Kunal Vijayakar, Actor and foodie
What’s your earliest memory?
I must have been about two. I remember sitting on the kitchen window eating boiled potatoes with my mother and waving out to my father.
How has your family influenced you?
The way you behave, the way you think… all depend on how you are brought up. My family was liberal and not deeply religious. My father died when I was very young and so my family comprised my mother, my sister, my grandfather and grandmother. My grandfather loved life, food, music, partying and having a good time. My grandmother was a simple woman who was devoted to my grandfather and totally dependent on him — so much so that when my grandfather died when I was 21, she didn’t know what face powder she had been using and even what her bra size was! All her shopping used to be done by my grandfather. My mother was like a filmi mother who really made major sacrifices for us. My father died when I was eight years old and she had to do what she never expected to do — go out and work and bring up me and my sister, who is six years younger.
Are you religious?
I’m terribly secular. I guess I’m like my grandfather. One never figured out if he was deeply religious though he prayed every morning. We used to go to a dargah on Mondays, to Prabhadevi temple to pray to our family deity on Wednesdays and to Mount Mary on Sundays. So I grew up with all religions though I am a Hindu.
What would you change about yourself?
I’d like to become a little healthier. I’m overweight and that’s not good as I’m still recovering from a bad car accident I had five years ago, and I have continuous pain in my hip. I’d also love to stop smoking. I used to be extremely impatient and intolerant. I think I have, to a large extent, licked that because I realised that I am the only person who gets affected. So now I try to be like the Buddha!
What’s your take on love and marriage?
Love and marriage are wonderful if you’re lucky to find it. We’ve seen our parents and grandparents having great marriages and I’m a great propagator of the idea of love and marriage. I’m not married because I haven’t found somebody to marry. But it’s not as though I sit down and think: ‘Oh, I’m not married! What will I do when I’m 80?’