Controversial writer Salman Rushdie arrived in Mumbai this week on a two-day trip to meet Amitabh Bachchan, says a media report.
Accompanying him was Deepa Mehta, who is making an adaptation of his Midnight's Children. Both of them had a meeting with Amitabh Bachchan at his Juhu bungalow on January 5. Although Amitabh had met Deepa earlier, this was his first meeting with Rushdie.
While Rushdie's visit was not publicized, the low profile had more to do with personal privacy than any security fears. “As far as I could see, there's no fear to his life. He travels in a relaxed atmosphere. I couldn't see any security arrangements. He loved meeting Mr Bachchan, whom he was really keen to interact with,” said Deepa, who accompanied the writer.
Big B confirmed the meeting saying, “Yes we have met. I am looking at the script.”
Amitabh is playing the key role of Dr Aadam Aziz (the young protagonist Saleem Sinai's grandfather). The character is that of an Indian doctor with Western sensibilities, struggling to reconcile opposing cultures in post-Independence India.
Interestingly, Abhishek Bachchan will be playing the younger Dr Aadam Aziz, the first time father and son will be cast together in an international project.
For now, Deepa, who has collaborated with Rushdie for the film's screenplay, is reluctant to reveal her cards. “I have met Mr Bachchan…he was warm and welcoming and liked what we told him,” is all she said. However, the crucial role of Saleem is yet to be cast.
Midnight's Children will also bring together Shabana Azmi and Amitabh Bachchan, last seen together in Tinnu Anand's Main Azaad Hoon in 1989.
Shabana will play Amitabh's wife Naseem. Shahana Goswami has been signed to play the younger Naseem.
Incidentally, Javed Akhtar, (he wrote Main Azaad Hoon and brought Shabana and Amitabh together for the film), arranged the meeting with Rushdie.