Jamai Raja!

Tuesday, 22 April 2014 - 7:20am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

Shah Rukh Khan, Imran Khan and Vivek Oberoi's moms-in-law talk about their famous sons-in-law

'I had no reservations' Vandana Malik (Imran Khan's mother-in-law)
First meeting: I knew Imran for quite a while, even before he and my daughter Avantika started dating each other. I knew of him through a common friend who's also a friend of his uncle Mansoor Khan. I met him for the first time when he came over at our home. Imran and Avantika were missing for a couple of hours and both his mom Nuzhat and I were wondering whether the two of them had taken off. My first impression of him was that he was a mature, responsible boy even though he didn't speak a word. He was all of 19 but he wasn't like other boys his age. He was a little restrained and shy. There was a very interesting vibe about him.
For a long time both they were good friends. He would come home and hang around with her other friends. Their friendship developed far more slowly and then the realisation that they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together dawned. Once they decided they wanted to get married, our families met. To use a cliche: Their marriage was destined to happen. They are a perfect for each other. Imran is reserved while Avantika is vivacious.

Initial reservations: I never had any reservations about Imran though I knew he wanted to be an actor. He always had a certain confidence about him, not by word but simply by the kind of person he is. I have seen him grow up. I joke with his mom that she should start a finishing school for boys because of the wonderful way he has turned out to be. The first student of that school would have been my son Vedant. Nuzhat has done such a wonderful job of bringing Imran up. I knew acting is a very demanding and challenging profession but I was never worried about my daughter because of the kind of person that he is. Being in an industry like this, I am protective of him because he is not manipulative at all. For someone as simple and sensitive as him with the values in the right place, to manoeuver his way in Bollywood is tough.

His DNA: I just think that he's a very calm and patient person. For his age, Imran is very mature and balanced. What I find really charming about him is that nothing ruffles him. He knows how to contain his happiness as much as he does his disappointment and balances them out. Imran knows what is important in his life. His extended family is what really matters and that the rest is part and parcel of his life. Maybe this balance has something to do with his unorthodox upbringing. Nuzhat has been the biggest influence in his growing years and she has never conformed to what the world thinks is correct. She never insisted that he must finish must finish his BA and MBA etc. Somewhere she realised that he's a special child and needs to be brought up differently. I wish more parents would like her... She gave him wings to fly. And yet he is the most knowledgeable boy I have seen in my life. If there's something I don't know he will Google on his iPad and give me the answer in 10 seconds.

Being Imran: Imran is a very selfless person. My son Vedanta in his growing up years was a very confused boy. Imran saw his struggle and guided him. He told him to finish 12th standard. Vedant was also very plump in college. In his own silent way Imran made sure that Ved started losing weight. Both he and Aamir got him to assist on Delhi Belly. That was a turning point in Ved's life. Imran somewhere saw his own struggle in Ved though he was very mature at his age. He has done more for my son than I have as a parent. I see Imran doing little things for his friends so selflessly. His friend Akshay wanted to be an actor and in his first media column Imran wrote so beautifully about him. Imran was so happy for his friend who would his competitor some day down the road. That's a very rare quality.

Family connection: He reminds me so very much of my brother Raghav Behl. It's uncanny they way they are so alike! They are both wonderful and I don't think I would like to change anything about either of them. Criticism doesn't ruffle them but sometimes it makes my blood boil. They are so calm and believe implicitly that if they do the right thing, the right thing will happen to them. They have faith in what they do and that's how they can face challenges with courage.

My son: Imran has given me plenty of gifts of material value but we both are Capricorns and I can see no wrong in us. We are like the mountain goats who keeps climbing steep hills and then has one more to climb. Imran has two mothers. He's been a son to me. That's the biggest gift he's given me.

'He is my son' Savita Chhiba (Shah Rukh Khan's mother-in-law)
First meeting:
I first met Shah Rukh properly in 1991 just before he and Gauri got married. Before that he would often come to our home with my son's friends. He used to play hockey with my son who is a very good hockey player. Initially, we didn't know that he and Gauri were dating. Shah Rukh told my brother that he wanted to marry my daughter. It took some time for me to accept that and how Gauri would adapt to the ways of the film industry and what he would earn as an actor. I was worried. But after their marriage when I went to Mumbai and Shah Rukh took me to the studios I found that life here is so normal. And acting is one of the most secure professions.

