Late actor Amrish Puri’s grandson, Vardhan Puri turns a year older today. The actor, who has followed in his legendary grandfather’s footsteps and entered Bollywood, will be celebrating his second birthday under home confinement this year. In an exclusive video chat with ETimes, the actor spoke about celebrations amid the new normal and fondest memories of his grandfather. Excerpts:
Since we are in a lockdown-like situation due to the pandemic once again, how are planning to spend your birthday?
It won’t be sensitive to call it a celebration. With the current situation, nobody is in the mood to celebrate anything. But I am just going to be there with my parents and I am planning to cook the entire day’s meal. I’m really enjoying cooking these days, so, I’m going to have the kitchen to myself. But, of course, I still need some help in cutting and chopping as I’m slow in that. I’m also going to make Kada Prasad, which I am really emotional about. Maybe a Thail meal for my family. Apart from that, we are joining hands with an NGO to help Covid patients get beds, oxygen cylinders, food, and medication. My sister Sanchi is going to visit me and we are planning to watch a movie together. After that, I plan on doing my workout and whatever works come throughout the day. I have a script reading with a director too. That’s it!
Any memories from your childhood birthdays that you still cherish?
My grandfather and grandmother made it a point that wherever they used to be in the world, they used to come back to be with me on my birthday. There has been no birthday in my childhood where I haven’t been with my grandparents; I loved it! Every year we used to go to a farm in Madh Island for my birthday and play all sorts of sports there. We would have biryani with kachumber and play volleyball on Aksa Beach. By the time we returned home, our entire family used to be asleep in the bus. But once I remember being upset with my grandparents as they were shooting in London during my birthday. But somehow they managed to come, if only it was for a few hours all the way from London to surprise me in Madh Island. We used to have some cute and childish competitions within ourselves, and my grandfather used to be the judge, we had the most amazing time.
What was the best birthday gift you have ever received?
My grandfather once gifted me a beautiful green watch on my 10th birthday; I still have it with me. My dadi gifted me a T-shirt with a pair of jeans and a pair of corduroy trousers. I have some beautiful memories with them and I really miss those times.
When I was 25, I had gifted a car to my parents on my birthday. I had managed to save enough money for a car that my parents really loved, and they were like the birthday boy receives gifts, not the other way round. I told them that it doesn’t matter who’s gifting whom, it’s just all about the joy. But, my parents being my parents, gifted that car back to me (laughs). So now I use that car. It’s very special because, for a week or so, my parents did use it; it has been blessed by them.
Do you follow any birthday ritual?
We have a temple in the house where I meditate. My mother makes the auspicious Kada Prasad, which I enjoy despite my diet. I like to let it go a little on my birthday. We usually call for a mango gateau, which is a cake that my father really likes.
Anything else for your special day?
My family and friends also send me cakes and I call them home but this year, it will not happen due to the lockdown-like restrictions. I don’t drink but I may have some champagne with my family. I like dressing up and feeling special on the day but this year I will have a video call with all of my special people.