Megastar Akshay Kumar has done several different roles in Bollywood during a successful career spanning nearly 25 years so far. But on his recent visit to the capital, he turned life guru for entrepreneurs at EO Delhi’s RIE —ZindaDilli 2016. He spoke about his life, his parents, his principles, his wife, martial arts and more. Excerpts:
Body is like a temple
“I am going to turn 50 soon and I can tell you with all surety that I have never taken fitness too seriously, unlike what people may perceive of me. I am not a fitness freak. I spare only about 45 minutes to one hour in a day to work out.
That’s all. My life’s mantra stands something like this: If you cannot spare one hour from your 24-hour schedule to work on your health, then kill your body right now because you are disrespecting it in a huge way.
If you wish to be healthy, you must learn to interpret and reinterpret your body’s messages, needs and most importantly learn to respect it. I don’t believe in dieting either. I eat whatever my mother cooks for me. Ma ke haath ke khaane se behtar is duniya mein kuch bhi nahin hai; koi product nahin hai; koi company nahin hai aur koi restaurant nahin hai,” he affirms.
But it’s the era of eight-packs. Does he admire any of the hot bodies from his own fraternity and consider them his competitors? “I like naturally-built bodies,” he says.
Akshay adds, “I don’t dig eight-packs. They are unhealthy, unnatural, unnecessary and fake. They have become a fashionable commodity these days with every second person flaunting them. One punch and you are out. I consume all things natural and herbal. I don’t understand steroids, pills or diet plans to build a body.”
The combat king
Akshay wants martial arts to be compulsory in school. “Martial arts have changed my outlook towards life by 360 degrees. I want to appeal to the government to make it a compulsory subject in every school with every student learning the art.
Countries like Israel, Malaysia, Singapore and many more have made martial arts compulsorily in schools. Unfortunately, we are a step behind in this matter. Yes, history, geography and mathematics are important. But so is the art of defending oneself or self-defence,” he says.
Have they (martial arts) affected his energy in different ways too? “You see, when a child has just begun to learn the art, for at least 2-3 years expect him to become aggressive or violent.
Why? Because it is powerful, interesting and fascinating; it’s a tool that will open up a lot of boundaries or barriers from within and outside — physically and mentally.
However, do you know what happens after that initial period of 2-3 years? The child starts to become calm; he becomes like a monk, an enlightened being. That’s the real power of martial arts,” shares the Parkour enthusiast actor.
Party nahi chalegi
“I am not saying parties are wrong or attending parties will make you a bad person,” says Akki.
He explains, “It’s just that I have been brought up by my parents in a way that theories and concepts regarding family, close friends, etc., are entirely different and not to be taken lightly or be given a secondary status. Kya karunga party karke? I’d rather spend time with my family. I get up in the morning around 4-4.30 am and sleep by 8.30-9 pm.”
Falling and rising
The actor shares, “I have done 100 plus movies now. However, there was a time when I had given 14 flops in a row. I had never gotten into a situation where I was compelled to sit idle. I had four movies under production. You know why? I’ll let you in on the secret behind that: punctuality. But it is only because of my punctuality, packed with determination and hard work, that has done wonders to my life and career.”
Daddy’s young boy
“My father has been the biggest influence in my life,” he recalls while talking about his dad, whom he lost about 14 years ago.
“He was the best father. He was one of those people who stand by you no matter what. When I wanted to pursue sports, he used to be my waterman. He used to come to my practice, bring water, juice, milk, etc. not only for me but also for other players. He was that kind of a man,” he shares.
Mrs Funnybones and being the butt of her jokes
Twinkle Khanna, in her columns, writes about or refers to Akki as the man of the house and regularly takes digs at him. What are the real dynamics between Mrs. Funnybones and action-star Mr. Khiladi?
He laughs, “She is quite the opposite of what I am. She is a bookworm whereas I steer clear of reading. I can only read scripts and agreements. The only similarity between both of us is that we get up really early in the morning.”
Any relationship advice for a healthy marriage?
“Do what she says, listen to her carefully and give her what she wants. I am no different than a common man when it comes to dealing with the woman of the house.”...