Published On: 2012-09-18

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Alive! Dad-to-be Hrithik Roshan celebrates return from sure death

Source: Movie Magazine
By: Bharathi S. Pradhan
Submitted by: Maya
Article typed by: Sonia

The below text is copyrighted to the submitter in association with HrithikRules.Com,and is NOT to be reprinted, distributed or used WITHOUT PERMISSION of the submitters and/or the webmaster(s) of HrithikRules.Com

A rat did it. Hrithik Roshan was fast asleep when he suddenly felt something furry on his face that scurried under the blanket over his body. He froze first then un-froze, to jump out of bed and find a rat in his room. A hunt, later in the day to find its entry point, threw up a hole in the wall of his old building. "That was when we decided we just had to move to a new place," he laughs pleasantly, sitting in his lavish three-storied apartment in Juhu.
Up here in his split-n-polish drawing room with large candles, framed photographs and huge coffee table tomes, rats and frogs (the latter freaks him) belong to a different world. "Sussanne completely freezes at the sight of a cockroach. Luckily, I'm not scared of cockroaches, so I can be quite the protective macho man when sees one," he chuckles, never one to play the testosterone card.
Talking of creatures big and small, creepy and cute, Hrithik Roshan's Krrish company just returned from 60-day spell in Singapore where, one of the delights on offer will be the superhero's "friendship" with an orangutan. You picture a school picnic when the actor perkily narrates, "In Singapore we worked with this orangutan from the zoo. He's so cute, so intelligent. We shot with him, so the trainer made him do a lot more things for us for the film (apart from the regular routine he does for visitors). By the end of the shoot he began to recognize us, he'd amble over to me and my dad on his own and well, 'communicate' with us!"
He continues with good cheer, "The orangutan does so many things, he holds your hand, he calls you, he drinks tea from the cup, peels a banana and eats it, throws it you and calls for it back." The orangutan at Singapore zoo is a great tourist attraction, always a hit especially when you visit with kids. "Oh yeah I will have those times soon," he smiles widely at the thought of fatherhood (the stork's due to visit the young Roshans sometime end March/ beginning of April). In all his talk of roaches and rat sounds like RK Laxman's common man, Hrithik the dad-to-be is as familiar as any pacing-the-floor prospective father in the delivery room would be.
"Strange, I haven’t been able to analyze what I'm feeling right now," he accedes with wonderment. But there's clarity in the confusion as he goes on, "It's such a mixture of emotions that I don’t know which one feelings stand out predominately." He further ruminates, "In my entire life, though I've tired and exhausted myself preparing and working something that I need to do, I've never really felt prepared enough for anything that I've done in my life. Whether it was acting or marriage or an exam in school, I've never felt fully prepared. It's the same feeling about fatherhood. I don’t feel all that prepared to be a father. It's a relief somewhere that I've done okay so far, so maybe fatherhood will work out just as well!" Sounds heavy and analytical? But Hrithik is in terrific form, the mood bubbly and practically gurgling with joy.
When Sussanne whispered the definite words, "You're going to be a father', "It was such a personal moment, I don’t know if can express it in words." he thinks aloud. "I was excited for sure but there was also a feeling of letting something dear to me go. The fear I think comes from the conditioning of the mind by what you see around you by what you hear. Like for example, when I was getting married there was the conditioned thought in the head that marriage means end of freedom and fun times. But marriage for me has been just the opposite. It's been the key to my freedom and fun times. I feel so much lighter, so much stronger, so much younger and more alive! All the things people said would be taken away from me, contradictory came to me in abundance. The same way, with becoming a father there’s the anxiety of being able to match up to other fathers and your own father. It's a very natural fear factor. But these moments are very important to go through if u want to lead a full life."
And a life soaked with every kind of experience, is just what Hrithik wants his stint in the world to be. As he articulates, "I've always thought about the time when life’s journey is nearing completion. At that time I want to feel that I've done it all, that I’ve lead a complete life. I just don’t want to have had just half-experiences."
Was turning dad something that he and Sussanne had planned or did it just happen? "Both!" he replies. "We were planning it and it happened." He twinkles, It's more like she was doing the planning and I was doing the part men do!" The man in front of u who turns 32 on January 10 is the poster-perfect robust but rational man, the gray cells free of clichés, and emotionally alive to boot. But a chill sets in at the remainder that Hrithik Roshan may never have been alive to be doing this interview.
On October 21, 2005 (it was also 'Karva Chauth', they day North Indian Hindu wives fast for the long life of their husband), Rakesh Roshan set out to film what you could genuinely term a death-defying stunt. Call it filmy, call it karmic. But it was on 'Karva Chauth' that Hrithik fell from the 50ft cable that snapped while filming a stunt for Krrish in Singapore. The fall, which would have been uncompromisingly fatal, was broken- amazingly and dramatically- by a timely canopy into which he landed, and survived. To tell the tale that Ripley's would have clubbed as fiction.
"What happened was not bad at all," Hrithik recounts, "What could've happened was, well, I don’t know if anybody could've survived that fall. It wasn’t about breaking bones, it was goodbye. Because, I was coming down, headlong!"
