Anil Kapoor and Sunita Kapoor have been together for 45 years and married for almost 35 years (they complete 35 years in May this year) have the perfect marriage. Yet the super tells us that he didn’t believe in love when he met Sunita and for a long time refused to admit he was in love with her. In a candid chat, (as he says, he speaks from the heart always), Anil talks about his views of love have changed over the years, his children, Sonam, Rhea and Harshvardhan Kapoor and why he married Sunita…
Love is something that shapes our lives. How did it change yours?
In real life, to be very honest, when I was a teenager and in school, I didn’t believe in love at all. I would tell my friends that it was all fun and games and what was this emotion called love? I didn’t want to fall in love and get emotional about someone… I am not cut out for it. It was not me and I could never fall in love. I was that kind of a teenager who didn’t believe in love. We were not that grown up to go on dates but I really believed that I can never fall in love. And then obviously, I became friendly with Sunita and we were friends for quite some time but still I was denying the emotion called love. First, we were friends and then we started dating each other. But even then I would think, no, I am not the kind of person who can fall in love and then slowly I don’t know how it happened and I fell in love with her… Love just happens, yaar… Kaise ho jaata hai woh pata hi nahi chalta but I was adamant against the notion of love and trying my best to never ever to fall in love. I must have done everything possible to not fall in love.
When did you realise you were in love with Sunita?
Something starts happening inside you when you start missing that person, miss being with that person, hearing her voice, talking to that person and slowly you realise that she is someone you can’t do without… I don’t know how it happens. But even after all those things I was still trying to get away saying it’s not me, I can’t fall in love, I can’t have a serious relationship, I can’t commit myself, kept on postponing it and convincing myself it wasn’t love – thus making life miserable for both our families. My friends would tell me, ‘ultimately tu shaadi Sunita se hi karega’ and I would say ‘Impossible! Sawal hi nahi uthta! I am a bindaas guy.’ I can be friends with many people and I have been friendly mostly with girls but with Sunita, love just happened and she’s the person I must get married to.
From then to now has your idea of love changed?
Oh yes! I would have committed the biggest blunder of my life if I had not listened to my heart more than my mind and not given in. Mind was saying no but my heart was saying yes but thank God, in all my life I have always gone with my heart and fortunately, with Sunita too when I did so and got married, we are together now for 45 years.
And as much in love with each other, as you were then…
You and Sunita have what is known as the perfect marriage.
I don’t think you can call anything perfect. I don’t believe in perfection. You have to compromise, learn, adjust, give in, compromise and it’s also about give and take in a marriage. I have my own imperfections which I can be better and be corrected for so it’s more for myself. It’s a constant change and growth for the two persons bound together by a beautiful bond. You have to try your best to make it perfect but it will never be so you have to adjust and I think, that’s what life is – in friendship, work, profession and relationships with your family and colleagues.
If there was anything that you didn’t approve of that your children did or didn’t do, how would you react?
Every child cannot be like you. You cannot expect people to be like you. Everybody is an individual and that’s what my wife always tells me. My children have their own personality, own journey, dos and don’ts and pluses and minuses so we must let them be. It becomes difficult sometimes as you want them to be the way you are but it’s not possible. They will be themselves and make their own path personally and professionally. You cannot change anybody’s naseeb or destiny. What is yours you will get. You have to do your best as a parent and if the children healthy, obedient, well-behaved and honest and all my children have those qualities so I am very happy with them.
My family and I are very open with each other. There are some things that my children share completely with me and some that they share with their mother so it’s a correct balance. While I do believe in God, I also believe there is only one religion and that is of humanity. I go to churches, mosques and temples. All my childhood I would visit churches and when I visit these beautiful countries abroad, like I was in Istanbul and Abu Dhabi, I visit their religious shrines like I visit the temples in Varanasi. I love visiting all the shrines of every religion. I have friends from every religion.
Among your children, Sonam, Harshvardhan and Rhea, who is the closest to you in terms of your personality and behaviour?
Aisa kuch nahi. There are no permanent faves or who is closest to me or Sunita in our home. We are parents and children also – all five of us. Sometimes Harsh, Rhea and Sonam behave like our parents and sometimes Sunita or I are like parents or become like kids. It’s that kind of a relationship and atmosphere in our house we share and all have. May favorites keep on changing - on some days, Sonam, another day Harsh and next day it could be Rhea. Sometimes, Sunita is my favorite. Sometimes four of us gang up on one team poking fun about the other person.
Were you disappointed with Race 3?
Not at all. I am not delusional but I had a great time shooting the film. Whenever we meet we meet with happiness. We had a wonderful time and everybody made money on the movie – from the producers to the exhibitors. I know about the rest but whoever who was in touch with me has made money. It’s done over Rs. 300 cr worldwide in theatricals. Which film in today’s times does this? And 100 per cent there will be another film on the same franchise! I was reading Michael Caine’s book… What happens is that certain films you do is not only about numbers and what did or didn’t live up to the expected numbers. There are so many other positive factors attached to a film – the people you work with, the friends you make, the countries you travel, the money you have made on the film, how much you have learned from the movie so there were lots of positives in Race 3… My character was appreciated by everyone and got positive reviews. The reactions were fantastic!
You are always in a very happy and cheerful frame of mind – full of positivity. How do you achieve that?
Even I face tough days sometimes, like right now I am suffering from a stiff shoulder which is very painful, but in the morning, you have to get up and push yourself to do your best. On those days I wake up, go for my workouts and start my day. These days I have started sprinting and spinning too – stuff I couldn’t do earlier because of my painful ankle. But now after it’s healed completely, I started sprinting again which I had stopped 15 years ago. Zindagi mein kuch na kuch toh chalta rahega but you have to fight it and keep moving ahead!