How are you planning to celebrate Mithun Chakraborty‘s birthday?

Everyone knows how low-profile Dad is. He doesn’t celebrate his birthday at all. He strictly tells us not to wish him, no celebration etc. But we don’t listen to him. We call him at midnight and sing Happy Birthday. But when he is in Mumbai, we insist that he cook for us. That is something we look forward to on his birthday.

As a child, what were your first impressions of your father?

My first impression of my Dad was that he was always super-busy.Would you believe, he used to do as many as six shifts per day. Six projects on the floor on the same day! To each he would give two hours. So he was always on the move, whether in Mumbai or out of the city. So my brother and I would hardly ever see him. But when we did see him, we used to be very scared of him. He had this intimidating personality. Dad was Dad! Like Mom was always Mom, cuddly and affectionate. Today, touchwood, Dad and I are the best of friends. We have adult conversations. Back then we were very scared of him.

When did you become aware that he was a major star? Did you have first-hand experiences of your father being mobbed?

See, we always knew Dad was an actor, a superstar and a legend. And we’ve seen him firsthand being mobbed left, right and centre by his fans. But even today, when you ask me this, for us it’s never been like, ‘Oh he is a superstar!’ We know how much people love and respect him. But for us he has always been our father. An achiever no doubt. But not Mithun Chakraborty, the superstar.

When did you first watch his films and which are your favourites? Did you like him best in Disco Dancer when you were a child?

I don’t remember at what age I started watching his films. He was already doing a whole lot of films while we were kids. Of course I love Disco Dancer. But my favourite film of Dad is Phool Aur Angaaray. I don’t know why I have a soft corner for that particular film. I remember watching the film 10-15 times at the trials before it was released. Somehow the movie was fixated in my head. In the second-half when he has this Terminator look with gelled hair and the leather jacket, out to take revenge… he feels like the coolest action hero.

Since he was doing multi-shifts when you were born, did you get to spend enough time with him as a child?

We did not get to spend that much time with him. He was working his ass off for us. Even today he is doing everything for us. I remember when we were young and waiting for him to come home, Dad had this habit of ringing the doorbell twice. Whenever the doorbell rang twice we knew Dad was home. Back then we couldn’t understand why we didn’t have more time with him. Now we know.

Was Mithunda a disciplinarian? Or did he pamper you and your siblings silly?

Dad was always a balanced father. Right remains right and wrong remains wrong. It doesn’t change for his children. He’s never over-protected or pampered us. He is a balanced father with me and my three siblings.

Does it become a burden sometimes to be known as Mithun Charaborty’s son?

I don’t think the privilege of being Mithun Chakraborty’s son would ever be a burden. Today people still tell me, ‘Dada ke hum fan hain. Unki filmein dekh kar bade hue.’ It is such an honour. We are always reminded of his achievements. It feels like such a blessing to be one of his children. I thank my parents for this. And please understand, there is no entitlement to my career because of whose son I am. I am just thankful for having the parents that I do. If you ask me next year or ten years from now what it feels like to be my father’s son, the answer will remain the same: it is and it will always be a blessing.

Your birthday wish for Mithun Chakraborty?

My birthday wish for my Dad? It’s my dream and my life’s purpose to make him proud. I want to say thank you for all the love he has given us. It is my wish to keep pushing myself to make him proud.

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