Celebs throng ‘Matoshree’ to see ailing Bal Thackeray
Mumbai: Film, business and political personalities on Thursday made a beeline to 'Matoshree' to inquire about the health of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, who has been critical since last night.
Apart from megastar Amitabh Bachchan, who visited the Thackerays last night, actor Salman Khan with father Salim and brother Arbaaz called on the family this afternoon.
Actor-filmmaker Mahesh Manjrekar, Madhur Bhandarkar, Nana Patekar, industrialists Rahul Bajaj and Venugopal Dhoot, BJP president Nitin Gadkari, Leader of Opposition in Legislative Council Vinod Tawde were prominent among those who visited the Thackerays.
Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar postponed a music event while megastar Amitabh Bachchan sent out an emotional message calling Bal Thackeray a fighter as the health condition of the Shiv Sena supremo today evoked an outpouring of concern from Bollywood.
A steady stream of film celebrities including Manoj Kumar, Rishi Kapoor and his brothers Randhir and Rajiv Kapoor visited the 86-year-old Thackeray's residence "Matoshree" in suburban Bandra to inquire about his condition while some took to micro-blogging site Twitter to express their anxiety.
"May the tiger wake up and roar again," said filmmaker Pritish Nandy.
Mangeshkar said she was extremely disturbed and concerned about the "critical" health of Thackeray, who she said is like a family member to her.
"In view of this, I am postponing the function of my music company to a later date," Mangeshkar wrote on Twitter. The event was scheduled for November 18.
Recalling his long and close relationship with the Sena patriarch, Big B tweeted, "Balasaheb Thackeray: a fighter all his life, fights his life !! Prayers needed now !approach me but nothing exciting has come my way".
Bachchan recalled his association with Thackeray since he suffered the near-fatal accident on the sets of 'Coolie' in 1982.
"When I fought for my life after 'Coolie' accident, he (Thackeray) came to visit me in hospital, with a cartoon he had drawn--Yamraj defeated! Yamraj - 'God of Death', defeated by me....Wish I was as proficient a cartoonist as he, for tonight I would wish to draw that for him!," Bachchan said.
"When I was flown in to Mumbai from Bangalore in a semiconscious state after 'Coolie' accident, it was his ambulance that took me to Breach Candy," Bachchan said.
Even when Bachchan's name had cropped in Bofors case, Thackeray stood by him.
"When the Bofors Scandal accusations on us were at its peak, he called me home and asked "tell me the truth, are you involved?" When I said "NO !", Thackeray said: "Then do not worry about anything. I am with you. You are an actor, go do what you are best at".
Bachchan said the Sena patriarch treated them as a family and always supported him in ups and downs of life.
Filmmaker Pritish Nandy said he is praying for Thackeray's recovery.
"My sympathies and love to Uddhav and Aditya as they cope with the tragedy of Balasaheb's failing health. May he fight back and win. Our prayers go out for Balasaheb Thackeray and his family members....May the tiger wake up and roar again," he added.
"That a cartoonist in the Free Press Journal could reach where Balasaheb reached is a tribute to the power of Indian democracy. There will be lots of time later to discuss the politics of the Sena, good or bad. Time to now pray that Balasaheb comes back from the edge," he added.