How is your lockdown birthday going to be like this year?
You know, I never celebrate my birthday. It’s only my family or some close friends that used to come. But because of the lockdown, a lot of friends are insisting that they want to come, but I have requested them not to. Because it’s for their safety and for the safety of everyone. So I’ve requested maybe we’ll have a zoom call or some kind of video calling. But yeah, in a lot of different states, people are celebrating my birthday. So I’ve given them timings, from 2 to 2:15 I’m going to talk to people in Assam then in Orissa, then Uttarakhand and then in UP, Bihar, all these places. So every state is given 15 minutes every single day and this is how the birthday is going to be but something very, very special.
You are playing the role of a superhero in real life and you have fulfilled the wishes of a lot of people this year. But if you want to wish for a gift, what would that be?
I would say this year has been very special, I would say because I have my extended families in all these different states. I’ve been able to connect with millions, I’ve been able to bring smiles on their faces. I just want to wish that they should stay happy always and I could stay connected with them. This Corona thing should end soon. I’ve seen a lot of people suffer because of this I just want this to end so that they all can come back with full force, happy and can again start their normal life so I just want a lot of prosperity, goodness to spread and that’s my only wish on my birthday.
In the recent past, people have had so much to learn from you. Today, you have turned a year older and wiser, what have you learnt from your professional and personal life?
I would say, every year when the birthday comes, we make some kind of resolutions. We make some promises, but what I’ve learnt from the professional and personal life is that above everything, its humanity. You have to just give to society or just help people who need your help. There are so many people in the society who just wait for one hand that can hold them and can tell them, ‘okay, don’t worry, I’m there for you.’ I think it’s very important for everyone to come forward and do something good to others. So I think that’s the only way, I would say this world can be a better place to live in.
We know that you were very close to your parents. What is the one gift that they gave you as a kid that has stayed with you till now?
I was very close to my parents, I always used to wait for that one birthday wish that used to happen and today, I miss them more. I wish they were here and I could give them a tight hug and thank them for bringing me in this world and teaching me what all I’m doing in my life. I think it’s only because of what teachings they gave me as a kid and I’ve been following their footsteps. My mom and dad, they always used to do a lot of charity and that taught me to do the same in my life. So I miss them today. As a kid, whatever I wanted in my life, I was always given by my parents. Whether it’s a toy or some type of motorbike or whatever I used to ask, they would give it to me. So yeah, I miss them a lot today.
Is there any difference between what you wished on your birthday before becoming an actor?
I remember when I just came to Bombay for the first time and I came on the 25th or 26th of July 1st time in 1997/98. On the 30th of July, I did not know a single soul in the city and there was no one to wish me. I was sitting at a bridge in Lokhandwala alone in the middle of the night. At 12 o’clock, my mom, my dad and my sister called me and they wished me. They asked, ‘Do you have any friends there?’ and I said, ‘I don’t have any friends in Mumbai.’ I was feeling alone and I had tears in my eyes, that this city is so big, with so many people, and there’s no one to wish you personally. So that was a birthday which taught me that one day I have to work so hard to achieve so much in life that the whole world should come and wish me. I feel that today after 22 years, that day is here when the whole world is going to celebrate the birthday with me. So its a special journey and I will always remember that day when there was no one to wish me in this city.