'My father keeps saying 'I am tired of doing Krrish''
'For my parents, their kids should be happy. If they see us happy without a spouse or a companion then they are happy too. For them, Hrithik and I are their happiness.'
Sunaina Roshan talks about her famous family.
Rakesh Roshan’s daughter Sunaina Roshan has released a coffee table book on her father titled To Dad, with Love.
The book covers all aspects of Roshan's life, from his childhood to marriage, children, grandchildren, and of course, his movies.
The book also has a beautiful collection of pictures of the Roshans, rare pictures we haven't seen before.
Even though Hrithik's former wife Sussanne barely features in the book, Sunaina has generously included her kid brother Hrithik's life in the chapters.
In a telephonic conversation with Patcy N, Sunaina narrates some interesting anecdotes about the family.
How did the thought of writing a book on your father come into your mind?
The idea of writing the book came to me when we were shooting for Krrish 3. I assisted my father, besides co-producing the movie.
I was scared to write the book as it would involve lots of work. I also had to keep it away from my dad (as it was a surprise for him).
A friend told me that I can write the book because I am closest to my father.
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Image: Sunaina, Hrithik, Pinkie, Rakesh Roshan
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar
'I wanted to present the book to him on my father's birthday'
How long did you take to gather all the material and write the book?
It took me about a year or a year-and-a-half to put this book together.
The research wasn’t a big thing because I knew him as a father, I knew him at work and any other information I wanted my colleagues would find on the net.
I have grown up with all his friends so that wasn’t tough for me.
How did he react when you told him you wanted to write a book on him? What was his reaction when he saw the complete draft of the book?
He didn’t know I was writing a book on him. He came to know on his birthday, September 6 last year.
I wanted to present the book to him on his birthday. But I had contacted Ajay (Mago, publisher of Om Books International) only a month before. He told me it is too short a notice.
So then we got the dummy book ready with all the pictures and most of the matter intact.
I gifted it to him on his birthday. He had no clue what was going on. He knew that my brother, mom and I were having a big party for him, but he didn’t know what else was in store for him.
When he got the book, he was completely shocked.
Image: Rakesh Roshan along with his children Hrithik and Suniana Roshan
Photographs: Abhijit Mhamunkar
'My mom played a major role in getting the book together'
Did your mother and brother help you with the book?
My mom played a major role in getting the book together.
She gave me all the old pictures. She helped with dad’s friends’ numbers
Did you meet each and every one you had decided to?
Everyone who has spoken about dad, I went to meet them personally.
It was a different experience. I got to learn a lot. If I did not know anybody too well, my mother would send a message first, then I would call and fix up an appointment to meet.
The book would probably been finished earlier but many of the stars were so busy.
What part of your father’s life is covered in this book?
Every aspect of my father’s life is covered -- from his childhood, his training in Satara in the Sainik School, when he got married, when he had his children, when he was shot at, his being the first sci-fi director in India...
Image: Pinkie and Hrithik Roshan
'I wish I had penned this book five years ago'
What was the toughest part about writing this book?
I wish I had penned this book five years ago. I also feel that I still don’t have enough information.
Because it was a surprise for dad, I couldn’t talk to him. But I did get a little information after his birthday. I wish I had pictures of the old building he stayed in earlier
When you speak about incidents like the attack on your father, you haven’t gone into detail about it.
We didn’t want the book to be too long because then the reading would get boring.
We just noted down the main incidents and how it happened instead of going into details of everything. People don’t want to know too much.
Your father’s relationship with you and your brother Hrithik is not covered in the book in any detail.
We wanted the book to be short and sweet. It was more about his life and him as a person than his relationships.
Image: The Roshan's at the Mahashivratri puja
'My mom often tells me I am a replica of my dad'
Did you learn anything new about your father when writing this book?
I have been living with him for 42 years. I know him as a person. I work with him so I know him as a working man.
There is nothing new for me to learn. I know what kind of person he is.
My mom often tells me I am a replica of my dad.
Whatever everybody said about my father made me proud. Like his punctuality, his discipline, his sense of humour.
When I heard all that I felt like my father is something. I am so happy to have written a book on him.
What are the interesting details about him in the book?
There are many interesting things -- the way he plays pranks with Prem Chopra, when he had to get up early in the morning to put the clock backwards.
All aspect of his life, every chapter is interesting.
You have mentioned that Prem Chopra is very close to your father but you haven’t spoken to him?
