How are you planning to celebrate your birthday this year?
It is going to be a working birthday for me as I am promoting ‘Raksha Bandhan’. I have been fortunate to have celebrated most of my birthdays with my family. Unfortunately, I won’t be with them this time. I will promote my film which is very dear to me. Akshay Kumar, Aanand L Rai and others here are like family to me. So I am very excited.
How do you usually celebrate the big day when you are at home with your family?
I am huge on my birthday. I’m generally very excited about it. We have a big family. My friends travel from different parts of the world. It usually lasts for two days. The first day would go to my mom to cook all the dishes that I love. A lot of things are sent by my friends and other family members, so it’s like a foodie celebration at home.
Apart from this festive part, there is also a ritual which my family has been following since childhood. We share our joy with the less privileged part of our society and this includes sending cakes and other food items to various institutions. We do this not just for our birthdays, but for every member of the family.
Tell us about one of your favorite birthday memories as a kid and a maniac as a youth.
I remember McDonald’s started in India and there was this Happy Meal craze. There was a room where the kids could have their birthday parties and I remember being very excited. He also used to have people in Ronald McDonald’s costumes.
My father was also very much looking forward to my birthday celebrations. He used to surprise me. Every year, around my birthday, a ‘Harry Potter’ book would be released and I would get excited about it. It was very difficult to get that book in Mumbai as it always sold out quickly. My father made sure that he somehow got that book for me. Either he would go himself or he would send someone from the office to pick him up. That used to be my midnight surprise birthday gift.
I guess now my birthday has gone a little crazy because as an adult your equation with your family also changes. We used to drink secretly in childhood. Now we can have it with them. You are allowed to be open with them. My birthday is always about sharing my happiness with family, friends, food and others.
What is your birthday wish for this year?
I want my mother to be healthy and have a long life. This is my biggest wish. I also want my sister and other family members to be happy and healthy too because at the end of the day you want nothing more than the well being of your loved ones.