It is going to be 50 years since Jackie Shroff left his little house in Teen Batti, a notorious area of Bombay once. His house which is only a room with a common toilet and common tap still stands there right outside the Raj Bhavan, the Governor’s residence and Jackie visits the place whenever he has the time, especially at night because he has a very close attachment to the house where he and his elder brother Hemant were born and grew up with their parents, the father a gujarati astrologer and the mother a Nepali house wife.
Both the brothers were the “terror men” and the entire locality was scared of them. Parents were scared to send their daughters out after sunset because evening was the time when Jaggu and Hemant dada got into action and picked up fights with their rival and the fights led to mini wars and the brothers and their names were “popular” in every police chowki and major police station all around the area.
But Jaggu Dada faced the shock of his life when he saw his brother Hemant dead one evening and that was the evening Jaggu Dada gave up his life as a “Dada” and decided to change. He was supported by a beautiful young girl who belonged to a good family and was in love with Jaggu even though she knew all about his rough life. He was very handsome and since Ayesha was a leading model she took him around to modelling agencies and leading glamour photographers. After leaving his photographs in many places, he was finally chosen to be the model for Charminar Cigarette. There was a huge hoarding of the ad in Juhu in a place which was usually known as Dev Anand’s site where he publicise his films. Dev saw the hoarding and liked Jaggu’s personality and gave him a small role in Swami Dada in which he had to only sit dressed like a cowboy in a stable of horses with no dialogue to speak. This personality of Jaggu attracted Subhash Ghai who was disgusted with the high prices demanded by the new heroes, Kumar Gaurav and Sanjay Dutt. He too asked Jaggu to see him and even though Jaggu begged of him not to cast him as he didn’t know anything about acting. Ghai however had some strange but strong faith in him and cast him as the hero of his new film also called Hero with Meenakshi Sheshadi who had one flop to her name, Manoj Kumar’s Painter Babu. The film went on a super duper hit and Jaggu Dada had turned into Jackie Shroff, a super star.
He married Aayesha and they shifted to a posh apartment, Le Papillon near the Mount Mary’s church in Bandra. Jackie could however not change his lifestyle and walked around his huge apartment in a “lungi” which was his favourite wear in Teen Batti. Jackie and Ayesha had a son who Jacky decided to name Hemant after his late brother Hemant and also gave him a pet name, Tiger. They had a daughter who they named Krishna.
The little boy had the same fascination for good cars like his father. He could hold the steering when he was only two years old and travelled in his father’s lap wherever he went. And Tiger Shroff surprised and shocked everyone when he could drive a Mercedes when he was only 8 years old.
It was when Jacky made plenty of money that he decided to go around slums and walk around pavements. He had a truck full of rations, fruit, vegetable, and everything else that the poor and the pavement dwellers needed. His friends from Teen Batti, specially one called David helped him in distributing all the food items. He also distributed clothes and had no hesitation in sitting on the ground and having tea with the poor and carrying their children in his arms. This deed of the Good Samaritan continued till he realised that his own people were cheating him and found other ways of donating money.
It is forty years now and except for good clothes; he has not taken on the airs of a star. He still speaks broken English and is very comfortable speaking the “Bambaiya hindi”, Marathi and Gujarati and has also discovered his own language which he speaks when he is invited as the chief guest. He feels very awkward when asked to speak in public. He normally stands right at the back of the entire audience with folded arms and plays around with children if he finds them close to him. At a Subhash Ghai party for dignitaries from abroad, he came but hid himself in the kitchen and came out only when photographs were to be taken. At the birthday party of Bappi Lahiri’s son at the Sun N Sand hotel he went and sat with the pantry staff and came up only when the cake was to be cut and then vanished from the scene. There have been many such occasion. Jacky now has started wearing a pyjama and kurta with a Gandhi topi to all functions. He knows that Tiger is a very big star, but doesn’t interfere in his work. He has taken Tiger to that house in Teen Batti because he had told Tiger to follow only two things’ “jhoot bolne ka nahi aur sach ka samna karne ka himmat harne ka nahi”.