By Radhika Bhirani
New Delhi, Feb 19 (IANS) The show must go on - that's possibly the mantra for Bollywood's ailing stars like Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan and Hrithik Roshan who, despite their injuries and health problems, continue to spin magic on screen.
Not once would the audience believe that Shah Rukh was suffering excruciating pain in his left shoulder when he would have shot for the song "Mar jaani" in recently released "Billu", for his moves are so perfect in the song.
Just two weeks before his arthroscopic shoulder surgery was successfully conducted in Mumbai Monday, Shah Rukh had said that the pain is so bad that he can't hug anyone "hard enough". At that time he was busy promoting "Billu", one of the reasons his surgery was delayed.
In the past as well, Shah Rukh has had his share of injuries and accidents. In 2003, he underwent a spinal operation in London and he has also been operated upon for his knee. But he never let these become a hindrance in his career.
Even Hrithik's effortless daredevilry in the battle sequences of Ashutosh Gowariker's period romance "Jodhaa Akbar" weren't indicative of the pain he was going through thanks to a knee trouble that cropped up after his stunts in "Krrish" and "Dhoom 2".
The 35-year-old actor had torn a ligament in his right knee and continued working despite the pain. In December 2007, after wrapping up "Jodhaa-Akbar", he went to Singapore for a six-week treatment.
After the birth of his second son in May last year, he went in for a knee surgery in the US, but soon after his return Hrithik shot for the title song of "Krazzy 4".
He hurt his knee again while doing a dangerous car stunt for home production "Kites" in Las Vegas.
Though doctors advised him eight weeks' rest, the brawny actor was about and running just three days after the accident.
Commenting on his knee problem, a source close to Hrithik had told IANS: "It's a fact that Hrithik's knee is a cause for great concern for him and his entire family. The doctors told him that he would never dance again.
"After his second son was born (May 1, 2008), Hrithik went for surgery to the US and spent nearly two months recovering. He was determined to let it heal properly because 'Kites' requires considerable athletic movement. Hrithik didn't take one wrong step until he left to shoot 'Kites' in the US and suffered another injury."
Another actor synonymous with multiple hospital visits is Saif Ali Khan, who was last admitted to hospital towards the end of 2008 following pain in his abdomen due to a stomach infection.
In 2006, Saif had undergone surgery in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur. He had complained of pain in the abdomen then too and doctors had diagnosed it as appendicitis. The 38-year-old actor had also suffered a mild heart attack in 2007, forcing him to change his lifestyle and quit smoking.
While discussing the health of these young actors, one mustn't forget megastar Amitabh Bachchan, who had a near fatal accident when he was in his prime. The veteran was first injured in 1982 while shooting a fight sequence for his hit film "Coolie".
After that, the Big B has paid several visits to hospitals - the latest instance being his birthday in October last year. He was admitted to the Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai after he complained of severe abdominal pain.
Though these stars are bound by a string of health problems, the common trait among them is to work relentlessly. It is their never-say-die spirit that keeps them going and thousands of cine fans entertained year after year.