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Stammering is something that's never left my mind: Hrithik Roshan

The actor talks about playing a blind man in Kaabil, his fears in an interview.

Mayur Lookhar

Hrithik Roshan played a quadriplegic in Guzaarish (2010) and a mentally-challenged character in Koi Mil Gaya (2003). With Kaabil, Roshan will step into dark territory. 

Roshan mingled with visually-challenged persons to prepare for his role in  Kaabil . Often such experiences leave you humbled, but after a  while  you start admiring at the fighting spirit with which such people live their lives. 

“At the beginning, I was very sympathetic towards them and I would try to be extra nice. Gradually, I became completely normal in the way I interacted with them because they led their lives normally, irrespective of the fact that they can't see. I understood that there's absolutely no reason to pamper them, baby them or treat them differently. I think even they respect that attitude. Earlier, I would have projected my character as a needy guy or a bechara. After meeting them, I've enacted my part like an absolutely normal guy because that's how they actually are,” Roshan told Times of India.

Roshan was left stunned by a visually-challenged man who did not use a walking stick and yet travelled in local transport in the hustle bustle of a city like Mumbai.  

“He came to my place in Juhu. I asked him how he travelled and he told me that he took a train and then an autorickshaw, which brought him from the station to my house. But what really blew my mind was that he came alone and without the help of a walking stick. We can't even fathom how someone can do this! The visually challenged are so well-trained that they can master the darkness,” said Roshan.

It must be recalled that as a child Roshan suffered from stammering. Though not as grim as the plight of the characters he has played on-screen, Roshan had a hard time beating his own demons that threatened to disrupt his self-confidence.

“I think when you live with something like this as a child, it never becomes a memory of the past, but lives on in a very residual manner. For instance, if you were teased as a fat kid all through your growing years, even after losing all the weight, you will continue thinking in your head that you are fat. Likewise, stammering is something that's never left my mind. I still can't watch The King's Speech. I have tried watching it thrice, but I just can't, I have to stop it. But what I will say is that it was the greatest thing that's happened to me. That shortcoming taught me to value everything that I have in my life today, whether it is sensitivity, humility or ability of the human brain to overcome situations. To sum it up — it made me believe in magic. Now, I have infallible faith in myself because of the shortcoming that I have lived with,” Roshan confessed.

When asked whether he’s too self-critical and over analyses his films, Roshan replied, “I don't know how they do that, but it's quite strange in a way. I mean this is your job, your work, how else will you learn? I might not like seeing myself, but I have to do it. You must have the courage to face yourself and see how good or bad you are without being conscious about it.”

On the personal front, Roshan, who recently separated from his wife Sussane, shares a great bond with his two sons — Hrehaan and Hridhaan. Interestingly, the two kids love watching their father’s films.

"Yes, we watch films together all the time. I have to sit and answer all their questions as they are very curious. Their favourite film of mine is Bang Bang. They even liked Mohenjo Daro, Koi... Mil Gaya and Krrish. They don't like anything that's childish. I sometimes think that they are too grown-up for their age,” the Krrish star concluded.