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    HOME | MOVIES | THE TOWERING INFERNO  

    He is special he is my father

    Abhishek Bachchan

    Every time Dad got home early from work, it was like my whole life would turn around.

    I would shout, "Dad's come back."

    Once home, he would devote all his time with us. If we were awake -- most of the time, we were asleep when he got home.

    I don't think I ever really discovered that Dad was a star.

    In fact, both my parents were excellent in that they never brought work home. Yes, Ma had stopped working when I was born.

    I can't remember Dad coming home with make-up. He was that particular about not bringing work home.

    Save for once -- the first time I saw him come home with make-up. He was shooting for Akeyla in the late 1980s. I was about 12 or 13 years old.

    He was shooting outside our home. He came home for lunch, with his make-up on. It wasn't weird -- we had seen him on the sets with his make-up, but this was the first time he came home with it. You see, for us, he has always been a normal father. We never thought of him as a superhero.

    Every father is special. He is, too -- he is my father.

    Mum used to read us stories when we were kids. Dad would read aloud our grandfather's poems to us. I loved them.

    I remember that fateful accident (while shooting for Coolie, 1981).

    We were in Bangalore. My sister and I were playing video games. I could hear a lot of moaning and groaning from his room -- there were a lot of people in there.

    We didn't know how serious it was. He wasn't taken to hospital immediately. It was the next morning, if I remember correctly.

    That entire phase was fantastic as far as my parents were concerned.

    I remember we used to go to hospital. It was a big game for us. Since I was so small, I would go to the ICU and steal the face masks. I would think it was a lark!

    AS a child, I wanted to be everything from a fireman to an astronaut. But Dad's films must have influenced me at least partially.

    And then I realised I wanted to act.

    I wanted to be like him ever since I started watching his films. I enjoyed seeing him in all those fabulous fight sequences.

    Since I schooled abroad for the most part -- I must have completed second standard before I left for an international school -- there were no classmates or peers to tell me about him. I never really got to hear anything about him.

    Dad has never been strict. Both my parents have been very independent with us and very open-minded. They make us realise our priorities once. They don't bring it up after that. Once we are clear we get their message, they never reiterate it.

    We never gave him the opportunity. Yes, we were naughty. But then, children are allowed to be naughty within limits.

    Dad is also a very patient person. He has always been very open-minded about everything. He has just one concern, though: "Remember whose son you are and who you are. And you know what you should and should not do."

    He never said, "You can't do this or that." With him, it was more like, "You want to go out, go. But don't be too late."

    If I didn't meet him before I left home, he would call me and ask, "Where are you?" Or "Who are you with? Do you have the security with you?"

    We would shrug it off as concern. But he would never say, "Come back home, it is very late."

    NOW that I'm in films, Dad gives me his feedback -- it could be the use of my hand while delivering a dialogue or my eyes opening too wide during a scene.

    Dad never imposes anything on me. He has such a minute understanding of the medium that the minutest thing from him is helpful. It might just be the raising of an eyebrow or even just blinking.

    Sometimes, you do feel, "Uh-oh. They will take off on me."

    Not any more.

    You realise they are doing it for your betterment. And they are the best, after all.

    I still go to see Dad shoot. I love watching him.

    He's one person I've seen who can give one single shot in 50 different variations. Each variation is as good as the previous one.

    He is the kind of person man who dislikes noise and confusion. He has very simple tastes; he is happiest when he has his family around him.

    And you can talk to him about anything. He is my closest friend.

    Abhishek Bachchan spoke to Lata Khubchandani


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