By Jyothi Venkatesh
To celebrate Hrthik Roshan’s 48th birthday which falls on January 10, I am penning a few lines about the boy who has always been a big delight to deal with over the years. According to Hrithik Roshan, who I have known long before his father and my friend Raakesh Roshan had introduced me when he was making his debut with is film Kaho Na Pyar Hai, from the time he was a tiny tot working with Rajinikant in his father Rakesh Roshan’s home production Bhagwan Dada, the definition of a successful man does not depend on how much money he is making or for that matter how many films he has in his hands. “On the contrary, I am of the opinion that if you are a slave of time, you are not at all successful, as far as your life or career is concerned. I would suggest that every one, however busy he or she would be, should take time to pursue their passion and do time management”, says Hrithik.
Strange as it may sound to you, Hrithik Roshan states that he does not at all consider that he is the Greek God of Dance. In an interaction with him courtesy his father Raakesh Roshan, for a film and lifestyle fortnightly I was editing, Hrithik had told me three years ago. “I do not even consider myself the best dancer in either our own country or the neighborhood. My idol as far as dancing goes is Michael Jackson. I feel that he is the true God of dance for all times. I revered Shammi Kapoor as the true God of formless dance. You see, to understand dance is a great gift. I confess that I can dance well but I just cannot visualize or choreograph a dance number. For that I have to seek the help of Farha Khan or for that matter Vaibhavi, because I feel that choreography is even a greater act, than just dancing”.
Talking about his father Raakesh Roshan, Hrithik asserts that his dad is a very strong person and has never empowered any kind of weakness. “If I express my weakness to him, he never comes forward with sympathy. Krrish is a manifestation of his own being, the fact that my dad thought of a film about a superhero and the fact that all his films are about the underdog. That’s how he saw his own life’s journey. He is a man with no ego and is always ready for suggestions from fellow directors of his generation and my generation. He has gone through a lot in the past. There was a time when he had no money to buy groceries. We shifted to my mother’s parent’s house but my dad lived with his friend till he could arrange the money. He got a new house and we used to sleep on the floor for two nights after which he made the house. It taught me that there is a lot behind the glitz and the glamor. I feel blessed to have those teachings of the past that I can pass on to my children.
Hrithik continues, “All that I am and all that I have learnt, I have learnt first from him. He has been my teacher from his past experience. He has taught me a lot. Look where he is coming from and the kind of films he is making. If he did not exist, then there would be no genre of superhero or alien films that would be convincing enough to be successful. He is always pushing the bar and when he shies away from doing that, I am there to remind him that he needs to. When we talk about me and my father, we are two different individuals from different schools of thought. I have grown up watching superhero films. I feel glad that I got to contribute to Krrish in many ways. We both have arguments but the best thing is we work without ego. We have arguments, but the one thing that is obvious is that I am not fighting for my suggestion and he is not, for his idea. We fight for the best idea for the film. So either he convinces me or I convince him.
Hrithik confesses that he has a great professional relationship with his dad as an actor. “While doing Kaho Na Pyar Hai, I had told my dad that the character of Raj that I had played in the film should have a pair of spectacles and also be clean shaven. Though dad did not listen to me initially and wanted the hero to be with his stubble, he agreed, because I pushed him by convincing him that the hero needed to be clean shaven. Sometimes I am wrong too. Sometimes dad convinces me. I have learnt from my dad that you have to first kill your ego in creativity, because there is no truth in the whole world but only point of view, as far as filmmaking is concerned. My dad is still passionate about his work. I am glad because I am aware of the fact that there are several fathers and sons who have fought and separated”.
Like his grandfather music director Roshan, Hrithik also is a good singer. “Yes. I did sing for Kites. Anurag Basu told me that whether I am a good singer or a bad one, it was inevitable that I should sing in the film. He argued that if I were to use a playback singer, I would not be able to be honest to the film and my character in it. I do not consider myself a singer but to be honest to my character, I went along with everybody. Even though it was not professional singing and it’s not a perfect voice but in film it renders honesty on screen. I managed to get about only two weeks for my rehearsals but I recorded the song in my own voice for my uncle Rajesh Roshan.
Conceding that every film of his takes such a long time to complete, an exasperated Hrithik goes on record. “ I even want to do ten films a year, but I am not able to. It isn’t a choice but the problem is that just one film itself takes a year for me to complete. I was initially asked to dole out just 80 days for Jodha Akbar but eventually I ended up giving as many as 200 days for the film, because a film that I set out to do becomes my film and not just the producer’s film and I cannot just abandon it by leaving it mid-way, especially since all the directors that I have worked with till date are like my dad, including the younger ones whether it is Zoya, Farhan or Anurag Basu. Now I have become smarter and stronger and what’s more wiser and have decided to put everything in writing on paper even before the film goes on the floors.
Not mincing words, Hrithik states, “Fitness is a way of life, though actually, I get paid to be fit. Our body is the only thing that we truly own. We should make full use and take care of it. The more you take care of your body, the happier you get. I really believe in the age old adage – ‘Health is Wealth’. If you have good health, everything else will follow. I have a thin frame, but I work out for a week before I need to shoot a scene showing my body. Everyone is making me out to be a Greek God, but trust me, I’m not. I do stuff like bench press and a lot of cardio. Then I do some weights once in a while. I do a lot of exercise for the whole body and concentrate on my biceps and triceps. At times there seemed to be an imbalance with big biceps and triceps and a thin body. I am not very well built and do not have a lot of tendon. That could explain why I look muscular in some scenes and not in some frames. It’s a myth to presume that I have got a lot of muscles. You can see that in my films too. The truth is that I have very little muscles. My schedules are so tight that I do not have the time to build muscles. You need enough time in a day to build muscles.
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When asked what the major difference between the Hrithik Roshan of Kaho Na Pyar Hai and the Hrithik Roshan of War, Hrithik Roshan states. “The Hrithik of Kaho Na Pyar Hai twenty years ago was running to finish line as if a dog was about to bite him, because he had to win and had no choice whatsoever but today he runs because he enjoys running though he knows that the dog is not chasing him and also there is no finishing line. I’d say that it is true that I have become mellowed over the years. I have less stress and tension because I do not believe in getting provoked by anyone. If someone says that my dad is bald, I do not get irked, because it is a fact that my dad is bald”.
What next? I ask him. “Work on the script of our own home production Krishh 4 is going on in full swing right now, though we have not really locked in my dates for the project to be directed by my father. I need to conquer time management. I do not restrict my work according to time. You just cannot restrict creativity and passion and until I reach what I want to get, I will continue with my efforts, however time consuming or laborious they may prove to be”.