I knew Yash Chopra for 35 years, and as I grew older and understood life better, I understand how great he was. He was probably the most successful and respected icon in our industry. Even in his personal life, he was a very positive person. He had no ego, no negative qualities that are usually associated with success. Despite the numerous super-hit films he delivered, and experiencing the kind of success few people have, he didn’t change. That was his beauty and that’s what made people love him. The outpouring of people over the last few days shows how much everyone loved him. There he certainly knew how to keep people close to him with a bond of pure love.
I owe my career to him as it was Yashji who convinced me to make my debut in Hindi cinema with Trishul. I was in the tenth standard I was not ready to do films. But he said, ‘Do this film and go back to Chandigarh to complete your studies.’ I did the film. Then, a year later, he approached me for another film, Noorie. In my initial days, I stayed with Yashji and Pam aunty at their house. They were my Mumbai family. I didn’t know anything about this industry, even how to face the camera. And during that crowded first day of shooting, he was the only one who made me feel comfortable.
He had a great sense of humour and he used to love food, and make me try different kind of cuisines. A few weeks ago, when we were out for dinner at a restaurant close to my house, he asked me to invite my children. He was very caring about everyone. He has great children – Adi (Aditya Chopra) and Uday (Chopra), who are brilliant and will surely take their father’s legacy forward. He will always be missed.