On Friendship Day, he opens up about his childhood friends (and Ajay) whom he has known for the last 33 years.
Rohit Shetty started his career in Bollywood at 17 as an assistant director with Kuku Kohli with Phool Aur Kaante (which also happen to be his buddy Ajay Devgn’s debut film). And while people know about his friendship with AJ and the blockbuster hits they have given together, very few know about his friends from outside Bollywood.
“Some of them are not from the film industry. There’s Prasad, Amrish and Bhaskar, who are all in different professions and they are all my childhood friends since my school days in Dahisar, where I used to stay with my grandmother. I met them when I was 10 years old and have been friends since.”
People feel that when one achieves fame, one leaves the past behind. With me, it has never happened that way. These guys have been with me since the last 33 years and nothing has changed between us in that time. I didn’t leave my roots behind and carry forward different people who came into my life. I am still there with them and I am happy and content.
Prasad and I are now partnering in a construction business in Dahisar together. They take care of everything and I have full faith in them. When we do business together, there is no agreement between us as there’s complete trust between us. We just talk on the phone if we need to discuss anything and that’s it.
Just don’t change
I have known them for so many years. I think the basic formula for friendship to last for years is that you don’t change. When they come and talk to me, we have the same equation that we had years ago. The only thing that’s changed now is the fact that they ask for a time now to meet up (laughs). I think the best part of our friendship is that we don’t take it for granted.
In Bollywood, I know Ajay (Devgn) is one guy who will stand by me whenever I need him. Sanju (Sanjay Dutt) is another. I love them. I know Ajay (Devgn) since the last 26 years. With him, even if there’s some work to be done, if I tell his staff or my staff, I know it will happen, so I don’t worry. That understanding is there between us — he will ask Kumarji (Kumar Mangat Pathak) to me — ‘Unko bolna ki kaam ho jayega.’ There is an unspoken understanding between us.”
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