By Subhash K. Jha, October 11, 2009 - 12:32 IST

This evening, Abhishek and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan drove from the location of Mani Ratnam's film Raavan to bring in the family's patriarch's 67th birthday. The Big B would have it no other way. If it's a family celebration then it has to be spent with the family.

Hours before his son and daughter-in-law were to arrive, the Big B in the middle a dozen commitments said, "I shall be with my family in the night to bring in my birthday. Abhishek and Aishwarya shall drive down from location to be with me."

Big B's close friend and adopted brother had already arrived from Delhi to Mumbai for the birthday. "Amar Singhji is here already and Anil and Tina Ambani and Aishwarya's parents Krishnarajji and Vrindaji, will join me. That is it. I am happy when family gets together. The 11th I shall be at home and perhaps a quiet family dinner will follow."

That apart, the Big B insists the birthday would be just another day. "Yes another day another year. I am grateful and feel blessed that it means something special for those around me. The Almighty and the prayers of my loved ones and those of the millions that have supported me are to be thanked. It is because of them that I breathe and exist." Looking back during the year, the mega-star says he has no thoughts on the year that has gone by. "I really have no recollection of what went by. I know what I am doing now. Age does have this adverse effect on one and I am no different from any other. It may seem power- packed for you but for me it is just another day, another job. I endeavour to do what is assigned to me to the best of my ability."

His birthday thoughts are more about the world around him than himself. "I wish, much like all else for there to be peace and harmony. For humans to understand that we are all one and that we all have common characteristics. To understand that all faiths need to be respected, for none of them are different in their beliefs. That we are one nation, united by our independence and our sovereignty. That this world we live in belongs to all of us and we need to protect it for its survival. That a kind word and a smile never did harm anyone. That a fragrant flower decorates our lives more than the vicious odour of hate."