DADDY COOL

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IMRAN AVANTIKA

Imran Khan is as obsessive about fatherhood as he’s about films.

It’s almost been a year since Imran Khan used his boyish charisma to charm his fans. He’s been missing from the proverbial film scene. It’s not that the filmmakers have forgotten the box-office promise of the youngest Khan in tinsel town. It’s just that Imran’s busy fulfilling a far more challenging role in life. He’s been away on paternity leave. He’s turned daddy to the most adorable little girl called Imara. She was born on June 9, 2014 and since then Imran and his wife Avantika have discovered an unforeseen side to parenting.

How are you dealing with fatherhood?

The first few weeks were rough. You have to deal with massive upheavals. You can’t sleep because you’re only panicking all the time. I was concerned whether I was doing the right thing or whether I was screwing up. We were worried about what she was up to. Whether she was sleeping, whether she was alive, whether she was breathing… One sound from her at night and we’d go, ‘Is she alright… Is she choking… Is she alive?’ And then we had to calm ourselves down. Avantika’s mother and my mom were trying their best to pacify us. They were flipping with our obsession with the hand sanitiser et al.

You tend to be overcautious when you’re a first-time parent…

Yes. I’ve got a wireless camera installed, which I can access from any part of the world on my mobile. It has night vision too. I can see Imara from wherever I am. It’s something our parents didn’t have. I get online to find out new things that are useful in parenting. My mother points out how things were different during their time. (Laughs)She keeps talking about things like cutting out the umbilical cord herself and getting back to work instantly.

What has the baby brought into your life?

It’s too early to gauge that. We’re just about finding our feet. It’s been a crazy year. Three of my close friends are also having babies within the next few months. Danish (Aslam, filmmaker) and Shruti (Seth, actress) just had a baby. Two months ago, we were running around bumping into walls not knowing what to do. I wish I could go back and tell myself, ‘Dude, chill. Everything’s going to be alright.’ We’ve just figured out, that every situation is not a crisis. If the baby cries, she’ll stop. You don’t need to prepare for disaster every time. But we’re still erratic. I keep firing the maid about incorrect sterilising procedures. You can often hear me instruct them, ‘Teen minute sterile karne se kuchh nahi hota. Kam se kam chaar minute karna chahiye.’ (Laughs) I’ve become the authority on child health and hygiene.

 

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