Ajay Devgn: I consider film award events as software for television
Ajay Devgn, who was honoured with the Padma Shri yesterday, felt a tad zoned out when he touched down in New Delhi just hours before the high profile felicitation event. The actor flew into the country after almost three months — he had been shooting in Bulgaria and before that, in Portugal, for his upcoming directorial venture, 'Shivaay'.
President Pranab Mukherjee presents the Padma Shri to Ajay Devgn at the Padma Awards 2016 function at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Monday. Pic/PTI
Says Devgn, "I landed in Delhi post 2 am. We got to the hotel much later and I had to be at the Rashtrapati Bhavan before 11 am. In Bulgaria, it's freezing cold and here, it is terribly hot. Three months of cold still makes me feel the chills."
The star's aversion to awards ceremonies is well known, but the Padma awards hold a different meaning altogether for him. He admits, "I do not go for film award events because I consider them as software for television. The Padma honour is in a different league. It is the highest civilian honour given to achievers from different fields. You are truly recognised for what you are."
His actress-wife Kajol and children Nysa (12) and Yug (5), who were with him in Bulgaria, did not accompany him to the ceremony. "They headed to Mumbai, but they were even more excited than I am. They felt it was a huge deal — visiting the Rashtrapati Bhavan; there is an aura around it. It is a formal affair with several luminaries around. When you go up on the stage and receive the honour from the President who congratulates you, you are filled with national pride."
The actor also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the event. He adds. "I also interacted with archer Deepika Kumari who was honoured there." The youngster, on her part, had a fangirl moment with her matinee idol.
Ajay Devgn had picked up the suit he wore on the occasion in Bulgaria. "Since I was busy with my shoot, I had told my film designer Niharika Bhasin to shop for it in Bulgaria," he adds. The actor reveals the overseas shoot of 'Shivaay', which is slated for a Diwali release, is finally complete. "A shooting stint in Mumbai will follow soon," he signs off.