It was party time when suddenly his face bloated and his lungs blocked. He was rushed to hospital following an allergic reaction to an antibiotic.
Ten years ago, another celebration was cut short after the release of his debut film, Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai, when dad Rakesh Roshan was rushed to hospital with bullet injuries.
“Both incidents taught me that it’s important to enjoy every moment as it comes, life is so transient,” says Hrithik Roshan, whose last film Guzaarish may not have made the cash counters jingle, but is getting him plenty of accolades.
The actor reasons that it’s unfair to judge its box-office performancein the first week itself.
“It needs time to grow. It’s not a Dhoom 2, Krrish or even a Koi…Mil Gaya that despite an off-beat story was a more commercial film. It would have been easy to show off my six-pack abs or dance in the flashback sequences but Mr Sanjay Bhansali had the courage and conviction to stay true to his vision,” he argues. “Today, I’m getting the kind of appreciation I haven’t seen in 10 years.”
Hrithik points out that he’s seen people dancing to his songs and throwing coins. But this is first time they’ve applauded, silently, for 10 minutes or held him 60 seconds longer with tears in their eyes. “And instead of feeding my ego, all this just makes me grateful that I was chosen to tell Ethan’s story. Like Buddhist disciples who spend two months on a rangoli and then, with the last stroke, wipe it off, I too intend to enjoy this journey without holding on to the praise,” he philosophises.
For him, Guzaarish will be memorable for the climax speech. It was 10 minutes long and he had no clue how to graph it out. On the day of the shoot, he made some excuse and ran home to rehearse some more. “But I didn’t know how, so at the end of the day, I told myself to live every word. The next day, the scene just happened; wrapped up in 30 minutes flat!” he reminisces.
Hrithik has died twice, in six months, in Kites and Guzaarish. He smiles, “Kites was the story of a loser whose biggest victory was giving up his life for his love. And Guzaarish ends with laughter, not tears or even death.”
If he was faced with a similar situation, would he react like Ethan? He says, “I want my story to be the greatest ever, and for that, I have to take on every challenge that comes my way. Ethan lived every moment for 14 years. Only after his body gave up on him, did he ask for death. When the end comes, I too want to be in control. For me, Ethan is the biggest superhero.”
However, he admits that he will return as a reel life superhero in Krrish 2. “Dad has just locked the first draft. We’ll take off by next June and Krrish will land in 2012. At the end of Part 1, you saw only a semblance of the superhero, this time you’ll meet him,” he promises.
“Dad has always been a flag bearer. He made Koi…Mil Gaya with a five flop dancing-fighting star. It was a crazy risk. So was bringing a masked and caped superhero to the Indian screen. Risks like these make life beautiful!”