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10 fun anecdotes from Abhishek Bachchan’s childhood

For his 41st birthday, we picked 10 little known episodes from Bachchan junior’s youth from photojournalist Pradeep Chandra’s pictorial biography, Abhishek Bachchan: Style & Substance.

Sonal Pandya

1. When Abhishek was born, he was brought home in a Mercedes. By contrast, his father, Amitabh, was brought home “with little fanfare” in a tonga in Allahabad.

2. Even as a toddler, Abhishek was fashionable. In the book, he says, “Ma and Pa would constantly emphasise that we should not look scruffy and unkempt. I would be dressed in shorts, black shoes with white socks pulled right up to my knee. When I was three, we were in New York and I was made to wear a three-piece suit with a clip-on tie.”

(Courtesy: To Be or Not To Be)

3. One of Abhishek’s favourite toys as a child was a teddy bear named John. He even took John to London with him and John got his own seat in the air plane. John currently resides at the Bachchan’s Delhi home, Sopan.

4. His older sister, Shweta, his cousins Nilima, Namrata, Naina and Bhimkarma and Abhishek got together to form a rock band called Bloodsuckers. Unfortunately, the band didn't last long and only made private performances.

(Photo: Pradeep Chandra)

5. Abhishek and his famous father have a shared illness, reverse vertigo. Abhishek reveals in the book, “We want to jump off whenever we look down from a height even if it is just from a 30 metre-high cliff. I would vault down the stairs and leap off parapets and, since I was accident-prone, Pa would be there cleaning my wounds ever so clinically.’

The Bachchan family

6. He shares a close relationship with his sister, who Abhishek fondly calls Shwetdi. But growing up they had their share of fights including an epic one as kids one day after playing badminton. When Shweta refused to take the shuttlecock after losing, Abhishek tied her up to a pole and left. She remained there for four hours, shouting to be rescued.

7. Growing up, he attended Mumbai’s Bombay Scottish school in Mahim and his famous car pool gang of fellow students including filmmaker Yash Chopra’s sons, Aditya and Uday, actor Rakesh Roshan’s children, Hrithik and Sunaina and producer Ramesh Behl’s children, Goldie and Nanu. They all have worked together as adults – Hrithik, Abhishek and Uday acted in Dhoom 2 (2006) produced by Aditya, while Goldie Behl directed Abhishek in Bas Itna Sa Khwaab Hai (2001) and Drona (2008).

8. During school, he appeared as a singing daisy for his first ever play staged at Mumbai’s Shamukhananda Hall. Naturally, Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan were a part of the audience that day.

9. After watching the film Barsaat Ki Ek Raat (1981) in which his father Amitabh is beaten up onscreen by Amjad Khan, Abhishek cried seeing his father being assaulted. When he met Khan a few days later on the sets of his father’s film, he tried punching him as he had hurt Amitabh. Both the actors had a laugh at Abhishek’s expense.

10. Interestingly, Abhishek took lessons from sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan when he was 10. He learnt the instrument along with Khan’s sons, Amaan and Ayaan Ali.