Recently, when veteran filmmaker Raj Kumar Kohli’s son Armaan Kohli got into trouble with the law, the frail ailing father was seen plodding in and out of courtrooms trying to get his son off the hook. It was heart-breaking to see the 90-year father looking out for his 45-year-old son.
Shatrughan Sinha, himself a protective father to two sons and a star-daughter Sonakshi Sinha, thinks it’s only natural for parents to remain concerned about their children even when the kids have passed way beyond the age of consent. “It happens in every profession. But when we (entertainers) do it, it’s called nepotism. The trick is to know where and when to stop being intrusive. You can’t be expected to be advising your children after they grow up. They have their own lives. I can only be there for them when they need me.”
Adds Rishi Kapoor, “My son and daughter are independent individuals with minds of their own. If today I was to behave like Pran Saab in Bobby (interfering to the point of bullying), my kids would laugh in my face. Today, parental intervention is permissible only to the point where the kids respect your opinion.”
Rakesh Roshan and Hrithik Roshan are friends. “We’re very close. And yes, we’re friends. But, there is still that respect in him for me. He can never cross the line. If I enter a room while he is relaxing, he will spring to his feet. He is still the same hard-working boy who wraps his omelette in a newspaper and rushes to his shooting in the morning. That kind of dedication is very rare. Any director including me is lucky to have him on board. He is fully with the director. He makes no distinction between working with me and working with an outside director. He is equally involved in both cases. He can work with outside directors. But, I’d never work with any other actor, unless I am making an out-and-out heroine-oriented film like Khoon Bhari Maang. I might be tempted to make a film with a female protagonist. But only if Hrithik is too busy to work with me.”
Varun Dhawan’s father, the prolific filmmaker David Dhawan, is very proud to have a son who’s selfmade. “I could’ve easily launched Varun in the best of projects. But, he was determined to make it on his own. ‘Papa, I don’t want people to say I used your name to become successful,’ he told me, and I was so proud of him. He got Karan Johar’s Student Of The Year on his own and agreed to work with me only when he was established (as a leading man). The kind of work he is doing makes me very proud. Of course, I am there for both my sons Rohit (a filmmaker) and Varun. But, they take their own decisions in their career and their life.”
Writer Salim Khan, Salman Khan’s father, has no qualms about protecting his 53-year old son’s interests. Apparently, every single penny that Salman earns is given over to his father. Says Salim saab, “All parents are protective of their children. I am equally protective of all my three sons. But because Salman is Salman, it seems more apparent in his case.”
Writer- lyricist Javed Akhtar says he is protective of both his children Farhan Akhtar and Zoya Akhtar. “I share different equations with Farhan and Zoya. With Farhan, I speak man-to-man. Obviously, I can’t do the same with Zoya. Zoya takes her own decisions. She takes my opinion seriously. I am proud to say there is no sign of my work in Zoya’s work. In Zoya, I see a lot of myself. I think she has a logical mind. She thinks out of the box and doesn’t get easily swayed by others’ opinions. She comes to her own conclusions in life and sticks by them. I must confess I am not as transparent and straightforward as she is. What would I like to give my daughter Zoya? I’d like to give anything she desires and every happiness in the world. Both my children Farhan and Zoya make me extremely happy and proud. Zoya doesn’t have one dishonest bone in her entire body. She just doesn’t lie. That’s an amazing trait. Right from her childhood, Zoya called a spade a spade. There is a very strong sense of objectivity to her. She doesn’t give in to arguments just to maintain peace. She will make a point about what is right, and that’s it. She won’t make an issue of it…Whom am I closer to among my two children? It’s very difficult to decide. Suppose I was to ask you whom are you closer to among your two parents what would you say?”