LONDON: It’s her 65th Birthday tomorrow, i.e. July 31st. In a heart to heart with businessofcinema.com, heartthrob of the 60’s and 70’s confesses all. Here are a few excerpts:
65 years of a celebrated life. How do you look back? No complaints. Life can’t be a bed of roses. My first 26 years was a time of hard work. I was an obedient child to my parents. Whatever I earned I gave to my parents. Never asked them where my money went. After I got married my husband has given me lots of comforts. I enjoy the life of affluence. But I am a bit lonely.
[pullquote_left]Life can’t be a bed of roses. I am a bit lonely – it’s just me and myself.[/pullquote_left]
Why are you lonely? My husband is traveling constantly. My children have grown up. My elder daughter is married to Fardeen Khan and lives in Mumbai. My younger daughter is learning our family business from her father. She too is traveling a lot. What do I do? I can’t follow them around the world, can I?
But surely you have your own life? I do. But I don’t socialize. I rarely drink. I am not a night person. Clubs are not my scene. I hate the noise. One can’t converse. I am a daytime person. I go out for lunch with my friends, then stroll for a few hours. London is a perfect city for an afternoon walk. Then I am back home. I watch educational television and the news so I’m aware of what’s going on in the world. Then by 11 I am fast asleep. I wake up at 7 am.
Have you thought of relocating to Mumbai? I have two homes in Mumbai, in Juhu and Colaba. And I do visit very often. But because of the life I have now I can’t live in India. Even in Mumbai I’ll be alone. Yes,there are friends and relatives there. But for me it’s a case of water-water everyone and not a drop to drink. Everybody loves me. But I can’t make everybody my close friends. I don’t make friends easily. At my age you can’t forge new associations because you never know what the other person has in mind. Of course I can have as many fair-weather friends as I want. But that’s pointless.Finally it’s just me and myself.
That’s really sad? But it’s my choice. I am not an outgoing sort. I like my own company. I can’t complain. I keep myself occupied.
Have you kept in touch with your friends in the film industry? Shatrughan Sinha who’s unwell? Shatru, I haven’t met for years. But I know I can drop in at his home any time and I’d be welcome. It’s the same with Mr Yash Chopra. I know I’m loved and respected to this day. I can walk into any of my old colleagues’ home. But I am a very shy person. People mistake my shyness for arrogance. I can’t barge into people’s lives. But if anyone reaches out to me—like you—I respond. At parties I don’t circulate. I sit in a corner for half an hour and then I leave.
What plans for your birthday? My husband (entrepreneur Mayur Madhvani) has arranged a dinner on a boat for only family and friends. My family has already started gathering here in London. It’s mostly family and just 4-5 friends of mine who have been with me for 30 years now.
[pullquote_right]My husband has arranged a birthday dinner – No friends from Bollywood – Who will come from Mumbai to London for me?[/pullquote_right]
No friends from Bollywood for your birthday? Who will come from Mumbai to London for me? It costs money to travel so far. When money is involved no one thinks of the occasion. Kaun mere liye 1.5 lakhs kharcha karega? Nowadays money is more important than anything else.