Mumbai, May 1 -- Over a career spanning three decades, 72-year-old star Jeetendra gave Bollywood some of its biggest hits - Caravan (1971), Parichay (1972), Tohfa (1984) and Himmatwala (1983) among them.
On April 30, the governor of Maharashtra, K Sankaranarayanan, acknowledged his contribution to the arts by presenting to him the Dada Saheb Phalke Ratna Award for 2014.
The actor, on his part, is overwhelmed with the honour. "I feel very proud and happy. I'm a small part of the fraternity, and I'm thankful to those who think I'm capable of this. I'm thankful to God and I'm grateful to my family, friends and colleagues without whose support I wouldn't have made it this far," he says.
Although the father of two Bollywood professionals - producer-daughter Ekta Kapoor and actor-son Tusshar Kapoor - has no plans of returning to the big screen, he says he would do it for his children, if they ever asked. "Personally, I don't want to. But if there's something Ekta and Tusshar want me to be part of, I'll do it. Otherwise I'm happy being behindthe-scenes," he reveals.
Looking back at his debut in 1959 (with Navrang) and the films (over 200) that he did in the following years, the actor says, "I've done so many films; I've lived in the studios and not seen another life. I was also insecure about my lower-middle class background, and that's why I worked doubly hard, sometimes three shifts a day, to get that feeling of security."
But today, Jeetendra is in a happy place. He enjoys spending time with his family, and continues to learn from his kids. "I feel I have to take advice from them. They're so with the times. I'm outdated. Times have changed. These kids pay attention to everything; they do their homework well and their foresight is correct."