Here it comes-for the first time, in first person: "The shot itself wasn’t something that scared me at all. First of all, action coordinator Tony Chiang from Hong Kong is so safety-cautious, he warrants, he earns your faith. After all his checks on the safety and precautions, he lets you have your say. He lets you have a look at what you’re supposed to do, and it’s all up to you whether u want do it or don’t want to do it. Because he can easily take the same shot with a duplicate. "That day, there was no way in hell anyone could have foreseen that the wire would move in that direction with me, get scraped on a sandpaper-like iron girder on the roof and snap! There were so many improbables that led to that fall that it can only be considered a complete freak, one-in-a-million case.
"It happened so fast, I only came to when I fell on the canopy. I quickly took account of what must've happened, that the wire must've snapped and there I was. I did a quick run-through of my body to see if I was okay and then I realized I better shout and let the rest know that I was okay. My father had seen me fall and he must have had a heart attack! It must've taken me about 35 seconds, which was enough time for my dad to completely freak out! The canopy was dislodged, so I was a little precarious and there was a drop of about 20ft below that. I couldn’t move much, so I just put my hand out and screamed, 'Don’t worry, I'm completely okay.' It took be about 15 minutes more for them to get me out; they got a crane and lifted me out. "I just got down and went on to the next shot!"
"It happened too fast for it to register. It took about five-six seconds after I fell into the canopy to understand what had happened. Today when I think of it, it seems much longer. The falling, me lying there and figuring out what had happened, seems much longer in retrospect. The time feels very stretched. Though it's all cloudy, there was so much focused energy happening at that time. My mind was blank when I fell but I was absorbing it all. I can feel myself go through the entire fall. When I go back I can actually read those visuals and go through all those motions and feel as if I've lived every single moment of it. It's very strange that u can actually live thought it after it's over. At that time I didn’t actually feel anything but the visuals come back to you when u can to recall it."
"But there was no harm done, no damage done. In fact I was kind of kicked because I suddenly became the most important man in India! I got so many calls, so many good wishes, so much love, I felt special, and I felt like it was a special kind of birthday. I felt really loved, really thankful and comforted that there are so many people who care. And it does matter, isn’t it very important to all of us that we matter to some people?"
Did he sleep well that night? "I slept very well that night!" The thing is when I got down, I immediately wanted to get up again, so that I wouldn't give time for the fear to settle, to develop and stay within me. If I kept thinking of the way the rope snapped, and the way I fell and the things that could have happened, it would've settled inside me and never left me. So I was literally forcing them to take the next shot because I wanted to get back up there immediately. Ultimately, we didn’t take the shot during which the fall happened. We realized that the girder, which appeared smooth but was like sandpaper was the dangerous part. So we didn't take that shot, which was anyway only an extra optional shot and not really needed.
"When I went back for the next shot up the 50 ft cable, I did sense a battle inside me to concentrate and not shake at the thought of falling again. You start imagining all sorts of things when you're up there and they're the scariest moments ever. Because you've been through it and you know that it can happen to u. A fall like that can really fracture your spirit and I was fighting hard not to allow that to happen. I think somewhere I won because we had 15 days of shooting after that and I managed to do it all!"
If the accident was an improbable turning chillingly possible, the canopy that he fell into and his wife's 'Karva Chauth' fast were practically karmic in complexion.
Over to Hrithik again:
"I was standing on the roof and when they let go of the rope a little, I slipped off the roof and I was dangling. My weight acted upon it and I swung and scraped against the girder. It's very strange because I swung like a pendulum when it snapped and I fell right onto the canopy. If it had snapped a second earlier and I'd fallen, there'd been no canopy for me!" "The strangest part of the story is that the canopy had come out just 15 minutes before I fell! It had started to drizzle and there was a food court before. People were eating, so those guys put up the canopy, Actually we'd been grumbling that because of the rains our shooting wouldn't happen. We were cursing the rain but it was the drizzle that saved my life! "So you've just got to go with life believing that there will be canopy for u!" He smiles in relief.
The shot that nearly took Hrithik's life was atop a clock tower, "With main roads around it. I was jumping from the clock tower across the road to the next building."
Ah, Were you doing Spiderman? "No, I was doing Krissh!" Laughter unfolds an emotional canopy for there’s more eerie stuff in the offing. This time straight out of a mythological script. Leave it to Hrithik to explain that the fall that froze the blood happened on, "Karva Chauth. Sussanne had been saying the night before, 'I want to keep the fast but I don’t know if it’s okay to do it when you're pregnant.' And I told her, "Don’t do it, babes, it's not important, you're pregnant, you're in Singapore. I told her very firmly not to observe the fast. But for some strange reason it stuck me, what if she doesn’t keep the fast and something happens to me? Then she will curse herself and me for the rest of her life. So I told her to go ahead and keep the fast. She kept the fast and something did happen to me and I did get saved!"
There were plenty to cuddle up for that Karva Chauth night. "I spent the evening just with Sussanne. It was also my mom's birthday, so we brought it in." It was a celebration of life itself.
2005 was a year of contradictions for Hrithik Roshan. For a year that saw no action (no releases) there was plenty of action. "More action than I've seen in 30 years!" he laughs. The baby is due in March-April. Krrish will come along in June. Is 2006 when the action will hot up for Hrithik Roshan?
He pithily states, "2004 and 2005 were like a recoil, 2006 will be when the spring bounces out. I wonder where it'll throw me, I wonder where I'll land."
Wherever that is, there will be a canopy waiting.