To his followers and in the political world he dominated, he was known as the tiger. But I always felt he led more like a lion - inspiring trust, loyalty and admiration.
We were introduced to each other before he became the Sena chief. We respected and liked each other's work - he was fond of my acting; I admired his sharp and incisive cartoons. In our long and enduring friendship, this remained a constant. When we met at his house to iron out differences that arose between us a couple of times, it did not take long for us to put aside everything to renew our respect and affection for each other.
He was witty and entertaining when he was in his element. He and Meenatai were wonderful hosts, and it was a treat to share the simplicity of their life.
We cherish the memories of the occasions when we met and listened to his lively anecdotes and observations while he sipped his favourite beer. We realised that at heart, he was a simple, family man more than anything else. And that's how we would like to remember Balasaheb and enshrine his image in our hearts.
(As told to Afsana Ahmed)