By Subhash K Jha
MUMBAI: No films, no commitments, not even the captaincy of the CCL. Suniel Shetty has put aside his entire career and priorities for his father’s sake.
To make sure his ailing father is comfortable Suniel Shetty has converted an entire flank of his home in South Mumbai into an ICU.
At the moment nothing matters more to the worried son than his father’s health .
Sighs Suniel, “I haven’t had a proper night’s sleep for three months now. It’s a very mixed kind of feeling for me. On one hand, my daughter Aathiya is getting ready for her film career. On the other hand, my father is very unwell. So the excitement of Aathiya’s debut is sadly diminished. At the moment we’re all focusing on looking after my father.”
This is the reason Suniel Shetty has not been playing the CCL matches. “I haven’t been able to practice for the matches. So how can I play? In fact I cancelled my flight to Hyderabad on the morning of the game this week. Aftab Shivdasani, who is the vice-captain is far more more familiar with the one-day format of the game. I do play cricket. But I belong to the old test-match style of cricket.”
Suniel is aghast about the stories that he had an on-field fracas with Aftab. “How can I ‘come to blows’ with anyone, least of all a guy as sweet and gentle as Aftab? It is very embarrassing to read such stories, specially at a time when I am going through a personal crisis. Right now nothing is more important to me than my father’s death.”
Suniel is in fact saying no to movie offers. “There will be many opportunities for work later. The time spent with my father now is much more vital and valuable.”
Suniel is not the least perturbed about his precious darling daughter’s shooting schedules outside Mumbai. “I know she’s in completely safe hands. Salman Khan’s production crew is like family to us. They look after both Aathiya and Sooraj like their own children.”
Suniel gives Salman a pat on the back for standing by Sooraj.
“Salman instinctively knew the boy was being victimized. He stood by Sooraj, insisting that he will make Hero only with Sooraj and Aathiya. I think it requires courage to stand by people in this industry.”