“At 22, my career was on top of a palm tree swaying left and right... yet rooted,” says Jackie Shroff

The actor talks about being in love with his then-girlfriend and now-wife when he was young, wanting to give his parents a comfortable life and his favourite cuss words!
Jackie Shroff at 22 (inset) and at 64 (above)
Jackie Shroff at 22 (inset) and at 64 (above)
Published on Aug 08, 2021 09:02 AM IST
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ByDinesh Raheja

At 22, where were you career-wise?

My career was on top of a palm tree swaying left and right... yet rooted.

What was your bank balance?

My bank balance was my mom, dad, sincerity and good looks.

Jackie and Ayesha Shroff, née Dutt at their wedding
Jackie and Ayesha Shroff, née Dutt at their wedding

What was your romantic status?

My love for Ayesha (Dutt now Shroff) was deep-rooted. I loved her then and I love her now. It is unchanging.

And your focus in life?

To be able to give my parents a comfortable life. My biggest dream then was to give my parents a beautiful home.

Posing with a kerosene lamp for a photoshoot with Ayesha
Posing with a kerosene lamp for a photoshoot with Ayesha

Your frame of mind?

Fertile.

Who was family to you and what was your equation with them?

My mother, Rita Shroff, and my father, Kakubhai Shroff, were my whole world.

With Tiger Shroff, who’s now an established actor in the industry
With Tiger Shroff, who’s now an established actor in the industry

What was your style statement?

Sasta, sundar aur tikau (Cheap, beautiful and long-lasting). Khadi zindabad!

With his matinee idol, Dev Anand (right)
With his matinee idol, Dev Anand (right)

Were you into fitness then?

I was fit. I was into swimming, weight training, judo and I danced a lot.

The cuss words you used most then?

Maa ki aankh.

Jackie and Ayesha with guests Dimple Kapadia, Anupam Kher and Rajinikanth at their wedding
Jackie and Ayesha with guests Dimple Kapadia, Anupam Kher and Rajinikanth at their wedding

Who were your friends at that time?

My friends were Arvind (Budda), Sanjeev Chitre (Sambo), Kuldeep, Pramod (Pepe) and Ramesh Patel. They are still my friends.

What was your favourite hobby?

I liked to ride motorcycles, dance as well as swim.

With Ayesha and son Tiger
With Ayesha and son Tiger

What was your most prized possession at the time?

My mom and dad.

If you had a chance to change one thing about your life at that time, what would you change?

I would reverse the clock and get back my brother (Hemant) whom we lost (in a drowning accident) when I was 10.

Jackie Shroff (middle) with (from left) Kuldip, Pramod Podar, Sanjeev Chitre, Ramesh Patel and Arvind
Jackie Shroff (middle) with (from left) Kuldip, Pramod Podar, Sanjeev Chitre, Ramesh Patel and Arvind

Has your attitude towards love changed with time?

At 22, love was like an intense fire that engulfed me. Even now, after so many years, it is still simmering and giving me warmth.

From HT Brunch, August 8, 2021

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