Why Abhishek Bachchan Named His Kabaddi Team Pink Panthers, Film Companion

One of the few documentaries to come out of Indian streaming this year will be Amazon Prime’s Sons Of The Soil, a behind-the-scenes look at the struggles and successes of India’s Pro Kabaddi league team ‘Jaipur Pink Panthers’, owned by Abhishek Bachchan. Presented in association with BBC Studios, directed by Alex Gale and Omkar Potdar, the documentary drops on December 4. In a conversation with us, he explained the reason behind the naming of the team.

“Oh god this is very embarrassing. When I was small, my father used to call me Tiger. He’d say, ‘How are you Tiger?’ After a few years, I thought even I should respond. So one day after he came back from shooting, and I was very small- maybe 4-5 years- he asked, ‘How are you, Tiger?’ So I said, ‘I am fine, Panther. How are you?’ So after that it became an inside joke – he used to call me Tiger and I used to call him Panther. So if there was an animal that we wanted to choose [for naming the team], I was sure it would be Panther because that’s what I used to call my father. So that’s one of the ways in which I connected with my father.

My daughter loves the colour pink. So I thought that Pink and Panther would be nice. My wife, Aishwarya was the actress in the film Pink Panther with Steve Martin so there’s a connect to Aishwarya. Jaipur was the city that Aishwarya and I came together in and so that’s why Jaipur. If you see our pink panther has blue-green eyes which are the same as my wife’s. So there’s a personal connection to everything about Jaipur Pink Panthers.”

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