'I grew up playing marbles & hututu ' - Mukesh Khanna

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Mukesh Khanna is a perfect blend of `creativity and business acumen.' As he narrates us the story of his life, along with his various hits and misses; what strikes out is Khanna definitely knows how to position himself and his company for that matter.

With a wonderful smile on his face, as he continues to munch on some cool cucumbers to beat the summer heat, he says, "people still call me Bheeshma Pitamaha and of course my home production Shaktimaan continues to have a very high recall value."

While flipping through some of his favourite books he continues, "I simply love to juggle my life as a actor and producer, but I also make sure that I don't take on too many projects at a time. Currently, I am planning a daily soap on DD and also an animated film based on Shaktimaan."

I grew up playing marbles & hututu

Born and brought up in Bombay, I studied at Marwadi Vidyalaya, a Hindi medium school near Opera house in South Mumbai. I had a wonderful and carefree childhood. After returning from school, I used to just throw my school bag and rush out to play marbles and hututu. Life was different then, children had to face no stress. Nowadays, it's all about tuitions, studies and computer classes.

I feel very sad for children in today's environment who are unfortunately caught up in the rat race. Even mothers are caught up in the syndrome - Teri saree meri saree se safed kyon hai.' I strongly feel that children should be allowed to do what they are good at. It's important that children are prepared for the exam of life than school exams.

I never wanted to be an actor

After school I went on to do my BSc from St Xaviers college. I had also applied for admission in an engineering college from Kanpur. But, I lost the seat due by a mere 0.5 per cent. Since, I was free for a year, my brother suggested that I try my luck on stage. In those days, Kader Khan and even Amrish Puri used to act on stage. So, I managed to bag a role and got a chance to perform on stage.

On turning a producer

Producing Shaktimaan was very hectic and left me very little time for my acting assigments. Now, I am also planning a daily soap on DD which is almost ready for telecast. Besides this, I am also in the process of planning an animated film based on Shaktimaan. But then, I love acting and in fact I even had an offer to act in Bhojpuri film.

It was in my destiny to say Ayushmanbhav

I had read Mahabharat at a very young age, so I was familiar with all the characters in it. One fine day, I got a call from Gufi asking me to act in Mahabharat. Since, it was one of my favourite subjects, I said would love to take it up. I was shorlisted to act as Duryodhan but somehow, I felt that I was not meant to be a villian.

Later it was Dronacharya, but then it was in my destiny to say Ayushmanbhav. After 15 days of shooting, I was asked by the Chopras to play the role of Bheeshma Pitamah. I knew, it was a strong role but that time I was unaware that it would be a pillar of the whole serial.

Now I live two lives

After playing the role of Bheeshma Pitamah, I also got associated with the BJP. Now, I live two lives. Whenever I go for campaigning for the BJP, they introduce me to the crowd saying Badon ke Pitamah aur choton ke Shaktimaan aa gaye.

My health mantra

Nowadays, I am on a strict diet, trying to reduce my weight. Nomatter what time I get up, I make it a point to finish my exercises. I also prefer to have homemade vegetarian food. i've a small kitchen in my office where we often prepare lunch and dinner.

I hate pubs and parties

I don't like to drink or smoke. I hate pubs and parties. In fact, I prefer to spend my evenings at home and Sundays sleeping.

My Lifestyle

I lead a very simple life. I am not very fond of gadgets. I believe in simple living and high thinking. But the only thing that I would like to buy someday is my dream car i.e Mercedes.

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