Fa­ther-daugh­ter duo Ma­hesh and Alia Bhatt talk of life and work and liv­ing free of the ‘mar­ket’

HT City - - Front Page - Prashant Singh

He is one of the most re­spected film­mak­ers in the Hindi film in­dus­try. And once she made her Bollywood de­but with Stu­dent of the Year (2012), a new star was born. While a gen­er­a­tion apart, Alia Bhatt and her fa­ther Ma­hesh Bhatt are top tal­ents in their field — and they have a very close fa­mil­ial bond. We catch up with the Bhatts for an ex­clu­sive photo shoot and a chat.

Alia, what are your fond­est mem­o­ries of be­ing Ma­hesh Bhatt’s daugh­ter?

Alia: My fa­ther was, for the lack of a bet­ter word, like a star to me, be­cause I’d see him once in a while. Af­ter work, he’d come home and we had a thing about play­ing snakes and lad­ders, so that’s one of the fond­est mem­o­ries. Ma­hesh: I’m not a text­book dad. I mean by the pre­scribed cul­ture... I’m a dis­as­ter by those stan­dards. I have not lived by the dik­tats of what is called cul­ture. Even when I was phys­i­cally per­haps not there, all my kids were al­ways a part of my in­ner sky.

Alia, your fa­ther has made some amaz­ing films. Have you ever felt any pres­sure of com­par­i­son?

Alia: I was al­ways aware that the com­par­i­son was go­ing to hap­pen. Stu­dent of the Year was a glam­orous film, and I knew there’d be many peo­ple who’d be ques­tion­ing whether ‘she has that kind of depth that Ma­hesh Bhatt has’. I don’t. I don’t have the kind of depth that he has, be­cause he has too much of it. I knew that I’d even­tu­ally be happy.

When are you work­ing to­gether?

Ma­hesh: I don’t look at life as a jour­ney where fathers and chil­dren must work to­gether to run an en­ter­prise. I think there’s no pres­sure on me or Alia to ever bow down to the needs of the mar­ket place.

Alia, what’s the best thing about your dad?

Alia: The best thing is, he just never says no to me. Ma­hesh: I see the hunger in her to out­per­form her own best work. She doesn’t want the loaf but the en­tire bak­ery.

I wish that fathers would lis­ten to their daugh­ters in par­tic­u­lar, be­cause life is talk­ing to them through their chil­dren MA­HESH BHATT, FILM­MAKER


Irrfan with younger son Ayan

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