Friday 18 August 2017 News Updated at 03:08 AM IST
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Growing up with Munnabhai - Deccan Herald
Growing up with Munnabhai
Heera Nawaz,
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My brother, Munna Nawaz, and I are inseparable like twins, though we are not, for he is a year (and several mentalities!) older than me. We can understand, discern and empathise with each other's lifestyle and responsibilities though we are now on opposite sides of the globe. My brother is also known for his undying love for Bollywood movies.

I was studying in Bishop Cotton Girls' School way back in the 1970s, while my brother was studying in Bishop Cotton Boys' School. At that time, actor-comedian Mehmood was a rage and his two sons were also studying in the Boys' school. The principal at that time announced that the movie, Kunwara Baap, would be shot entirely at the school premises and that they required 'extras.' My brother immediately gave his name. He used to tell me that for days on end, the playgrounds were filled with the movie production unit that was shooting scenes until they turned out perfectly.

Finally, when all the shooting and editing was over, the movie was released in theatres. It turned out to be a critically-acclaimed box office hit since it was a 'feel good', inspirational movie. The day we went to the theatres to watch it, my brother brought with him binoculars (not a telescope, thankfully!) We remained riveted to the screen following the gripping tale of a crippled boy (Mehmood's son in real life) who gets adopted.

When my brother Munna appeared on screen (as an 'extra') in one of the scenes, he whipped out his binoculars and flung it at me, shouting, "Take a look at me, fast! This is my moment in the sun!" He was, however, so insignificant that if it hadn't been for the binoculars, I would have totally missed him! Talk of a 'blink-and-miss' moment!

My brother's tryst with movies did not end there. In the year 2003, Rajkumar Hirani directed the movie, Munnabhai, MBBS followed by Lage Raho Munnabhai a few years later. Movies do mention before the credits that resemblance to any person in real life is entirely co-incidental. However, the movie's protagonist, played by actor Sanjay Dutt, had a similar attitude to my brother who was very mischievous but good at heart too.

My brother - an NRI, who happened to visit India during this time - told me, "Everywhere I go, people keep calling me not Munna, but Munnabhai. So, before I was only your brother, but now I'm everybody's brother!"

Since blood is thicker than water, I daresay that in the absence of my parents (both of whom have expired), my brother is the next closest of kin. I am lucky because he is sensitive, caring and is devoted to a fault. Earlier, he was the perfect son to my father, but now with his wife and son in his life, he is the perfect family man. And may I add, with tears in my eyes, he is also the best elder brother one could ever have, for he has given me valuable lessons for a lifetime, not only those from Bollywood!