Megastar Amitabh Bachchan, who was supposed to launch book Yesterday's Film For Tomorrow by film archivist P.K. Nair here on Thursday, couldn't turn up as he is suffering from high fever.
However at the book launch by the Film Heritage Foundation, the country's only non-government film archive, the other invited celebrities such as Naseeruddin Shah, Shyam Benegal and Vidhu Vinod Chopra were present and did the honours.
The Big B, who is also the foundation's brand ambassador, however sent a letter of apology to the organisers which the foundation's founder Shivendra Singh Dungarpur shared with the media.
The letter read: "I have suddenly and quite unexpectedly developed a high fever .. I regret profusely that I shall be unable to attend your event this evening .. a shame really because I was looking forward to it ..
"As a country we have shied away from the luxury of documentation.. leave alone its restoration and preservation - for films at least ..!!
"What you and your foundation have initiated is indeed a most selfless, but very important and necessary element, so assiduously worked upon by Mr Nair ..
"I send my best wishes on the launch of your book on him and do stand by my commitment to be of service to this noble cause.
"Your idea of constructing an Institute, the design for which I have greatly appreciated, is most laudable and one that I hope shall receive patronage not just from the film fraternity but indeed from the City of Mumbai - the Film Capital of the Nation .."
In an earlier statement about the book, Amitabh said: "Yesterday's Films For Tomorrow' is a commendable initiative of Film Heritage Foundation. They are the custodians of the P.K. Nair archive and by publishing this book they have made this valuable material available to the public. I am very happy to have been invited to release this unique book on cinema written by a person who devoted his life selflessly to saving our film history."