He’s been missing from the big screen for a while, but Abhishek Bachchan is not one to let that affect him.
Abhishek has gone ahead and bought himself a kabaddi team and wants to actively promote the sport in the country.
In this chat, he opens up about working with wife Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, urging people to cast their ballot and wanting to be a sportsman.
What’s happening on the film front? There were reports that your film with Umesh Shukla has been stalled.
I think we will wrap up the shooting of Happy New Year (HNY) by mid-May. We have finished most of it and the film will release in Diwali. For Umesh’s film, there was an outdoor shoot which we finished and then, there was meant to be a gap in the schedule during which I was working on HNY.
After reports that you and Aishwarya were doing Prahlad Kakkar’s film, there’s no update.
There is nothing to announce right now. She will be doing Mani’s (Ratnam, film-maker) film. Nothing has been decided on Prahlad’s film.
Your family banner is getting actively involved in producing new films and now, you’ve bought a kabaddi team. Do you want to expand your business?
This (my team) is not under my family banner. That is a family company and this is my personal endeavour.
Would you encourage Aaradhya to take up kabaddi?
I would love it if Aaradhya played sports. I think every school in the world should have a sports program. Aaradhya is young right now and I want her to have as normal an upbringing as possible.
Are you going to urge Mumbaikars to vote?
I have always been very vocal about this issue. The city has a lot of complaints and it’s our duty to do something about them. You can go out and vote. You can choose the person you want to take the decision for your city; you can choose the person who can govern the city. I think it’s your responsibility as a citizen to vote. My family and I are going to vote and on the day nothing is going to take priority over that. I would urge everyone to go out there and vote. This duty should be taken very seriously.
What drew you to kabaddi as opposed to more popular sports such as cricket or hockey?
Part of the reason is to popularise the sport that hasn’t been given its due credit. I am a sports enthusiast and if given an opportunity, I want to be a sportsman, even today. I want to promote the sport that is indigenous to India. Kabaddi is a matter of national pride. Why can’t cricket, hockey, football and kabaddi be given equal platforms and co-exist? I believe that can happen. The fan base exists, we just need to give it a structure and package it in a way that more people get attracted to it.
How will you choose players for your team given that kabaddi players are not that well-known?
I have hired a coach and management team. We have a wish list of players. We hope we get them when the auction happens. It’s a very exciting time.
Will the matches be played at international venues like the IPL?
The league will be played in India. The IPL had to move because of the general elections. We hope we don’t have a situation like that as the matches are not as popular as cricket.