Sunday evenings are meant for reflection — Amitabh Bachchan will let you know that. The megastar, who was present at an event to distribute hearing aid kits to hundreds of hearing impaired people, got talking about a few of his own ailments. Only last month, Amitabh was down with a pain in the spine and unable to attend Dabboo Ratnani’s calendar launch.
The actor adds that he doesn’t desist from talking about his health anymore. He says, “I don’t have any fear or discomfort talking about them, although a lot of people ask me to keep mum about it.”
It was in early 2000, when Big B resurrected his career with Kaun Banega Crorepati that he was diagnosed with tuberculosis. He recalls, “I had problem sitting on a chair because of the pain in the spine. It was later detected that I had tuberculosis which got cured later.”
The actor also took the time to recall his near-fatal accident on the sets of Coolie. He says, “I was admitted to Breach Candy in Mumbai and I needed a lot of blood. Around 200 people donate blood and I was given around 60 blood platelets. My life was saved, but one such donor suffered from Hepatitis B. It was not detected then and it went into my body. It is known as the Australian Antigen but it is a lethal virus. Not many people knew about it then. Even I didn’t know it was in me.”
It was in 2005 during a routine investigation that the virus appeared. “They realised the virus was inside me and it had eaten up 75 per cent of my liver. I am alive only on 25 per cent of my liver, but I am told that 12 per cent of liver is good enough for someone to live. All this happened because of detection at the right time,” he admits.
In the film Sharaabi, the actor’s left hand was almost always in his pocket, as he gesticulated with his right hand through out the film. The actor reveals his hand was injured when he burst a cracker in his hand. “My hand was gone — there were no fingers, no blood. Doctors worked on it for a year and I got it back. I am a southpaw and I could not use my left hand. It was terrible. I could not wear clothes… nothing. I was lucky I got my hand back,” says the actor.