Kolkata's Big B temple to feed 77 kids on his birthday
PTI Photo (PTI10_11_2016_000155B)

Kolkata: During Durga Puja in Kolkata, almost every puja committee takes an initiative to feed the needy and poor with Maa Durgas 'prasad'. A very similar picture can be seen in a temple located in the city's Bondel Gate area.

The only difference being a change in the deity. Instead of Maa Durga, here Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan is worshipped.

Bachchan, who is referred to as 'guru' and 'prabhu' by his fans here is also married to Jaya Bhaduri, daughter of Bengali journalist-writer Taroon Kumar Bhaduri.

The fans perform arti every morning and evening in front of his idol.

Founded in 2001, the temple stands as a mark of extreme devotion of Big B's fans in the City of Joy, and their unconditional love for him. Every year, his birthday is celebrated at the temple and this year too will be no exception.

Talking about it, founder of the temple Sanjay Patodiya said: "This year, we will be worshipping guru's parents Harivansh Rai Bachchan and Teji Bachchan to express our gratitude to them for gifting us this Koh-i-Noor.

"This time, as guru turns 77, that many children will be taking part in the birthday celebration with us. We will provide them lunch and gift them with clothes, toys, books etc.

"On any occasion, we start the day by worshipping guru's parents. This time also we will worship his statue and offer him bhog.

"He is not fond of cakes, so we offer him mewa for his good health. After that we will cut his birthday cake along with the 77 kids.

"Later in the day, we will go to Kalighat temple to offer puja in his name and pray for his long and healthy life. We also feed the needy people sitting outside the temple in guru's name."

How did Amitabh Bachchan temple come into existence?

In 1982, when Amitabh Bachchan met with a fatal accident on the sets of "Coolie" which almost took his life, his fans went into a state of shock.

"When he got injured in 1982, at that time, we felt like as if we are losing our father. We were only praying for his recovery then. From that time, I started dreaming of worshipping him like a deity because I realized that he is nothing less than God to me. Finally, we could build the temple in 2001," said Sanjay.

The members of the fan club perform social work round the year in Bachchan's name and donate to causes like flood relief, organize blood donation camps etc.

Sanjay said, "Our motto is not to show Amitabh Bachchan how much we love him, but to do social work in his name. Because that is the only way we can show prabhu how much we love him. That's what we have been doing all these years. We have done a lot of social work and extended a helping hand during the Uttarakhand floods, Kerala and Assam. We also sponsor the education of 45 children.

Ahana Bhattacharya

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