Even as actress Jaya Bachchan lines up a slew of events, gifts and surprises for hubby and mega star Amitabh Bachchan, who turns 70 Thursday, a young fan of Big B is working tirelessly 24x7 to gift him a "touching and a very big gift".
Raj Kapoor Chitera, 26, is making a 70-foot oil painting which will show various milestones in Bachchan's personal and professional life.
Chitera, a resident of Allahabad, has done such work in the past too.
In his earlier works, he has tried to push the case for implementing the death sentence awarded to Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving terrorist after the attack in Mumbai in November 2008 that left 164 people dead.
He has also taken on the theme of pollution of the Ganga.
In 2011, he drew a 1,500-foot long painting on Sachin Tendulkar to mark his 38th birthday.
Chitera told IANS that he was a die-hard fan of Big B, and proud to belong to the city from where the Bachchans trace their roots.
"Through this humble present, I want to show Amitji how he still is a smashing hit with his fans, all of us Allahabad residents," Chitera says proudly.
Originally from Ambedkarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh, the painter now lives in Allahabad. Producing a large painting for a big occasion is something Chitera is passionate about.
Chitera says his Big B work will be in oil paint and on a roll of veneer, so that he "can send it to Jalsa (Amitabh Bachchan's residence in Mumbai) later".
"The painting will have shades of all sorts, you will see a picture of Amitji's bachpan (childhood), his marriage to Jaya Bhaduri and his subsequent successes at the box office," the artist says, adding that the painting too, like a film, would have a story line.
The films depicted in the painting would include "Abhimaan", "Shakti", "Sholay", "Zanjeer", "Coolie" and "Baghban".
Chitera has been a painter and sculptor in sand for the last ten years.
On Oct 11, Amitabh Bachchan's 70th birthday, Chitera would also be simultaneously doing a sand art gift for Bachchan, which will be executed at the Sangam, the confluence of the rivers Ganga and Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati.
While Amitabh Bachchan's birthdays have thus far been largely private affairs, this time, the family has decided to make it a mega event as he turns 70.
Media reports suggest that Jaya Bachchan, along with Piyush Pandey, will organise a two-day art exhibition - B Seventy - set to open Oct 12 at the Nehru Centre Art Gallery in Mumbai.
The exhibition is likely to host 70 Indian artists, including Manu Parekh, Paresh Maity, Anjolie Ela Menon, Akbar Padamsee, Badri Narayan, Satish Gujral, Gieve Patel, Jayasri Burman, Arzan Khambatta, Farhad Hussain, Satish Gupta, Sujata Bajaj and Praneet Soi, among others.
The lone effort of this artist from Uttar Pradesh, however, will stand out. And not just for its size.
(Mohit Dubey can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
-- Indo-Asian News Service