Aishwarya spends birthday with Abhishek in Kerala jungles

By Subhash K. Jha, IANS,

Mumbai : Bollywood beauty Aishwarya Rai had a one-of-a-kind birthday – in the thick jungles of Kerala shooting for Mani Ratnam’s next film. But she says she couldn’t have asked for more as husband Abhishek was with her in the lush green locale.

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“Here I am on my birthday with the love of my life,” Aishwarya told IANS.

“In a way I couldn’t have asked for more. It’s a beautiful green paradise here. We started shooting just a day ago. And we already feel those vibes of an extraordinary happening. And my husband is with me.

“So is my most favourite director who directed us in one of our best films together (‘Guru’) and who also happens to be my first director. And we’re working on the most beautiful film that we could ever hope for. What better birthday could I ask for?”

Any regrets about not being with the rest of the family for the special day?

“It was just not possible. Mani sir has been absolutely patient, waiting for me and Abhishek while we attended to Pa (Amitabh Bachchan). We started shooting only on Thursday. Any further delay would be totally unacceptable to both me and Abhishek. Both of us have been brought up to believe that work is worship…but when it comes to a family crisis, nothing else matters,” Aishwarya said.

Diagnosed with incisional hernia, Amitabh had been in the Lilavati hospital for a week last month. He had been rushed to hospital with abdominal pain on his birthday Oct 11.

Aishwarya said she might celebrate her birthday in a bigger way Sunday.

“But you know …I’ve heard some whispers around here that we’re getting Sunday off…a day after my birthday. But not a problem. We’ll all celebrate properly a day later. No issues,” the actress said.

The past few months have been exctremely trying for Aishwarya. First her father’s illness then her father-in-law’s sudden hospitalisation. But she managed to fulfil all her professional obligations.

“You know the best thing is, through all these trying times all my professional associates and colleagues have been a source of strength and courage. There was never this feeling of ‘You better do it’. It was always a sense of ‘Are you sure you can do it?’.

“I’ve derived great strength and sustenance from family, friends and colleagues. And I want to take this opportunity to thank them from the bottom of my heart. Their love and prayers have kept me going through the last few months,” said the former Miss World.

So what’s the one gift that she wants this birthday?

“I don’t ask for anything. I already have everything that I could possibly want without asking for it. And like I said I’m with the love of my life in the wilderness,” she laughed.

“Sadly no one will be able to get through to me where I’m shooting. Yeah … I miss my family on my birthday. But then I can’t have it all, can I?”