By Subhash K Jha
BOLLYWOOD: The morning after the wedding Dharmendra is too emotional to articulate his thoughts fully. “What can I say? To watch my youngest born get married was an overwhelming experience. Ahana has always been very special to me.’’
Dharamji, his voice choked with emotions, says, “All my children are special. But somehow the youngest born is the baby of the family. To see her getting married was just too much for me. But let me tell you, Ahana is very strong practical-minded girl.”
He confesses “Now all my children are married and settled. I’m blessed. All the goodwill that I’ve earned over the years has finally come to fruition.’’
The affable evergreen actor says his wife Hema is far stronger emotionally. “Hema took charge of everything. I was too dazed and numbed. But I have to confess it was a beautiful wedding. Everyone was there. Even Narendra Modiji came. Shahrukh came although he was injured. Many years ago he was introduced in a film directed by Hema (Dil Ashna Hai). He has seen Esha and Ahana grow up .”
At the wedding, Dharamendra sorely missed some of his colleagues who are no more.
“I missed Dev Saab and Suchitra Sen. He was very fond of both Hema and me. I still remember when I ran into him as a newcomer at Central Studio while I was participating in a newcomers’ contest. He beckoned me, ‘Hey, Toughie.Com here’. Dev Saab fed me lunch and refused to let me drink the studio water. It was the first time in my life that I saw an ice-box. As for Suchitra, she was a sweetheart. When we we were shooting for Mamta in Kolkata she took me to the Kali temple early in the morning. She led me by hand as though I was child. I’ve met the most wonderful human beings in the film industry. Now many of them are gone. I missed them at the wedding.”