It’s about 3 Small Bs. And Farah Khan is simply crazy about them. Choreographer, director and now, mum-to-be? What role does Farah like playing best?
The director has been juggling insane deadlines to get her film Om Shanti Om out on schedule.
“Post-production is still on, and in between deadlines for the film, I have to go for medical checkups, get a sonography done, and I’m also supposed to take bed rest,” she says.
Blue and white stripes covered the bulge, belying the fact that Farah’s pregnant with not one, but three babies.
“It will be four months now, and I’m sure they’re kicking each other inside, but I can’t feel them yet. I did catch a glimpse of them on the sonography, and one was hugging the other, while the third seemed to be kicking and hitting out.”
It’s hard to imagine 43-year-old Farah — the blunt, outspoken woman, who has reached the upper echelons of Bollywood through sheer determination and hard work — as a mother.
“Farah the mother will be the best story. People feel I scream and shout too much, but I am a maternal person.”
Farah and her husband Shirish were influenced by Rhonda Byrne’s book, The Secret — a self-help bestseller, which claims that we can harness the power of thought to change our lives.
“We were putting our thoughts out into the universe. When the doctor told us that it was likely we were pregnant with twins, Shirish and I got around to thinking: ‘Why stop at twins. We want triplets’.
So, for two weeks, we imagined having three babies. And when we went for the tests, I knew I’d be having three children.”
And that’s Farah’s life philosophy: When you want something badly enough, the universe will give it to you. It’s also the predominant theme of Om Shanti Om.
Half-Parsi, half-Muslim, Farah married Shirish, a Hindu. But religion will not play a large part in how Farah brings up her children:
“I am hoping that by the time my kids grow up, religion is going to be outdated. My dad never forced us to say namaaz, and my mum never forced us to go to the Firetemple. The choice was ours. My children will have the same freedom. I want what all parents want their children to be — happy, honest and independent. It’s the best we can do.”
Farah didn’t have what many would call a ‘normal’ childhood.
“Ours was a little more traumatic than normal because it was a filmi family. It was a riches-to-rags story. My parents were living separately. None of my friends was allowed to come over. We didn’t want anyone to know. My mother was only 19 when she had me, and I was raised by my grandmother. But when I look back now, we had happy times. My brother Sajid and I were together most of the time.”
It’s this, says Farah, that made her independent, and helped her understand the value of money. She never got pocket-money every weekend, but earned it by giving tuition.
Motherhood for Farah is a whole new ball-game, one that she’s excited about.
“My babies haven’t even come out, and I feel so much love for them. They say that God can’t be everywhere; so, they created mothers. I truly believe that.”
But Farah doesn’t believe in endless apron-strings when it comes to mothers and their offspring. “The men in India take the mother complex a bit too far,” she says.
“Mothers are important, but you can’t keep clinging onto them. Of course, I would like my sons to think I’m the most important person in their lives. But after a point, it’s healthy to cut off the umbilical cord. The mother syndrome in Bollywood is too much.”
At that point the phone rings, and she gets up to leave. I had turned up for the interview prepared to meet Farah Khan the director.
Instead, I got a glimpse of Farah Khan the mother.