July 8, 2008
Dad Wasnt Happy With My Decision
By HARSHADA REGE
Prateik Babbar, the 21-year-old son of late Smita Patil and actor- MP Raj Babbar, has acting in his genes. Naturally, he decided to face the arclights.
Of his debut film Janee Tu... Ya Jaane Na, Prateik says with a sheepish grin, "I don't think of it as my debut. I was doing production work with Prahlad Kakar and at the same time did some auditions. I just got an opportunity to do this role and I accepted it."
'Dad' wasn't too happy with his decision. "He was very upset," says Prateik. "He said, 'How dare you do this without asking me?' But I had already signed the film and I didn't feel like backing off. Sometimes you feel that this is the right thing to do. I had that feeling about this film."
About mom Smita, he says wistfully, "I don't know if I am like her, but I am told that my eyes and my smile are like mom's. I just hope that I am loved the way she was by everyone." His favourite Smita Patil films are Chakra and Mirch Masala. "She was very intense in both. She reached out to all kinds of audiences," he says. But Prateik has learned from Raj Babbar too. "Dad is very hard working. I want to be like that. I just want him to be happy with my work," he hopes.
He is aware of people's expectations and feels the pressure already. "It's always at the back of my mind. I have to work twice as hard and give it my best shot," he shrugs. Surprisingly, Prateik wanted to be a cricketer. "I couldn't think beyond it. But then suddenly I stopped playing and now I am here... to do my best," he says.
Arya and Juhi Babbar haven't been very successful in their Bollywood innings, but Prateik defends the family, "I don't know how people judge success, but I know he's a great guy and a great brother. He has done good work, too." Is he close to Arya? "Yes, as in we discuss everything, but we go to Juhi for advice. She's good at it," he laughs.
So when's he making his 'debut'? "Frankly, I don't know. I want to experience more. I want to learn more, grasp more of course it's all about films. I would love to get into the groove now, but then one ends up signing many films and doesn't have time for anything else. Right now, I love doing short films. Wrapping up a film in a short time mazaa aata hai."
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