During an open question-and-answer session at the Penguin Annual Lecture 2013 in the capital Friday night, an enthusiastic fan out of an audience of almost a thousand asked Big B to pick one of his beloved characters that he'd like to play in a film. He gave it a thought, and said: "Maybe I'd like to play the role that my father played in his autobiography.

"You mean you want to play Harivansh Rai Bachchan?” asked the startled host, Rajdeep Sardesai. To that, Big B smiled and said, "It's a tough call, but I want to try."

Amitabh has often shared anecdotes of his celebrated father and it was no different at the event. He talked about some of his conversations with his father - in his childhood, during his youth and of those that Amitabh shared with Harivansh Rai during his last days in 2003.

Harivansh Rai, who died in 2003, is credited with works like "Madhushala", "Madhukalash", "Madhubala" and "Agneepath". Amitabh said his father once told him he was his "greatest poetry".

“But I do not know whether I am a free verse or a couplet, a chaupai or a shloka. I wish I had asked. Now it is too late," Big B lamented even as he proudly recited some verses from his father's "Madhushala" in his distinct baritone at the behest of the audience. What followed obviously was loud applause.


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