father, late Hari Om Bhatia, was in the Indian army. So it doesn’t come as a surprise when the actor says that “discipline was the most important lesson” his dad ever taught him.
Now a proud father himself, Akshay is inculcating the same principles in his 11-year-old son, Aarav. “When I see how I’m bringing him up, I can literally hear my father’s voice in my own,” says Akshay, adding, “Twice a week, I do the same thing [that my father would do with me] with Aarav. I wake him up before the sun comes up and we go for a run on the beach before he leaves for school.”
The Bollywood star has also been sending Aarav for karate lessons since he was three-years-old (he now has a brown belt first stripe). “Besides enjoying football and volleyball at school, he also loves gymnastics and parkour,” says Akshay, who feels that Aarav “has definitely got my sporting gene”.
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“But thank God, he also has his mother’s brains and wit. I’m not worried about what he will be when he’s older, because I know he has had the best beginning a child could possibly ask for. It all comes down to discipline that is enjoyable and, at the same time, doesn’t involve pampering anyone,” he says, adding, “Discipline is the one trait that has got me this far. As long as you are disciplined, you can go as far as you dream to in life.”
Since Akshay plays the role of an army officer in his upcoming film — Holiday – A Soldier Is Never Off Duty — shooting for it was a nostalgic experience, as it reminded him of his father’s teachings. He also believes that parents should educate their kids about the lives that army-men lead and the risks they face.
“Working on Holiday has taught me so much about the importance of protecting our country. We should train our youth to give India and our children a better future. Every child, rich or poor, deserves the right to learn self-defence at school,” he says.