On Akshay Kumar’s Birthday, We Look Back at his Life in Old Delhi
On Akshay Kumar’s birthday, we look back at his childhood in Old Delhi’s Chandni Chowk.
Much before his action-packed appearances on the silver screen, Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar was known for his naughty ways in Old Delhi. Fondly remembered as Raju in the serpentine lanes of Chandni Chowk, Akshay would frequently come over to his maternal grandmother’s one-bedroom apartment at Chatta Madan Gopal, where he spent a large part of his childhood.
Ahead of the Akshay’s birthday, The Quint visited the same lane in Chandni Chowk that was once the Khiladi’s happy abode.
Vijay Sharma was barely five to six-years-old, when Akshay would fly kites, play at a local Dharamshala and even make a dash from his favorite savory in Chatta Madan Gopal. He remembers Akshay as a “dynamic and energetic” kid, who has managed to remain the same, even today.
Standing outside the first floor apartment of Akshay’s grandmother, Vijay points at the locked terrace where the star once flew kites. “He would run up these stairs to fly kites in the evening. But now the house is locked and no one from his family stays here.”
The joint family that lives on the ground floor hasn’t seen Akshay in years, but never misses even one of his movie. The last movie that Nandini Sharma watched was Gold, which she liked quite a bit. Sharma says Akshay was a naughty kid and would often be scolded by her late mother-in-law.
He would play and make ruckus here. What would your mother-in-law tell him? She would ask him to behave himself. He would punch the walls and the doors leading upto the stairway and my mother-in-law would worry that he’d break the house.Nandini Sharma
Nandini’s neighbor Vijaya remembers Akshay as a humble human being, who had left his food, just to entertain her kinds. “My kids call him chocolate boy.” she says.
Fit as he is, Akshay was a big foodie in his childhood, says Vijay Sharma. Since Akshay’s grandmother’s house was close to Chandni Chowk’s Parathe Wali Gali, Akshay obvious had quite a few shops to choose from. His personal favourite, however, was the Langori Halwa at Kedarnath Nath Premchand Halwai.
Residents of Chatta Madan Gopal say it’s been a long time since they’ve seen Raju. They all wish that Akshay does even better in the years to come, while hoping to meet him sometime soon in the future.
(This story is from The Quint's archives and is being republished on Akshay Kumar's birthday)
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