Initial reservations: Yes, there were reservations initially. There was a question mark about the married life of famous actors and this lead us to our initial reservation. Shah Rukh alleviated all my doubts once they got married. He has this amazing power to mesmerise you when he talks. That's why he's been so successful all these years. One has to utilise the opportunities given and Shah Rukh has the intelligence to do that. He is truly extraordinary and always takes the correct decisions. He has been a good son-in-law. We are very happy to have him as a son-in-law.

His DNA: He is honest, convincing and deeply affectionate. I love the fact that he was so much in love with Gauri. I knew he would take care of her. Stardom has not changed him at all. In fact, last week he came home (Delhi) for dinner and spent over an hour with my 94-year-old mother. He really loves her and even from of his tight schedule he always manages to come over and and meet naani. She was very happy. Whenever Shah Rukh is in Delhi, he always visits us. If it's for a longer time, he stays with us. For the last 21 years, he has stayed with us. It's amazing the amount of respect he gives us. We are simple, ordinary people and we have values, Shah Rukh has the same values. I thank God 10 times a day to have someone like him who makes our daughter so happy! The only thing I would like to see change about him is that he should quit smoking.

Family connection: He has given love and respect to elders and has provided inspiration to children. He has given me many precious things but the biggest gift I got was during their sangeet when I was sitting in a corner and he came to me, hugged me and said, "Your daughter will be kept like a queen and I give you that guarantee. Gauri will be the happiest woman in the world." I was in the tears. That was the best moment in my life as a mother and till today Shah Rukh has kept that promise. He's a very good human being who has always given a sense of security to all of us. Today I think of him as my son and not son-in-law. Very few people are like that. Whoever meets him, loves him.

I feel so reassured with him around-- Nandini Alva (Vivek Oberoi's mother-in-law)
First meeting:
I remember it vividly. I first met Vivek in Mumbai with his parents Suresh and Yashodhara at the JW Marriott hotel. The meeting had been arranged through his aunt who lives in Bangalore. We have some common friends too - one of my cousin's is married to someone in his family. It was an arranged-cum-love marriage. First we met and then Vivek and Priyanka met two months later.

Initial reservations: Yes, of course initially we had reservations. But after we met him for the first time, all that melted away. We were pleasantly surprised to see what a non-filmi family they are. His mother is so elegant and Sureshji is an actor we have always admired. But they are all so down-to-earth and normal people. That family is totally untouched by the industry they are in. I've known them foue years now.Sureshji and Yashodhara are so protective about their children and refuse to let them get affected by fame and success. They are like a regular North Indian household.

His DNA: There's a unique honesty about Vivek which is very charming. There is no pretense whatsoever. At heart he's a very simple guy, and yet very jovial and full of fun.I have already seen him evolve and become more comprehensive and a thinking person than what he used to be. Vivek is multi-faceted personality. Today I think of him as one of my children, my eldest son and I am overly protective of him because of his honesty and his lack of pretence. He can be easily taken for a ride as he's too trusting. Sometimes I think Vivek's greatest asset is his acting talent and I am constantly nagging him to hone his talent and never lose heart. As a classical dancer it took me 30 years of practice and devotion to establish myself in my art. Vivek has an inborn talent. Being a performing artist myself he's very close to my heart.I keep goad him to do more and more. We both share a keen interest in business so we spend a lot of time studying and discussing socially relevant projects. He hardly feels like a son-in-law but more like an older son and it's a very beautiful feeling. I feel so reassured with him around.

Family matters: My grandson Vivan Vir is the joy of our lives. I see so much of Vivek in him and he helps me to visualize what Vivek was in his childhood. Vivan Vir has really bonded the families together. He is a perfect mix of my daughter Priyanka and Vivek. It's a great joy see all of them together. When you see your children with pure love and their child reflects that pure love it's a clear indicacation of the respect and value that the parents have for each other. Vivek and Priyanka are so much in love. He has adapted so beautifully as a family member. He participates in the smallest of functions from Holi to pujas and is the greatest suport and encouragement for me. As families we have found great similarities in our value system.

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