Another star has just been born to India’s most famous film family. Thirty-eight-year-old Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, a former Miss World and current actress and L’Oreal spokeswoman, gave birth to a baby girl on Wednesday morning, ending months of obsessive speculation about the birth date in the Indian media.
The news of the birth was announced by Rai Bachchan’s husband, Abhisekh Bachchan, a fellow Bollywood actor and son of Indian superstar actor Amitabh Bachchan; he’s often referred in the Indian media (and on his Twitter handle) as junior Bachchan. He tweeted at 10 am on Wednesday, “IT’S A GIRL!!!”
His father Amitabh Bachchan, an avid social network user who has been keeping fans informed about the progress of Rai-Bachchan’s pregnancy over the last nine months – posted on Twitter immediately afterwards saying he is “ecstatic” to become “Dada (grandfather) to the cutest baby girl.”
Rai Bachchan’s pregnancy – just like her marriage earlier to Abhisekh Bachchan – had held the Indian media in a tizzy, especially since she chose to stay away from the media glare throughout and was totally inaccessible to the press. During a few stray outings, she hid her bump with flowing scarves, safe from prying cameras.
Rumors flew about the couple; there was even speculation that the birth had been scheduled to take place on the auspicious date of 11/11/11. The interest in her pregnancy was so high that television broadcasters came out with a 10-point “dos and don’ts” of covering the birth, putting a curb on pre-coverage and running it as breaking news.
As soon as the news of the birth broke, congratulatory messages poured from within the film industry as well as from fans for the Bachchan family who are often referred to as the first family of Bollywood.