By Subhash K. Jha Bollywood Hungama News Network
From Singapore to Chalakudy... Aishwarya Rai Bachchan never had such a hectic schedule to keep up. On Monday, another schedule of Mani Ratnam's Raavan started in the distant hilly area of Kerala, just when Amar Singh, whom Aishwarya was attending to, had recovered.
Illnesses in the family and at her work place have put Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's choc-a-bloc schedule under further pressure.
First it was her father and father-in-law who underwent health problems. Now it's the Bachchans' family friend Amar Singh whose kidney transplant in Singapore has further challenged Aishwarya's schedules.
In fact, scheduling setbacks caused by unforeseen health problems seem to be hounding Aishwarya. Two of her films both starring her husband Abhishek have fallen back due to illnesses.
Mani Ratnam's Raavan has been pushed behind because of the director's heart scare. Consequently, a major chunk of Aishwarya's dates went to waste, though it did give her chance to go on a holiday for her marriage anniversary in April.
Then the proposed thriller Crooked which takes her across the world for shooting with her husband, got postponed from mid-2009 to the end of the year as the director Abhinay Deo's wife fell ill. Aishwarya willingly reshuffled the dates.
Says a close friend, "She can never be ruthlessly professional. If a project is in distress, she will accommodate and reschedule it, no matter what it takes. There're three delayed projects, none delayed because of Aishwarya. But nonetheless requiring her immediate attention. She has already made space for the next schedules of Raavan and Shankar's Tamil Robot with Rajnikanth which has also over-shot considerably and requires her additional dates."
Aishwarya's scheduling woes don't end there. Raavan is a bi-lingual in Tamil and Hindi which means it takes double her time.
Says the friend, "Abhishek is in only one version of Raavan. Aishwarya is in both Tamil and Hindi. And she's also speaking her own Tamil lines."
Hence, when the matter of the entire Bachchan family going for Amar Singh's surgery came up, it was gently suggested that Aishwarya minimize or cancel her participation.
Says the source, "But for Aishwarya a family commitment is paramount. Work can wait. This is professionally her most crowded and difficult period ever. But she is determined to finish all her projects on time."
"At least no one should blame me if any of my films are delayed,"Aishwarya laughed before leaving for Singapore. She now travels from Singapore to Chalakudy in Kerala for the next schedule of Mani's Raavan with no space to meet her loved ones in Mumbai.