Akshay Kumar: 'India is in my heart'

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Mumbai, Aug. 15 -- Despite being unwell and having a number of commitments lined up for the day, followed by a special screening later, Akshay Kumar sportingly agreed to participate in our Independence Day shoot.

He says he has "India in his heart" and "patriotism in his blood". "Independence Day is, of course, special, but you don't need a particular day to be patriotic," says the 46-year-old, whose father, incidentally, was an army officer.

Akshay, who grew up in old Delhi, remembers going to the Red Fort every August 15, to experience the vibe on the "proud day". He says, "I clearly remember playing cricket around the Lal Quila, but on this day, they would ask us to vacate the place. 'Chalo, galli mein jaake khelo, security badh gayi hai,' they would tell us. We would still go to see the spirit."

Although he has come a long way from those days, Akshay loves sharing those memories with his kids. "I tell my son Aarav about how it was back then, and he says, 'Yes, this is the eighth time you are telling me this story!'"