Actor Aamir Khan revealed that he decided to quit films recently, because he realised he wasn’t there for his children when they were growing up. But a tearful Kiran Rao convinced him to reconsider.
Actor Aamir Khan in an appearance at the ABP Ideas of India event in Mumbai, on Saturday spoke about the introspective mood that he has been in for the last couple of years. Aamir said that like everybody else, he has lost a lot, but has also gained a lot during the pandemic. Last year, Aamir announced his separation from his wife Kiran Rao, to whom he’d been married since 2005. During the session, he admitted that he felt so bad about not being there for his kids and his family for so many years, he decided to quit the film industry to make up for lost time.
Aamir’s session at the event was called New Beginnings: Reorienting Entertainment. The actor didn’t just speak about his relationship with his children, but also his new equation with ex-wife Kiran Rao.
He said in Hindi, “I feel like I’d spent my life chasing my dreams and trying to fulfil them. But during this journey, I didn’t pay attention to my loved ones. My parents, my siblings, my children, my first wife Reena, my second wife Kiran, their parents… Perhaps I couldn’t devote enough time to them. My daughter is now 23. I am sure she must have missed my presence in her life when she was younger. She will have had her own anxieties, fears, dreams and hopes. I wasn’t there for her, I know this now. I didn’t know her dreams and fears and hopes, but I knew the fears and dreams and hopes of my directors.”
Aamir said that he has realised that time is the most valuable resource a human being has. “We know we will run out of time one day, but we don’t know when. I had a sharp realisation about this, and that I’ve lived my life in some sort of trance, and I’ve lost a lot because of this.” Aamir said that the biggest contribution one can make for their nation is to bring their kids up with the right values. “And I was not there.” He said that he was so angry about how things had turned out, he decided to quit the film industry. But, his children convinced him to strike a balance in his life instead of making the extreme decision. “You’ve spent more time with us in three months than you ever have, leave us alone now,” he quoted them as saying in a lighter vein. He said that it was a tearful Kiran who convinced him to reconsider he decision, saying that cinema courses through his veins.
Aamir also spoke about his relationship with both his ex-wives, Kiran and Reena Dutta. He said that he grew up with Reena, and that they would still be friends even if they’d never married. About Kiran, Aamir admitted that people might find it odd to see them socialise in public despite their separation, but said that there’s no two ways about it; they are on great terms. Asked why they split up if they love each other, Aamir said, “We would like to respect the institution of marriage, and not be in a marriage and not respect the boundaries of what people consider are the boundaries of a marriage.” Giving more details about the arrangement that he has with Kiran, he said that she lives on the floor above his, and that because they live so close to each other, their son Azad didn’t experience any sort of change in his life. They did, however, try to explain to him about what marriage and divorce entails.
But Aamir also spoke about his professional life. Rejecting the tag of ‘perfectionist’, the actor said that he is still unsure of how Laal Singh Chaddha has turned out. “Ek din lagta hai badi achi bani hai film, dusre din depress ho jaata hoon, lagta hai badi buri bani hai (One day, I’ll feel like we made a good film, and the next day, I’ll feel like we dropped the ball). So, it’s that stage of excitement, where you’re still trying to get it right,” he said.
After several delays because of the pandemic, Laal Singh Chaddha, a remake of the Hollywood hit Forrest Gump, is slated to be released in theatres on August 11.