We all know him as the impeccable actor, who brings to life unforgettable characters on screen. We give you a peek into Boman the father and the bond he shares with his two sons
By Shashwathi Bhanukumar
Boman Irani has essayed myriad roles both in films and real life – starting his career as a waiter, managing his family business, then as a photographer and a theatre person. As the stern Dr JC Asthana in the film Munna Bhai M.B.B.S or the egotistical Viru Sahastrabuddhe (Virus) in 3 Idiots, he has beautifully brought these characters to life on screen. He is one of those rare character actors who stands out, no matter what the star cast, and he holds his own.
But there is one favourite role – that of doting father and friend to his two sons, Kayoze and Danesh -- that he plays to perfection. In an interview with ParentCircle, Boman talks about his friendship with his two sons, bonding with them over PlayStation, and why being happy is the most important quality.
Q. Your son Kayoze has said that you are more of a 'friend' than a father. What kind of bond do you share with your two sons?
A. Usually, in a father-son relationship, people often say that there will be many differences. They are never alike. But in our case, it is not like that – we have the same tastes, the same likes and dislikes; that is why we are more like friends. We bond over the same kind of movies, listen to the same kind of music, watch the same TV shows, things like that. For example, I like my 70s music -- we used to listen to a lot of Bob Dylan and the Beatles; my sons may not like it that much, but they will listen to it and appreciate the music along with me. They love listening to stories about Bob Dylan and all that. We also watch YouTube videos together.
Q. You are known to be an emotional person. What has been your most emotional moment as a father?
A. There are two instances – becoming a father and when your child comes to you for guidance. When I first realised that I have become a father, that in itself, was a very emotional moment for me. It does not strike you immediately in the hospital when they come and announce, “Mubarak ho...ladka hua hain (congrats, it’s a boy).” The first few days you are running around, making arrangements. All that you worry about at that moment is the health of the mother and the child. But, after a few days, when you get home and look into the eyes of the child, you realise you are a father. That is when you feel emotional.
The second time you get emotional is when your child grows up and comes to you for advice. He may have a moustache, he may look tough, but, there is a certain vulnerability when he comes only to you for advice – not his friends or grandparents or anyone else, but you. That makes you feel really emotional.
Q. We heard that you get 'nervous' when you are at home. Why is that?
A. I get restless, not exactly nervous. When I'm tired of working for a long time, I take breaks. Sometimes, after relaxing at home for two days, I just cannot sit around. I have to get out of the house then and work. I don't like sitting idle.
Q. Do you check on your children often when they are out and ask them “Where are you?”
A. That’s what friends do, right? I check on them once in a while, I am not ashamed of that. I would do that with all my friends – just call to check what they are doing; sometimes people think that their friends will be busy, so they should not call them. But in friendship, you should not have these rules. You feel like calling them, you should. When it comes to my children, I am also worried about their safety. I want to know that they are okay. That is why I call them once in a while.
Q. It is a known fact that you have achieved success the hard way. What are the values and principles with which you have brought up your two sons?
A. I have said this on various platforms. I always appreciate the people on the sets who work very hard. When you are hardworking and have the right amount of energy, you will never fail in life. Honesty and integrity should be there, but hard work is really important. I always tell my sons two things – be the most hardworking person and also, the happiest person on the set. You may work very hard, but if you are giving others a difficult time, no one would want to work with you.
Q. What advice do your sons come to you for?
A. I can't tell you that now. There are so many things (pauses). It could be related to career or it could be something personal. They come to me for just about anything.
Q. Do you also take advice from your sons?
A. Of course, I do. We always go to our friends when we need advice. But there are times when they themselves need advice. They are not in the right mindset to give us advice. Sometimes, my sons give me advice even without asking (laughs).
Q. What activities do you indulge in as a family?
A. Our family is big on planning. We love planning everything in advance and we actually keep logbooks for all our plans. We plan for the next year – what needs to be finished, when is our next vacation, what should be our goals and so on. We might not stick to the plans completely but we are definitely big planners! We also love playing with our PlayStation. In fact, we bond a lot over PS4 and compete against each other. We also love playing FIFA games and binge-watching movies together.
Q. Boman as a father or Boman as a grandfather - which is the role that you prefer more?
A. That is actually a very difficult question. I enjoy both my roles, so I cannot really answer that.
Q. Have you ever given any kind of parenting advice to your son Danesh, who is himself a father now?
A. I don’t need to, because he knows what to do. I do not have to teach him anything. He says that he has learnt how to handle things. Children, after an age, they know what to do and they really do not need your advice.
Q. Kayoze is also in the same profession as you are. What was the advice that you gave him on the first day of his shoot? Do you rehearse together?
A. Both my sons are in the same profession. Danesh works for Dharma Productions actually. As I said earlier, the only thing I tell them is to work hard and respect everyone else on the sets; that is all. Another thing I keep telling my sons is that no matter what, always look and be happy on the sets, because no one likes to work with people who are sad. That is really important. And yes, of course, I do rehearse with them at times.
Q. A father's role is evolving now, from being a mere bread-winner to being more hands-on and emotionally connected. What do you think?
A. I don’t think the concept of breadwinner applies only to the men; women are also breadwinners. They manage the house and work and everything. In fact, I feel they are much more capable than us. As far as a hands-on dad is concerned, I used to love being one. But, now that my children are all grown up, I'm not a hands-on dad anymore.
Q. You became an actor at a later stage of your life. What was your family's reaction to this?
A. It happened all of a sudden, so there was no time to react. But, does that mean, something has changed? Definitely not. Fame is good but it does not change you as a person. However famous you get, you remain the same person.
Q. What is your advice to all other fathers?
I think in this entire interview, there lies an underlying message. Some parents prefer to not be close to their children and bring them up in a certain way; that is their decision. As a father, your job is to bring them up with integrity and as gentlemen.
Q. Any special message for your children?
A. Tell them I'm beating them in PS4 right now. (Laughs)
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