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Pooja Bhatt on her alcoholism: I pulled the plug before it was impossible to stop

Years after filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt’s confessions on how he quit drinking, his daughter Pooja Bhatt has now opened up on her alcohol addiction. Her biggest victory, she said, was when she celebrated Alia Bhatt’s Filmfare Best Actress award for Udta Punjab without alcohol.

bollywood Updated: Mar 02, 2017 12:42 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Pooja Bhatt,Mahesh Bhatt
Pooja Bhatt has maintained her distance from alcohol for more than two months.

After Mahesh Bhatt’s recent confession about his alcohol addiction, his daughter, actor-turned-filmmaker Pooja Bhatt too has opened up about her decision to quit drinking.

Talking to MidDay, Pooja revealed that she quit drinking on Christmas eve, December 24 and has been able to stick to her resolution till date. “Luckily, I pulled the plug before it became impossible for me to stop. I’m in the pink of health except for the weight I put on because I’m now a stressful producer. But being the daughter of an alcoholic makes you four times more susceptible to becoming one,” she told the tabloid.

Sharing her biggest moment of victory over the addiction, Pooja said it was in January 2017, when she woke up to the news of her kid sister Alia Bhatt winning Filmfare Best Actress Award for her performance in Udta Punjab. “I messaged Alia saying normally this would have been an excuse for me to crack open a case of champagne first thing in the morning. But this time I celebrated by not drinking,” she said.

Pooja added, “Alcohol is comforting, it colours your evening. It’s a socially accepted narcotic even at business lunches and in the boardroom. Also, living in a fast-paced city, being in a high-stress profession, it becomes a reason to celebrate and cope with failure. Your film is a hit, you bathe in champagne, it flops, a single malt lessens the pain.”

Talking about why she decided to quit, Pooja said that her dad told her “I love you, kid.” To which she retorted, “I love you too,pops. As far as I’m concerned, there is nothing else worth loving in the world.”

Mahesh Bhatt reportedly signed off the chat saying, “If you love me then love yourself because I live in you.” Though he never mentioned Pooja’s drinking problem, it was this message that got her thinking and she said to herself, “from this moment I’m going to be the best ‘me’ I’m capable of being” and after putting down the phone wondered if going out with someone and polishing off a bottle of whisky was loving herself. The answer was a resounding ‘no’.”

Mahesh Bhatt made a film with Pooja and Anupam Kher, Daddy (1991), which talked about an alcoholic father and how his estranged daughter becomes the reason for his quitting drinking.

Interestingly, it was Pooja who counselled Mahesh and helped him quit drinking. ““I didn’t think that the girl who’d counselled her father in Daddy would one day council herself,” she said.

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First Published: Mar 02, 2017 12:42 IST