Acclaimed filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who turned 51 Monday, says he enjoys being "on my own" on his birthday and that he is now more creatively fulfilled than he was at 40.
"Last year, my sister arranged a big surprise 50th birthday party. This year I am in a quiet space," Bhansali said.
"I just want to think and write. I never believed in birthday parties. During childhood my sister and I had no birthday parties. We would take a packet of sweets to school and distribute it to our classmates. That was it.
"We never had birthday parties. Nor were we allowed to go to parties. Now it has become a habit to be on my own on my birthday," he added.
The filmmaker, whose Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela was appreciated last year, feels more creatively fulfilled now than he ever did.
"I feel I am at that stage of my life when all my hardwork, all the knowledge and experiences that I've gathered over the years, have come to fruition. I feel more fulfilled and complete today than I did when I was 40," he said.
He is also rejuvenated.
"I'm more adventurous now. I am more fearless as an artiste. I am working with various kinds of talent. I directed an opera in Paris in 2008. Now I want to do more of the things that I can do if I have a team around me.
"Today I am working harder than I did five years ago. I put in nearly 20 hours every day. And I am enjoying every bit of it," said the filmmaker, credited for films like Black and Guzaarish.
At the moment, Bhansali is producing a massy masala movie titled Gabbar.
"I've grown up in Bhuleshwar. I'd pass through the red light area every day looking at those theatres with those eccentric names. I've grown up with the rowdies and the Gabbars all around me. I loved those movies of the early 1970s near Alfred Talkies.
"The humour in my life even in my in own family was filmy. It's a wonderful thing to go back to these titles," he said.
Of his life so far, the bachelor said: "All the pain, suffering, love passion and conflict have made me what I am.I make passionate love stories because I don't have love in my life. My art completes my life. My life may be unfulfilled. But it isn't unhappy"