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Aamir Khan Remembers The First of Many Things That Mark His Life

Aamir Khan remembers

We often measure life by our big firsts: first car, first salary, first house... A week away from the release of his film Ghajini, in which Aamir Khan has short-term memory, the actor remembers his personal milestones.

The first car I bought…A Maruti 800. It was white in colour. I remember taking a loan to buy it.

My first watch was…A Titan. Really. I bought it.

The first movie I remember seeing was…A Laurel and Hardy film. They were trying to climb over a wall. One was trying to get over the other and his pant tore. I started howling, crying away! I was feeling really bad for them because I felt they were in trouble. I was the only kid screaming in the hall. My aunt had to carry me out. I was disturbing the entire screening.

Actually, I have another memory also from when I was five. I was watching Pyaar Ka Mausam. In that, my brother Faisal was playing little Shashi Kapoor and there was a sequence where he goes into a house and it catches fire. Again, I was screaming my head off. I was shouting, 'Faisal, Faisal' and was scared he was stuck in that house. My mother was saying, 'Faisal tere paas hai, mat ro, mat ro.' He was next to me! They had to take me out.

Aamir Khan's Brother Faisal Khan

The first time I went abroad was…Quite late in life actually. This was just after QSQT released. I was 23-24. My ex-wife Reena's parents lived in the UK that time. I had gone to visit them. This was probably 1989.

My first recollection of going on a holiday was…To Panchgani when I was about five years old. I think Caravan was being made that time. My uncle was directing it, my father producing it. We were staying at the Il Palazzo hotel. I remember I fell down and hit my head. I still have a scar just above my eyebrow. I fell on a stone and was bleeding. Everything's on the ground floor, but on a plinth. So I climbed up these stairs. There was blood flowing down and I couldn't see properly. They were all sitting on the verandah. And they saw me and came rushing. I was bundled off to the doctor in Asha Parekh's car — she had a huge old Impala at the time. At the back, she had these toy dogs, poodle-types. Quite a good memory I have!

The first movie star I remember meeting was…Shashi (Kapoor) uncle.

Shashi Kapoor

I remember we had gone to Mahableshwar for a holiday – this was with Nasirsaab and everyone. We were at Fredrick hotel and Shashi uncle was also staying there — he was shooting for something. His kids Kunal, Karan and Sanjana were also there. I must have been eight or nine. My uncle had bought a caravan. We had gone there in it — a jeep in front towing the van. It was parked at Fredrick hotel. We were all in it and suddenly Shashi uncle's face came on the glass window. And he kind of squished his nose against the windowpane. He was being friendly, peeping inside. His nose had become flat, like a pig's! I remember that visual even now. We were all laughing.

The first house I bought was…In the building I still live in. Virgo Co-Operative Housing Society — it has two buildings Marina and Bella Vista. I've grown up in Marina, where my parents live. Flat 11 in Bella Vista was the first flat I bought myself. I lived there for a good seven-eight years. Now I live back in Marina.

The first salary I got was…Rs 1,000 a month for assistant director to my uncle (Nasir Hussain) for Manzil Manzil. I had been earning money from before that from winning tennis tournaments. I got a whole lot of prize money and gave it to my mom.

The first product I endorsed was…Hero Puch. It was a moped kind of thing. I think that was the first ad I ever did.

The first big premiere I attended was…Yaadon Ki Baarat. I was acting in that. I think I wore some kind of a bow for it. We have photographs somewhere.

The first time I heard that I was going to be a father…Reena and I were in Las Vegas in 1992. I had gone to the US for shows and at the end, we'd gone on holiday. So we were in Las Vegas because I'm very fond of gambling. I don't do it often, but I enjoy it. Reena had a budget for it. I'm telling you a long story, but there's a point to it! Reena said, 'If you lose this much, you have to stop.' I forget the amount, but I finished that in half hour (laughs)! And we were there for three days. So instead, at our hotel Circus Circus, an entire floor was like a carnival with lots of skill games. For two days I played that. I was so into them. I won some 40 stuffed toys!Reena said, 'What are you going to do with them?' I said, 'I'm going take them back home.' She said they wouldn't fit in the suitcase. I said, 'I'll buy a new one, but I'm going to take back every one. I won them for our first kid.' When we came back to India, in a week or two, we got to know Reena was expecting a baby. It was coincidental because when I said that, he had probably been conceived by then, but I didn't know that.

My first best friend was… Lalit Gwalani from school. I have a number of them, but I'm picking my earliest best friend. We were in St Anne's School, Pali Hill. I was there from Class 2, so since then. We're still friends.

The first words my children uttered…For Junaid, it was Dada. I was most pleased about it. The thing is he said Dada only once and then he switched to Mama, so no one believed me. For Ira, I don't remember.

My strong memories of my uncle…He had a great sense of humour. We were constantly at his house. So at night, when he was really sleepy, he used to get up and say, 'Acha bhai, bahut khushi hui aapse milke.' That was a hint to leave!He knew I was interested in acting, but I never put the pressure on him or my dad to produce a film for me. So I used to never discuss the topic. One day, after assisting him for nearly three years, we were at Fariyas Hotel at Khandala for Zabardast's shoot. He met someone after long. So the friend asked him, 'What are you making next?' My uncle said, 'A love story. This guy's in it. My nephew.' I got a shock. I didn't even know if he was serious. But I never asked him. I decided to treat it as a joke. A month after Zabardast released, he called me and said, 'I'm working on a love story and I want you to act in it. That was QSQT.'

Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla in A Scene from QSQT

The first camera I owned…I never owned one! Even now. Kiran has a camera, she clicks. I used to have a video camera when Junaid was born so we got Ira and him on video. But I'm a person who never takes pictures. It's not like we don't have pictures because other people do take them. I don't. But I should have one!

The first actor I idolised…Dilip Kumar. While I was a teenager, we used to watch films every Sunday on television and a lot of them that came on were his. I've been a fan of his since then. Then video came in and I actually could choose what to watch. Ganga Jamuna was my favourite, then Ram Aur Shyam. Then Azaad, this film in which he was on a horse.

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