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Bollywood dads give their take on what Father's Day means to them

Amitabh Bachchan’s iconic line, “Rishtey mein toh hum tumhare baap lagte hai...” from his 1988 film Shahenshah is often used to celebrate paternal bonds. Industry dads — writer-lyricist Javed Akhtar, filmmakers Mahesh Bhatt and David Dhawan, actors Shakti Kapoor and Jackie Shroff talk about bonding with their equally, and sometimes more, known children.

Varun Dhawan (left) with his father David Dhawan
Varun Dhawan (left) with his father David Dhawan

‘They know Varun more than me’
I now often have to hear, “Woh dekh Varun ka baap!” There is this whole lot of people who know Varun more than me. So I can say Varun has made me a baap indeed! This year Father’s Day could not have come at a better time. There is lots to celebrate for us. Varun’s film ABCD2 has just released. It is about dance and music and today is also World Music Day. Moreover, my other son Rohit begins shooting for his next film, Dishoom. So there is reason enought to celebrate and Father’s Day just added to it.

Mahesh Bhatt (left) with daughter Alia Bhatt
Mahesh Bhatt (left) with daughter Alia Bhatt

‘Why step into Western space?’
First of all, these days are imposed upon us by the West. I often ask myself why we always allow ourselves to step into Western space. I have never asked myself the question, “Baap hone hota kya hai?” It is a momentum of thousands and thousands of years; a role that is played in society. It is a role that is blindly followed for centuries — an emotional connect. My children will tell you what kind of a father I have been. I am a filmmaker, but right now I am in this so-called perfumed space of being known also as Alia Bhatt’s father. She is the new phenomenon, but this is now. I was known as Pooja Bhatt’s father after her film Daddy and that was way back in 1989. Interestingly, today is also International Yoga Day. Many moons ago, I used to do a headstand and ponder about life. I thought I would attain nirvana. I could not, however, reverse anything. Now my wife (Soni Razdan) and other family members do it. I wish them goodluck for their organised freedom and celebrating such days.

Shakti Kapoor (left) and daughter Shraddha Kapoor
Shakti Kapoor (left) and daughter Shraddha Kapoor

‘Shraddha is nothing less than my mother’
They say, ‘Child is the father of man’, but no one said anything about being a mother. On this day, I have to say it. Shraddha’s been taking care of me for years now and at home, we forget our actual roles. She has a major say in the type of roles I do and screams at me if I forget my diet or sleep late. She’s nothing less than my mother.

Tiger Shroff (left) with father Jackie Shroff
Tiger Shroff (left) with father Jackie Shroff

‘Father’s Day begins when you have kids’
For me, Father’s Day began ever since my children Tiger and Krishna were born. Father’s Day begins when you have kids. It is a day that unfolds every single day for me. I was there, around them, when my kids were young as I wanted to see them grow up, rather than grow out. Basically such a day is a commercial venture to make you buy cards and cakes. It is a day I celebrate every day. And this year, there are a lot of celebrations today — Yoga Day and Music Day. So let the celebrations begin. What better than to be happy and in a celebratory mode always?

Javed Akhtar (centre) with his children Zoya (left) and Farhan (right)
Javed Akhtar (centre) with his children Zoya (left) and Farhan (right)

‘For a child, the father is the biggest man in the world’
If there is a Mother’s day, then there has to be a Father’s Day. It may be a Western concept, but then anything good is not bad. For a child, the father is the first male person he interacts with. For him or her, he is the biggest man in the world. Over time, however, this perception changes. As the child grows, he realises that his father is actually not the biggest man in the world. Over the years, the equations change between a father and his children. Today, Farhan and I can share jokes and talk on anything. But I feel there is this awkwardness when it comes to sons to showing affections. Daughters are more reciprocative and openly display their emotions. In the initial years, the father-son bond is strong, but on the later years, the father-daughter bond becomes stronger. For me, my daughter Zoya and son Farhan have always been equal. I read recently in an interview that Zoya gave in which she has stated this. For me, this is the biggest thing I could do for them.”

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