I met Mr Bachchan six years back when I went to ask for Shweta’s hand in marriage. I was very very nervous. But he was truly warm and receptive. His warmth and the way he agreed so gracefully to our marriage impressed me. Ever since he’s been a father figure, a second father to me in all the ways that matter. He has supported me when I’ve needed him, encouraged me and held my hands when I needed him. I have always been in awe of him. But he always says, ‘I have four children — Nikhil, Shweta, Natasha and Abhishek.’ I’ve never felt I was an extended family member related by marriage. He’s been a source of inspiration and strength.
He’s always been passionate about his work. I think the way he conducts his life is a lesson for all those of us who crib about lack of time. He never says he’s overworked. He’s a professional who’ll arrive on the sets of a movie on time even if he’s travelled by a long flight. He’s always there for us when we’ve wanted him. As a dad-in-law he’s the best a guy could ask for. He’s easy to connect to, he’s so young at heart and interacting with him is easy once you understand him. He’s a loner but he always opens up with his family.
As a human being, he’s larger than life. I’ve been his fan all my life. Sholay, of course, is the film that I love the most. His role had so much intensity. When I saw him on KBC I was floored. He was brilliant. How many actors can turn around the fortunes of a TV channel overnight? I am not much of a television addict but KBC was a show I’d never miss.
He’s also very patient with our children Navya Naveli (who’s five) and Agastya who’s two. Sometimes I think someone up there loves me a lot to have given me such a great extended family. Happy birthday papa.
(As told to Somashukla Sinha Walunjkar)