Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan slams ‘virus death’ trolls

(File photo: AFP)
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Updated 28 July 2020

Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan slams ‘virus death’ trolls

  • Bachchan and his actor son Abhishek have been in a Mumbai hospital for over two weeks with COVID-19

MuUMBAI: Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan has threatened to unleash his legion of fans on online trolls wishing him death from the coronavirus, after earlier speaking out about the stigma suffered by patients.
Bachchan and his actor son Abhishek have been in a Mumbai hospital for over two weeks with COVID-19, while his actress daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai and granddaughter Aaradhya were discharged on Monday.
They are the highest-profile family to contract the virus in India, the world’s third most infected nation with almost 1.5 million cases.
The 77-year-old and his son are in an isolation ward, with the elderly actor dispensing regular messages to his millions of fans on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.
The megastar’s messages usually focus on thanking fans and medical staff at the hospital, but in a blog post published overnight Monday to Tuesday, he wrote that some people had sent him vicious hate mail, praying for his death.
In response, Bachchan vowed to “exterminate” such trolls once out of hospital, by asking his millions of fans to turn on them.
Describing his fans as his kin, he wrote: “That extended family shall in the flash of an eye become ‘extermination family’.”
Bachchan also revealed that he was able to hug his granddaughter before she left the hospital, recounting his emotional reaction to the news that she and her mother could go home.
“The tears flow out .. the little one embraces and tells me not to cry ..’you’ll be home soon’ she assures .. I must believe her,” he wrote.
A blog entry posted Saturday touched on the mental trauma and stigma suffered by COVID-19 patients.
Bachchan, idolized in India and affectionately known as “Big B,” has worked for more than half a century in the film industry.
India’s film and financial capital Mumbai accounts for over seven percent of all cases in the nation of 1.3 billion people.
The South Asian giant has lifted most lockdown restrictions to restart the struggling economy. But numerous states have had to reintroduce shutdowns amid local spikes in infections.
Late Tuesday authorities in the eastern state of West Bengal, home to about 90 million people, extended its lockdown — only imposed for two days each week — to the end of August.
“The goal is to prevent the circulation of the virus and create favorable conditions to gain time before the arrival of effective drugs and vaccines,” West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said.


New York outshines lead stars in festive season offering ‘Dash and Lily’

Updated 23 November 2020

New York outshines lead stars in festive season offering ‘Dash and Lily’

CHENNAI: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has proved to be a boon to streaming giants and the usual string of holiday movies and shows have captured a captive audience due to stay-at-home measures still in place in many countries. One of Netflix’s latest offerings in the festive feel-good category is “Dash and Lily,” a series comprising eight short episodes. It is based on Rachel Cohn and David Levithan’s novel, “Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares” and was repurposed for TV by Joe Tracz. In true teenage style, it is a little sweet, a little sour, with laughs and tears along the way. Cynical Dash (Austin Abrams) and bubbling-with-optimism Lily (Midori Francis) find themselves all alone in their respective homes having been abandoned by their parents, who go off on holidays they have been dreaming of for years. The plot kicks off when Dash finds a notebook written by a mysterious girl at his favorite bookstore in New York. What follows is a mad dash across the city as the pair communicate via the little red notebook, leaving it at various spots throughout the city for each other to find. What is more, Dash and Lily find that the notebook helps them discover things about themselves — it becomes a voyage of self-discovery and both realize that had they met face-to-face, they would have never been able to reveal so much. Other characters, such as Lily’s stern grandfather and Dash’s friend who works at the bookstore, add variety to the narrative and they have also been smartly written. While the series offers a novel take on teenage romance, there is not very much that is new or unexpected about the storyline. The performances are nothing to write home about in this saccharine story, but New York, in all its festive season flair (the series was shot in December 2019), stands in as an appealing lead character and will, at the very least, offer travel-starved viewers the chance to enjoy winter in the Big Apple.