Your book launch was a success. All your friends showed up?
Yes ,I was so frightened about the launch. I thought, Pataa nahin…suppose no one shows up. Then what will I do? Luckily for me everyone came. It was such a joy for me to see all my colleagues there .And Salman Khan was so wonderful. He has always been warm and respectful , not just to me but to all of us Waheedaji, Dharamji, Jeetendraji…Salman came down to meet Dharamji and Jeetendraji when he saw them enter. We are lucky to command such respect.
You’ve always commanded such benevolence?
I have never wished ill for anyone. I’ve always wanted to live by the values that my parents imbibed in me. I don’t think I’ve been a good girl all my life. But I’ve tried.
You’ve also spoken about your loneliness and suicidal thoughts?
Yes, this happened after I lost both my parents. I had no one to turn to, no one to call my own. I felt completely alone. But I survived. I made friends, learnt to step out of my house and make contact with people.The trick of survival is to accept people on their terms.
You’ve also spoken on your decision to adopt a child?
Yes, I had set my heart on this lovely little baby-boy. All the formalities were done. The papers were in order. The baby was legally mine, when it was discovered that he suffered from some rare disease and I couldn’t have him. It broke my heart. I decided I will never try to adopt a baby again. Sometimes I wonder what my life would have been like if I had brought that baby home. Or for that I matter, if had got married.
You must have been sad about so many of your colleagues not being there on this important day of your life?
(Sighs) Yes. I missed my dear Sadhana and Nanda. I’d have loved Vyjanthimalaji whom I idolize, to be there. But she is too old now to travel from Chennai to Mumbai. My best friend (actress) Shammi is also unable to step out of her home in the evenings. I had done my best to convince her to come for my book launch, even chosen a saree for her. But she opted out at the last minute.
So many of your colleagues are writing auto-biographies all of a sudden?
Yes, but if you see they are all men from the industry. In this season of male memoirs I am the only woman. That feels good(laughs)
Any wishes and dreams that still need to be fulfilled?
Just pray that I don’t have to live so long that I’ve to be dependent on others to see me through the day. Jitne din rahoon main apne payar pe khadi rahoon.