Aamir with Farzana (circled) and her two sons
Cooking for Aamir Khan had been a privilege for Farzana Sheikh for 18 years, but for the first time, her family is left with a bitter taste in their mouth, as the 50-year-old is being grilled by the police about the jewellery that was reported missing from the actor’s home. “Is this what she is getting after so many years of loyalty?” questioned her mother Kesar Begum.
Farzana’s mother Kesar and sons Arbaaz and Shabaaz at their Khar home. Pic/Poonam Bathija
The missing jewellery belongs to Aamir’s wife and filmmaker Kiran Rao, and is valued at around Rs 80 lakh to Rs 1 crore. mid-day had reported yesterday that a case of theft was registered at Khar police station on November 24, and the prime suspects were the star couple’s staff, including Farzana, who has spent over two decades in service to Aamir.
Aamir Khan at the airport with his wife Kiran and their cook Farzana (circled), who followed the actor on all his shoots
Never went home
Farzana was so dedicated that she would never go home, not even during the month of Ramadan. “Even during Ramadan, she never used to come home; we had to go meet her at Aamir’s house. That’s how loyal she is to her work. And this is what she is getting in return,” said Farzana’s mother, Kesar Begum (78).
Kiran Rao and Aamir Khan
Now this very dedication is the reason why Farzana is among the prime suspects, which also includes Kiran’s assistant Suzanna and the domestic help Jhumki. All three were the only staffers who lived at the actor’s Bandra home and were trusted enough to have round-the-clock access to the entire house.
In their attempt to find some clues, the police turned up at Farzana’s family home and went through all their belongings. “They even searched the containers in which we keep daal, but found nothing. I am scared, because I don’t want the police to manhandle or hurt my daughter. I have faith in Farzana — she would never do something like this,” added Kesar, who was once also an employee in Aamir’s household.
While Kesar was a cleaner at the actor’s house, her brother and son have also worked for him. “Farzana has been at Aamir’s house ever since she was eight years old. For a few years, she went to work in Singapore with her sister, but after returning, she has been cooking for Aamir for 18 years straight. They (the Khans) have always treated her as their own, then why are the cops questioning her for hours on end every day?” questioned Kesar.
Farzana’s sister echoed, “My sister has been working there for so many years, and today, she is being taken to the police station every day for questioning. Is this what we get for being loyal for so many years? Hamein Aamir Khan se yeh ummeed nahi thi.”
Followed him everywhere
Whether it was in India or abroad, Aamir would never leave for shoots without Farzana, recalled her younger son Syed Arbaaz Ali (18). “He loves her cooking so much that he cannot do without it. She Farzana knows his diet perfectly, and cooks for him accordingly. Whether it was for Dhoom 3, for which she went to Chicago with him, or even for Dangal, for which she went to Punjab, my mother would follow him everywhere. He follows a very strict diet and breaks it only once a week, and only so he can taste the kebabs that my mother makes.”
The Khar police have been carrying out their investigation since last week, but have not revealed the nature of stolen items, or the exact date of the theft. According to sources, all of the superstar’s former and current house help — including the driver who used to drive Aamir’s mom in Pune — have been roped in for questioning. “The police have been asking us how many years ago did we buy gold jewellery, who are the unknown numbers calling on our phones, and why was Farzana in Singapore. How can we keep a record of all this? said Kesar.
Despite several attempts to contact Kiran, she remained unavailable for comment.