It implies the will to get up and get on with it, which brings me to life lesson number seven: whatever it is that is pulling you back, it’s not going away unless you stand up and start forging your own path with all your might in the opposite direction.
Stop whining and start moving, so to speak. Sadness and happiness have the same quality of transience. Life is a balanced exchange of one with the other.
And this is lesson number eight: Don’t attach yourself to either, they’re both going to change with the same certitude. Take them with the ephemeral spirit of their impermanence and manage them with a healthy dose of good humor.
Laugh at yourself when you are despairing, shed a tear or two when one of my movie plots makes you hysterical with laughter.
I need to tell you. In Guddu, we did consider donating a single eye to his blind girlfriend and both of them waltzing into the sunset eye patch to eye patch. We didn’t do that.
Then there was Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham. It means to be happy sometimes, and sad others, is the very beauty of a life lived in full measure. Why fail yourself by desiring one emotion and detesting the other?
I’ve acted in 50 plus full length movies, or 60, if I took you through a journey of each title, we’d be sitting here forever and you’d all end up fast asleep.
So I’ll wrap up with my last couple of words or lessons.
OK, film number 17. This one is Live from the heart. Dil Se. Love. Love people, love the world around you, love animals and birds, and big cities and mountains, love dreams, love life, love your work, your friends and your enemies.
Most importantly, my friends; love yourselves. Embrace all that this life has in store for you, let your heart be as deep as the deepest ocean and as wide as the farthest horizon.
Know that it is limitless. Love is not an excuse to grab or to hold or to own or to barter. It is the only excuse you will ever have to call yourself special. And if someone you love lets you down, don’t fault yourself for not trusting him, fault yourself for not trusting your love enough to forgive his/her trespasses.
You never know what the future will bring, whether there will be a tomorrow or not. I died at a shockingly young age in a movie called Kal Ho Na Ho which means exactly that. And I wasn’t even a smoker in the film!
I never let my two older children watch it to the end, we even filmed a whole alternate ending especially for them. But now they have grown up and like all of you, they will soon be embarking on a wondrous journey of their own like most of you are.
Instead of trying to protect them from life, the wiser and older version of me grabs every chance to tell them: live as hard as you can in this very moment. Live now. Live today. You may not see it with your youthful eyes, but NOW is as much time as you will ever get.
Because tomorrow we will all be dead. And just in case there is no cycle of rebirth etc…why take a chance.
I don’t want to end this on a cynical note by reminding you about the reality of death. I want to let you all know that how important your today is…your now is.
Study hard. Work hard. Play harder. Don’t be bound by rules…don’t hurt anybody and never ever live somebody else’s dream. Remember however many times you go wrong, no matter how many times you fail, despair, feel like this world is against you….in the words of Bob Marley…at the end everything is gonna be alright.
And in my words. “Hindi filmon ki tarah life mein bhi, anth mein sab kuch theek ho jaata hai. Aur agar theek na ho, toh woh anth nahi hai…picture abhi baaki hai mere doston.”
So all your kids here, please take it as the only truth you need to know. In the end everything will be all right.
Take it and believe it because the most – and this I say honestly – the most unlikely actor to make it in Bollywood is telling you so…the most romantic hero who doesn’t look anything like chocolate or taste like it.
Thank you very much. I wish you all the best in your lives. These are the only life lessons I can give you.