that he had faced on marrying a popular star of that time, and then later becoming a megastar himself, with Jaya giving up her career for her family.

The anchor asked if it was challenging.

“Every marriage is a challenge, and mine wasn’t different. One think I find very admirable about Jaya is that she chose to give preference to home and not films. There was no obstacle from me ever, it was her decision,” Big B replied.

When Koel asked whether it was Jaya’s decision or a joint one, the star answered, “Well, in marriages, all decisions are taken by the wife,” he joked, adding that it was indeed Jaya’s decision to look after the house and raise the children well.

It was reported that the star, who recently wrapped up shooting for ‘Bhoothnath Returns’, said he would join Ronnie Screwvala in his “exercise to collect funds” for Swades Foundation.