MOVIES | AMITABH, 60FEEDBACK
'I am protective about Dad'
How can I say why my father is so special? He just is. He's extremely... I don't have words to define it.
I am so overwhelmed. One thinks it is a personal celebration and we are so overwhelmed as a family that people cannot contain their affection. Isn't this brilliant[she looks around the room at Mumbai's J W Marriott Hotel, where her mother Jaya has called a press conference to present her gift to Amitabh Bachchan -- a biographhy called To Be Or Not To Be. She looks at people cluttered around her father].
I have no words. I am trying to think aloud.
There is so much happening -- this book launch, Tirupati [the family had flown down to the religious shrine at Tirupati a day before Amitabh's 60th birthday], this media thing... He has just got back from Mauritius [where Amitabh is shooting for Honey Irani's Armaan]. Everyone has flown in for him.
We have had a wonderful life, a wonderful childhood. He is the foundation of our family.
I am very, very protective about him. All of us are.
You know how he is. Dad is a recluse, but he has never kept away from people who have wanted to meet him.
I remember once mum had cut my hair. Dad was very upset. He even gets upset when mum does anything to her hair. He tells me what colours I should wear and what makeup I should use. He has always been involved with us to the minutest detail.
I have grown up with that kind of attention and have learnt that kind of detail from him.
He has been a very indulgent father yet firm. He strikes a perfect balance. He never overdoes it.
And he is overjoyed to be a grandfather. Can't you tell? [Amitabh carries grandson Agastya and listens to granddaughter Navya Naveli as she patters into his ear]
When Navya was born, he couldn't stop smiling. I am so glad he wasn't there for the labour. He gets panicky and he would have made my life miserable.
But he was there for my son's birth and he actually filmed me in the operation theatre.
He and my son are still discovering each other. My son is not yet two and my daughter will soon be five.
It is great the way they relate to each other.
Dad insisted I bring them to Tirupati. He said I would not have to look after them. He would. He actually flew with them, entertained them all through the journey.
We have been great believers of Tirupati. Whenever we find time, we head there. We are a very religious family. My father is a very religious man, so it was a nice way to bring in his birthday.
He likes to spend time with his family.
It has been a pleasure and a privilege to be his daughter. I want to live up to the kind of human being he is. It has nothing to do with his screen presence or the kind of adulation he commands. But as a human being.
I would like to be to my parents what Dad has been to his. He sets very high standards for all of us. Hopefully, we are getting there.
Shweta Nanda spoke to Lata Khubchandani
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