Dharmendra: Naram Garam

Dharmendra gets poetic about wife Hema Malini and daughters Esha and Ahana. Filmfare enjoys the lyrical moments

What’s Esha’s strength as an actor?
She’s emotional like me. She’s a good human being. It’s very important for an artiste to be a good human being, which translates into his or her performance.

Does Esha confide in you?
Without her confiding in me, I can understand what’s going on in her heart. I can read in her eyes; I can sense it in her body language. It’s instinctive.

How different is Ahana from Esha?
Ahana is very ambitious. She wants to get into many things – organic food, agriculture, fashion designing. She wants to launch her boutique.

Is it different being a father to sons than daughters?
No, it’s not very different. But you’re aware of the fact that daughters are going to leave you some day to discover a new life. So you are softer towards them. I’m very protective towards my girls. And daughters tend to love their fathers more. I’m not rigid but our culture has an inherent dignity. I want my girls to uphold that.

What kind of a partner would you want for your girls?
He should be a good human being. He should be handsome. Esha says, “I want someone like you.” Above all he should be caring. Parwah karkar dekh, pyaar aahi jayega (learn to care first, love will follow)!

What’s the most beautiful thing about your wife (Hema Malini)?
There’s something divine about her. She’s very dignified. She’s the prettiest woman. There’s nothing I don’t like about her.

Do you remember a highlight of your romance?
(Smiles and shyly recites the verse written for Hema, which sums up their love story)
Berukhi se unki rukh na moda maine
Zid ko unki, zid se apni toda maine,
(Not discouraged by her indifference, I broke her resistance with my perseverance)
Aayee na mathe pe shikan, jo dikshikni se unki
Muskurakar gaye lipat kehte huwe, ‘Besharam kahin ke’
(Realising I was unperturbed by her heartlessness, she hugged me saying, ‘You’re audacious’)!

Hema said in an interview that nowadays you prefer working with Kirron Kher and Nafisa Ali rather than her. Why do you not work with her?
(Laughs) Those were small roles. Considering that we were called a dream pair, we should do something more substantial.

Like a mature love story?
Yes. But I can be a very naughty lover too!

What’s your idea of romance?
You romance nature, you romance the mausam. Romance isn’t only between man and woman. I romance all things beautiful. My eyes appreciate all beautiful things. Mohabbat khuda hai. Khuda mohabbat!



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