Hema Malini's birthday this year would be a quiet affair…and deliberately so.
"I was supposed to be in my constituency Mathura. But it's impossible for me to travel right now. So this birthday is being spent with family in Mumbai, and that means Esha and her husband Bharat. My younger daughter Ahana was supposed to join me in Mathura from Delhi where she lives. And Dharamji is in New Zealand to attend a function. So he is not here with me this birthday."
Says Hemaji, "I've been traveling incessantly. At the beginning of October I was shooting for Ramesh Sippy's Shimla Mirch for two days. Then on the 3rd I had to rush to Kanpur for a function. The organizers were kind enough to arrange a private jet," says Hemaji whose life so far has been a dream come true.
Hemaji wants to thank her fans for being with her for so many years. "I don't know what people saw in me. But I've only received love and respect from within the film industry and from my fans. I look back with a lot of affection at all the films that I've done. If you ask me to single out one film it would have to be Gulzar Saab's Meera."
That was the Dream Girl's dream role. "I wish Lataji had sung for me in Meera. That will remain the one regret of my career. I even requested her personally. But she had her own reasons for not singing in Meera."
Whatever bitterness transpired at that time is now washed away. Today Hemaji and Lataji have a mutual fan club.
"She gifts me the most beautiful sarees. I've been wanting to gift her one. But getting the right fabric and design for Lataji is not easy. I've finally managed it."