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|March 28, 2001||
'I'm so touched!'
It was the best birthday gift Anil Kapoor's wife, Sunita, could have asked for.
For the National Award is one honour actor Anil Kapoor has been waiting for for years. And so, if news of winning the national honour for the best actor came in a few hours after wife Sunita had celebrated her birthday, she wasn't complaining.
Anil, Sunita and their three children along with Sanjay Kapoor, wife Maheep and their baby were at Alibaug (near Bombay), to celebrate Sunita's birthday on March 25.
That Anil had bagged the best actor award for his performance in the Rajkumar Santoshi-directed Pukar reached them on the morning of March 26. And it was celebration time over again for the family.
The actor says, "When I first heard that I had bagged the National Award, I was excited. But right now, I am touched more than anything else by the congratulatory calls I am receiving.
"Hrishikesh Mukerji, Vidhu Vinod Chopra and K Vishwanath were some of the first people who called to convey their good wishes.
"However, what is more heart-warming is the fact that I am getting a lot of calls from actors whose talents are yet to earn due recognition. Some of them even told me that they were inspired because I have struggled and made it on my own, in the absence of a godfather.
"My success had been a great motivating factor in their struggle, they said. It left me just speechless and too overcome with emotion. Their affection is indeed very touching."
Meanwhile, to add to the jubilation, Pukar, which was Anil's home production, has also been adjudged the best film on national integration.
Sanjay, the one with the best sense of humour among the three brothers joked, "Thank God Anil was with the family when the good news came. Had he been in Hyderabad or Madras, as he has been of late, shooting for some film, he would have only had his secretary Goldie and his boy, Kamlesh, giving him bear hugs!"
Boney Kapoor and Sridevi were in Madras. An emotional Boney said, "My dad will receive the award for the film. I want my dad to be honoured."
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