In 1998 Mahesh Bhatt directed Zakhm starring Ajay Devgn. Based on communal tension between two communities, the film won Ajay a national award. What many did not know was the fact that the film was based on Bhatt’s own life that explored the relationship between him and his mother. Twenty years later and Mahesh has touched upon the topic once again. This time, like he usually is, Bhatt is both clear and upfront. The man who has always accepted his flaws with dignity, spoke about him being an illegitimate child of a single mother and connected it to his understanding of fatherhood.
In an interview with HT, the man spoke about his faint memories of a father figure in his life which are next to negligible because he says, “I never really had one. I have no worthwhile memories of my father, therefore no idea of what a father’s role should be. I am the bastard-child of a single Muslim mother, of Shirin Mohammed Ali.”
He adds, "I remember asking my mother what the meaning of my name was. She said, I’ll ask your father, he’s the one who named you. So, I waited until the next time he came around and said that Mahesh meant ‘Maha-Eesh’ the God of gods. But as a child I didn’t like this angry God who beheaded his own son. I’d have much preferred to be named after Ganesha. I used to sleep with a little Ganesha under my pillow as a child, he was my favourite deity. Just like Ganesha’s father, my father was a stranger to me. He was absent."
His own experiences have shaped him into an understanding father to his own kids today. While, he admits that he too has been absent for his kids for a long time, today, he expresses utmost happiness to see his children, especially Pooja Bhatt and Alia Bhatt shine in the film industry.