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Neville Tuli’s voice could barely be heard in the midst of the screaming crowd on the front lawns of the Diggi Palace as he introduced Amitabh Bachchan at the Jaipur Literature Festival.

Neville Tuli’s voice could barely be heard in the midst of the screaming crowd on the front lawns of the Diggi Palace as he introduced Amitabh Bachchan at the Jaipur Literature Festival. It was a reminder to the illustrious gathering of writers present,that when it comes to adulation,its tough to compete with Bollywood.

At the Jaipur Literature Festival to release Bachchanalia: The Films and Memorabilia of Amitabh Bachchan,co-authored by Bhawana Somaaya and the Osian’s Centre for Archiving,Research and Development (CARD),Big B was humble about all the attention. “I think it’s conceptually a wonderful idea to collect memorabilia,to restore all the publicity posters of all films,not just mine,” said Bachchan.

Although early last week,there were reports that he criticised Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire for showing the “third world under-belly”,in Jaipur he appeared overjoyed at the mention of the film.

“Ten nominations for the Oscars is brilliant,especially the individual nominations for Rahman and Resul Pookutty. Resul’s nomination for Best Sound Mixing is particularly special. Our cinema and our sensibilities have come a long way,” smiled Bachchan.

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The mood at the event was euphoric and claustrophobic,with a near stampede situation when the session was thrown open to the audience for questions. People elbowed each other to get to the mike,sing songs and recite poetry for Bachchan.

“The people are the reason I have been able to work for so many years. I’ve had the privilege to work with great talents from Hrishikesh Mukherjee to Sanjay Leela Bhansali. The beauty of cinema is that in a darkened movie hall,you don’t sit and wonder if the person next to you is Hindu or Muslim or Christian. For a few hours,you feel the same emotions,laugh at the same jokes and sing the same songs,” said Bachchan.

And with that the Big B left the building and it was back to the sessions once again.