It was just a telephone conversation and whatever he told us we have put it down.
Image: Rakesh and Pinkie Roshan with friend Rishi Kapoor
'The cutest chapter is between his grandchildren and him'
Which is your favourite story from the book?
My favourite story concerns mom and dad when they got married.
And the cutest chapter is between his grandchildren and him. I had to have my daughter and my little nephews in the book.
Whenever he comes home and he sees his grandchildren, he leaves everything and plays with them. I would say that is my favourite part in the book.
Can you talk about his obsession with his falling hair?
I have always seen my father with a wig. Mom was the one who pushed him to shave his head, as he would take hours to do his hair.
Mom told him why don’t you just shave it off, but he would ignore the suggestion.
Then one day he just shaved his head! He didn’t even tell us. When he came bald in front of us, we were all shocked.
It took some time to get used to it. But I think he looks better with his bald look.
Image: The Roshan with their Ganpati
'My father has always been strict with us'
You mentioned that your father was strict. Can you tell us some incidents?
My father has always been strict with us. He always wanted us to be punctual.
When I was a teenager, he would make sure that I was awake by 8 am. If I didn’t get up, he would say when you get married and your husband wants you to get up early, you should be up early. If your husband lets you wake up at 10 am that’s okay. But I have to train you for any situation.
What about the tough years when your father was struggling to be an actor?
I can only talk from the years when I was with him. I really don’t know what he must have gone through before that.
My father worked round-the-clock. He tried everything to make it big in life.
Even now, after being so successful, he still tries as if it’s his first time. I love that spirit in him and I want the world to learn from him.
The hunger for work is still there in him. He keeps telling us this is his last movie but we know that will not happen.
He keeps saying ‘I am tired of doing Krrish’ and we know that he will come up with something new.
Image: Rakesh Roshan and Rekha in Khoobsurat
'My father treats the spot boy in the same way he would treat his actors'
You have mentioned in the book that your parents had a good relationship, but you also said that your dad was short tempered. Did that cause misunderstanding and fights between them?
He is like a soda so once in a while, he gets upset if things are not done the way he wants it.
He will scream that one minute and within the next five minutes he will come and tell us he’s sorry, even if it is not his fault. He likes peace around him.
Your dad is a very humble man...
When I started working with him on Krrish 3, I observed that he would treat the spot boy in the same way he would treat his actors. He would eat, fool and joke with them.
Every time I think I am getting carried away, I think of all the incidents about him. If being a top director he can be so humble, why can’t we? This keeps me grounded.
Image: Rakesh and Pinkie Roshan
'My father has been my greatest inspiration'
In the book you say your father helped you when you were ill with tubercular meningitis, cancer, and went through two divorces. How did he help you?
Whenever I am down, I always look up to him. He has been my greatest inspiration.
Whenever I am down with some illness or I feel I can’t do something, I just think of him. His image pushes me to do things.
If he has not given up, how can I? I am his blood, I have his genes, I should fight back also.
Your parents have been married for 43 years. How are they dealing with Hrithik’s divorce and your two divorces?
They are okay with it. For them, their kids should be happy.
If they see us happy without a spouse or a companion then they are happy too. For them, Hrithik and I are their happiness.
If we find someone and they know that person gives us happiness, they will be happy for us.
Obviously, they will guide us and tell us to be more careful. Ultimately, parents just want their kids to be happy.
Image: Hrithik after his brain surgery along with dad Rakesh and sister Sunaina Roshan
'It is not that we have left the house'
Sussanne has just a few lines about her former father-in-law. This book must have been planned well before the divorce happened. Did you cut off her part from the book?
I would not like to comment on that. It is a very personal issue in my family.
You all lived on the three floors in your Juhu home. Is it true that you have moved out of the house along with your daughter?
We have all grown up. My father was always scared that if they are not there, God forbid, can I live my own life? Can I handle my own house?
It was his idea I shift. If I need any guidance, they are always there. They wanted to be convinced that I can stay on my own.
Hrithik has moved out of the house too.
Our house is undergoing a lot of renovation, therefore he went. He has a rented house. It is not that we have left the house.
I shifted three or four months ago. Nothing has changed. In fact, we have become much closer.
Dad pops in, I go there, nothing has changed at all. It is just that at night we all go back to sleep in our own homes.
Image: Rakesh Roshan, Hrithik Roshan along with ex-wife Sussanne
Photographs: Abhijit Mhamunkar