Irrfan Khan is often praised for his acting skills. But, a few days back, the actor got a special compliment from wife Sutapa Sikdar. She called him “the best father in the world”. Ask the actor about it, and Irrfan, who has two sons — Babil, 18, and Ayaan, 13 — says, “That’s her overenthusiasm (laughs).”
Irrfan says “there are different stages of being a father”. He says the equation of a father with his kids changes with time, but the most difficult phase is when the kids turn teenagers. “It’s challenging to be a father at the time. It’s similar to what happens when cubs grow. They are adamant about creating their own rules. It’s challenging to stay friendly with your kids and allow them to do what they want, and still keep a check on them,” says Irrfan.
He says, “I was a rebel. My parents didn’t know how to handle me. Handling a teenager is challenging. There are no formulas that you can apply. Every kid is different. They have their own understanding of how they want to lead their life. You have to deal with it.”
Does he want his kids to follow in his footsteps? “I don’t want to influence their career choices. They have to explore their own worlds. They have strong interests and minds. Ayaan is a good cricketer, but he isn’t ready to learn it professionally. Some kids are like clay and you can mould them, others aren’t. You have to understand and deal with them accordingly,” he says.