By Subhash K. Jha, IANS
Mumbai, Jan 9 (IANS) Super star Amitabh Bachchan feels the proud father when son Abhishek is mobbed by people for autographs, a sign of the success the latter notched up in 2004.
"For me personally it's a great delight when he's recognized more than me on the road.
"At a function recently in Lucknow the reaction to him was much bigger than to me. It was a very proud moment for me.
"When we go out together I like it when people run up to him first for autographs, with girls screaming his name... Sometimes they just go past me, which is very depressing."
For the first time the senior Bachchan admits he sees a marked improvement in his son as an actor.
"As a father I'm very excited, more for the fact that he has gradually improved as a performer. Jaya and I were criticised for not launching him. I admit we did nothing for Abhishek. We didn't have the resources or expertise to launch him.
"But we're proud of him because he learnt to stand on his own feet. We let him fall and get up. He has learnt from his mistakes and continues to do so. He's now walking. Hopefully he'll soon run. He has a long way to go.
"But yes, there's a vast growth in him as an actor. That's encouraging. I'm happy 'Dhoom' has got him the confidence of success. But I wouldn't call that a performance-oriented film when compared with 'Yuva' or 'Phir Milenge'. But it's a racy film and has gone to the number one slot for 2004."
Admitting that his family went through moments of great anguish for the son's career, Bachchan explains: "See, in this profession there're bound to be ups and downs. But yes, it's disturbing to see your own child go through the turmoil of failure.
"You want him to be happy and successful always. But we're a fairly sensible family. We face every day as a struggle. That's what my father taught us. Some days will be good, others bad for Abhishek. Jaya and I are very happy for him."
In Karan Johar's chat show "Koffee With Karan", almost every actress in a spot-poll voted the senior Bachchan sexier than the junior.
"Ha! They must've suffered from collective memory lapse, or something," jokes Bachchan.
"I'm way past the age of consent, though I must tell you I'm playing quite a ladies' man in Karan Johar's next project where I again co-star with Abhishek. So bring on the babes!"