Abhishek Bachchan reflects on his witty comeback to Oprah about him and Aishwarya Rai living with parents: ‘Hum desi log hain’
Abhishek Bachchan appeared alongside wife Aishwarya Rai in an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2009, where the host quizzed them about their popularity and the peculiarities of Indian culture. One of the things that she was most fascinated by was the concept of joint families and children continuing to live with their parents even as adults. Abhishek and Aishwarya live with his parents, Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan.
She’d asked them, “You live with your parents? How does that work?” Prodded by Aishwarya to answer, Abhishek shot back, “You live with your parents?” Oprah said that she doesn’t. “How does that work?” The crowd burst into applause.
In a GoodTimes interview while promoting his upcoming film Dasvi, which will be available on Netflix and JioCinema this Friday, Abhishek’s co-star Nimrat Kaur said that she was very impressed by his wit, and highlighted this Oprah exchange. Abhishek said that he remembered the moment.
He said, “It was a big deal for her. Later on, Aishwarya told me that when she had gone on Oprah, Oprah had asked her the same thing… Hum log desi log hain, yaar. Humari pratha hai. This is our culture. But then, I realised, in America, woh 18 saal pe bahar nikal dete hain. Hum log sab biwi bachche… I like that. That whole joint family thing is nice.”
During that interview, Oprah had also asked Aishwarya and Abhishek why they don’t kiss on screen in their movies. Abhishek had said that in Indian films (at the time) intimacy was shown through song-and-dance numbers, because that was ‘more interesting’. Aishwarya was also asked a similar question about living with her parents in an appearance on Dave Letterman’s show, and her comeback is still popular online. “It is fine to live with your parents because it is also common in India that we don’t have to make appointments with our parents for dinner,” she’d said.