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A Walk with Anil Kapoor Unfolded into Bigger Epiphanies About Life

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On being asked, how would you like to be remembered?
He quipped “See, nobody remembers anybody. Nobody has the time and everyone will forget, it’s inevitable. You should just live and let live. You have this one life – come, eat, have fun and make sure that you have a good life.

The first time we had shot Anil Kapoor (AK) (as he is fondly called) was in the suite of JW Marriott, he was 40 years then. And now? He is 36 years old and much fitter. So, we decided to have a chat under the sun in the open garden of The Club – The Walking Interview. It was fun, candid and as deep as it can get. He is quick, witty, extremely easy going and one fine gentleman. Read on to see how this short walk unfolded into bigger epiphanies about life.

Ex: I’d like to start this interview by knowing how you kick start your morning. What does Anil Kapoor’s morning routine look like?
AK: I start my morning by drinking basil water. After a gap of half an hour, I have coconut water and then black coffee post which I head out for my daily exercise and workout.

Ex: On that note, the obvious question has to be this and one that everybody wants to know. How many hours do you spend in the gym?
AK: Just about an hour and fifteen minutes in the gym. 6 days in a week and one day I rest. The rest is as important as the workout.

Ex: That’s great. I’d also like to know, are you an avid reader? What kind of books do you read?
AK: Currently, I am hooked on to Battle for Bittora written by Anuja Chauhan since the film I’m working on next is based on this book. It’s actually my 10th time reading it. Other than that, whatever my wife or Sonam suggest is on my To-Be-Read list.

Ex: It’s a generation of Netflix and chill. Are you keeping up with the trend and binge watching something currently?
AK: Mostly I end up watching international shows. I haven’t seen much of Indian. To be honest, I haven’t really seen any show that competes with 24 [laughs]. I’m not being arrogant, just honest. But yes, I really liked the first season of Sacred Games. Apart from that, I’ve heard that a few new shows on Netflix are really good. Definitely going to try and make time to watch those.

Ex: A major part of an actor’s life is travel. What’s the most exotic place you’ve ever visited?
AK: I love Europe! I was recently in Rome, it was my third or fourth time and I absolutely love visiting that place. I also love all the cities in Italy.

Ex: I personally love road trips. What are the best roads you have driven on?
AK: Since I’m such a space cadet, my wife doesn’t want me to drive. So, I’m mostly just driven around and frankly, I love it. I have traveled a lot of Europe on the road. When I used to shoot in Switzerland, we accessed all the shoot locations by road and it was beautiful. Of course, the United States of America wasn’t left behind – I’ve actually traveled on road all the way from Atlanta to Houston.

Ex: Talking about your movies, do you remember the 100th film you acted in?
AK: I’ve done about 150 films but no, I don’t know where I hit the century [laughs].

Ex: Where does tech meet lifestyle for you in your daily life?
AK: I think the use of all these basic gadgets is where tech meets lifestyle. At the moment, my iPad, my iPhone and of course, my airpods. These are the 3 gadgets that I am using all the time.

Ex: Do you have any unusual apps on your phone?
AK: I have quite a few health apps but an interesting one I have is a breathing app called Breathe. And no, it doesn’t simply remind me to breathe, it’s a lot more. But I’ll have to show you for you to understand.

Ex: Are you a social media addict? How many times in a day do you check your Instagram?
AK: When I’m shooting or working, I don’t carry my phone, as you can see right now [as he pulled out his pockets to show that they’re empty]. When I’m on my way home, that’s when I check all my messages. It doesn’t matter how long my work takes but I strictly don’t use my phone during those hours. The only thing I try to avoid is missing my children’s or wife’s calls.

Ex: Talking about the gram, how do you manage such an insane following? Do you reply to comments?
AK: I do, actually. I have a few friends who I talk to on Instagram via comments or DMs. Unfortunately, I can’t sit and reply to every comment on my posts but yes, I do try. Especially for the people I know well.

Ex: Okay, time for a random fun question. If you had to spend 100 crores in 7 days, how would you?
AK: I won’t spend it, I’ll give it to my wife ya. Where do I even spend it, I would just give the money to my wife, because if I’m being honest, they know how to handle it the best. But frankly, there’s no one in my family who’s into a lot of investing. I’d personally encourage you to spend it and have fun because you have just one life. What exactly will you do with all the money you’ve collected? Who are you leaving all of that wealth for? Spend well on health, fitness, food (have good food, it’s so important!) and stay happy.

Ex: Leaving the last question out, what’s the weirdest question you’ve been asked?
AK: Weirdest thing? Someone ends up asking me something weird everyday [laughs]. But asking me to say ‘Jhakaas‘ is worse than weird. Now it’s in my contract, I’m not coming to your show or doing your interview if you want me to say it [laughs].

Ex: Alright, tell us about your highly-awaited movie this month, Malang. Are you excited?
AK: Yes, I’m excited and quite looking forward to it. A few screenings have already happened and the response to the trailer has been absolutely amazing and positive. So yes, fingers crossed.

Ex: Are there any interesting anecdotes you’d like to tell us about while working with Aditya Roy Kapur and Disha Patni?
AK: We’ve been promoting the film recently and it’s been a lot of fun. During promotions, you kind of get closer – you spend more time together, travel together and stay together. So yes, it’s been a great time doing that with Aditya and Disha.

Ex: We, at Exhibit, have taken forward a green initiative where we are popularising numerous plantation drives. Would you like to say something about that?
AK: If you come to my house, you’ll see that my entire house is surrounded by numerous plants and trees. As a matter of fact, for my wife and my family, it’s very very important to plant trees with everything that’s happening all over the world. Climate change is real and it’s our duty to encourage people to follow a greener way of life. We’re going through rough times and it’s extremely important for us to do our bit.

Ex: I know it’s difficult to summarize The Anil Kapoor in a few words but if you had to, how would you describe yourself in a hashtag?
AK:
#WorkInProgress

Ex: Lastly – Anil Kapoor. How would you like to be remembered? What would you like your epitaph to be like?
AK: See, nobody remembers anybody. Nobody has the time and everyone will forget, it’s inevitable. You should just live and let live. You have this one life – come, eat, have fun and make sure that you have a good life (whatever a good life means for you).  Never stress about how you’re going to be remembered or who’s going to remember you.

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Ramesh Somani
An entrepreneur with a mind of his own, who is always confused between his passion for tech or automobiles. Hence he is the founder of Exhibit group and Publisher & Chief Editor of BBC Topgear India.

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