The right balance

in conversation

The right balance

Farah Khan is on a self-elected break from work. “I’m off to London and then to Paris with my kids to do the Disney World circuit there,” she says briskly, packing in full progress as we speak at her sprawling home in Mumbai. It has been a hectic run for Farah. “We wrapped up the episodes for the entire season of my cookery show Farah ki Dawat, plus promotional rounds and interviews within a span of one month. It’s done!” she says. “Now I can indulge in my comfort fix: lying on my bed watching endless American sitcoms, getting a foot massage.”

Fifty & fabulous

Farah is absolutely unbeatable. In her sense of humour, in all her films, and even with her kids — “At 50, I pack in more punch than some of the younger moms, I tell you. Most moms I see are not even working and they pack off their kids with maids for a million classes, to keep them off their hands. Why have kids then? Shirish and I want to spend as much time as possible with our kids.”

Back to Farah ki Dawat. The unique format of her show found perfect congruence with her own self, the frank, garrulous soul that she is, and best buddies with all the stars in the film industry. “I don’t cook at home, I get paid to do that on the sets with my celebrity guests,” she says. “Even though we shot at a hectic pace, I have had plenty of fun shooting for Farah ki Dawat as it has been an extension of the time I spend with my friends. Of course, I put in a special request for the sets to be located at Yashraj Studios, as it is minutes away from my home. My beautiful triplets Czar, Anya and Diva can spend time with me on the sets.” The response to her show has been brilliant, with people coming up to her at airports across the world to tell her how much they look forward to even the re-runs. The trio runs around the room with Czar quipping, “My mother makes the best dips in the world. She is so talented!” and Farah mocks him gently for the maska (butter) he is lathering on her.

Following the stupendous success of her recent film Happy New Year, Farah is tracing a brilliant career trajectory. She is the toast of Bollywood with her smashing blockbusters including Om Shanti Om, Main Hoo Na, and a much sought after celebrity judge on reality shows. So, what’s next? “I think television is brilliant owing to the reach, and I know how many episodes we are looking at once the shoot begins to roll. But now I want to make a short film. Shooting for a film is challenging and time consuming. I end up shooting for 14-16 hours a day, and multitasking on the phone to keep track of my kids, their classes, telling the cook about the daily menu. I need one-and-a-half years to shoot and do justice to a film and it is quite exhausting while juggling family commitments. Other filmmakers have it easy as their wives manage everything else while they film.”

A busy life

So how does she manage to balance all the different aspects? “Clever time management, and a great infrastructure of drivers and maids,” she says. “I am quite organised as that is the only way I can pack in so many things in a day. The most precious thing I can give anyone is time. Honestly, the entire shoot schedule of Happy New Year was planned around my kids’ school calendar. No shoots on annual day, sports day, birthday weekend. Also, I rarely socialise. I attend a maximum of around four parties in a year. I’d rather be home.”

As of now, she is on the run. Just back from Dubai (“We love going there and staying at Shah Rukh’s villa”) and off to Europe. Then back to work with a vengeance!

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