Alyque Padamsee memoir: I have tried to be a good husband...a good current father

Updated: 18 November, 2018 12:24 IST | Team mid-day | Mumbai

In his 1999 memoir, Alyque Padamsee speaks of helming a large extended family, including three partners and four children

With Dolly Thakore
With Dolly Thakore

So our family, which was already a large one to begin with, became even bigger once everyone started getting married and having children and in-laws. And every Wednesday and Sunday, my mother insisted that all the families and in-laws come over for dinner. On Sunday, it was lunch plus dinner. And this was every single Wednesday and every single Sunday, unbroken for almost 10 years. My mother was a great one for keeping the family together. She believed the family that breaks bread together stays together.

Unfortunately, it all broke up, principally, because of my marriage to Pearl. Which my mother never expected. Then the family began to fall apart. I feel quite guilty about that, but I'm glad I stuck to my principles. [Thank god for Miss Murphy and her Irish backbone.]

With Sharon Prabhakar
With Sharon Prabhakar

I'm also happy to say that my own separate families are now a kind of big 'joint family'. I know I have not been a good father in the sense that I've been divorced, separated from my ladies twice. But yet, Raell, who is my daughter from my first wife, Pearl; Ranjit, Pearl's son from her first husband; Quasar, my son from Dolly; and Shazahn, Sharon's and my daughter... after some years of misunderstanding, today, can eat together at the same table, go to the theatre together and laugh and joke together. I guess you can say that I'm a very lucky man.

Completely unlike me, all my children are very gentle. Raell has inherited the Padamsee good looks which come from my father's side of the family. Her most striking feature is her shy smile which indicates a very gentle approach to life and certainly to the children in her drama school. Quasar has not only inherited his father's height, he's also inherited his father's academic capabilities. Like me, he too is not a very good student, but he loves to read and is absorbed with ideas.

He has directed the St Xavier's annual play on two occasions, and is captain of the college cricket team. Shazahn has a combination of her mother Sharon's and her aunt Jerry's good looks, but mercifully, she's growing up with no intention of becoming a fashion model: instead, she's busy writing and directing plays with the neighbourhood's kids. Ranjit, my foster son, has always been a delightful sprite of a human being. An impish person, both in size and personality, he's quick-witted and charming, and has carved out an impressive international film career for himself as Ranjit Chowdhry.

I've tried to be a good ex-husband. And I've tried to be a good current father. Though he's my foster son, Ranjit is as important to me as Raell, Quasar and Shazahn. I love them all and I try to show it. Extracted with permission from A Double Life: My Exciting Years in Theatre and Advertising by Penguin Random House India.

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First Published: 18 November, 2018 07:54 IST

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