How was your equation with your father Amitabh Bachchan as a child/teenager?
I started wearing my father's shoes when I was about eleven. Since then he has been my buddy. His idea of parenting was amazing. He told me when I was very young that he won't hide anything from me, will always cooperate with my decisions and will always ask for my opinion. He said: "Your job is to make sure your opinion is something that I can listen to." He always treated me as an equal although we knew we were not his equals. But his behaviour towards my sister (Shweta) and I remained the same ... it still is, even today.
Who was his favourite - you or your sister?
Everybody knows that fathers and daughters share a very special bond, while mothers and sons share a special bond. So obviously, my sister has always been the apple of my father's eyes. But I was always his friend. That is something I hope to incorporate with Aaradhya (his and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's daughter). It has many benefits, the main one being there is less room for secrecy. For example, my niece (Shweta's daughter Navya Naveli) is like my daughter. She is 16 and my elder sister and she are friends.
You said your opinion was sought as a teenager. Were they accepted?
Things were not that easy. They had to be earned. It's not that I would say this is what I think or feel and it would be done. I had to convince him. A healthy debate was always encouraged in our house. So whether it was very small matters or something of great importance, the whole family has always sat down and discussed things at an open forum. We, as children, were always given the feeling that our opinions matter as anybody else's.
How will you describe your childhood?
I had a very carefree childhood. I was in boarding school. So my life revolved around dramatics and sports and a little around going to classes as well; although we could not cut classes in boarding school.
Did you have arguments with your parents?
Thankfully, I never ever had moments of disagreements with my parents (Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan). And the entire credit goes to them.
How will you define your life as a parent?
At the end of the day it is the children who teach the parents and they should be the teachers. I witness it every day with my daughter ... how she teaches both Aishwarya and I to be parents. And I would like to believe that my sister and I had set some sort of example to our parents as well on how they would conduct themselves around us.
Tell us one thing that Aaradhya has taught you in these two years.
I think unconditional love is the first thing that any parent should learn. There is nothing more precious than a newborn life in your lives. It is a gift and something that should be treasured and loved.
--IBNS (Posted on 30-10-2013)