My mother had the biggest influence on me: Aamir Khan

  • Prashant Singh, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: May 11, 2014 17:01 IST

Aamir Khan is known to be extremely close to his mother, Zeenat Hussain. The star admits that she had a big influence on him while he was growing up since his father, film-maker Tahir Hussain, was a busy man. On Mother’s Day (May 11), we catch up with the actor and ask him about the special bond he shares with his mum, childhood memories and his relationship with his children.

A childhood picture of Aamir with his mother Zeenat Hussain; and a more recent one with her.

*What significance does Mother’s Day hold for you?
Honestly, I am not quite sure about the significance of Mother’s Day. It’s a very alien concept to me. However, my mother has been very important in my life, and not just on one particular day. She has been the biggest influence on me when I was growing up. She is extremely dear to me, irrespective of which ‘day’ it is.

*Since your father was a busy film-maker, what role did your mother play in shaping you as a person?
My father was always very busy and I think in that generation, fathers were a little detached from their children. In our generation, we are much closer to our kids. My father was not hands-on. He was quite removed from us; not very close or pally with us like my mother was. Once in a while, he would get extremely emotional. He wasn’t around much, so she was the one who had a big influence on all of us — Faisal, Nikhat, Farhat and me.

What are your fondest memories of your mom?
My mother has always been a very caring and sensitive person. Her ability to think about others has always amazed me. One of the memories that I have, and which will always stay with me, is about competitive tennis I’d play as a kid. When I would come back after a match, she would be waiting for me and ask, ‘How did it go? Did you win?’ And since I was fairly good and was a top seed in Maharashtra at one point, I would usually win. So I’d tell her that I won and she would be very happy and give me a hug. Ten minutes later, she would come to me and say, ‘You know, the boy who lost to you must also have reached home by now and his mother too must have asked him the same question. And he must’ve told his mother that he lost. She must be feeling really bad right now.’ The first time she said that it knocked the wind out of me because suddenly I was thinking of the mother whose son I had beaten. Her ability to think about not just the boy I had beaten but his mother too, was a big life lesson for me. It taught me to care about others and think instinctively for them.

*You get a lot of appreciation for your work. What does your mother have to say about it?
She has liked most of my work so far. She likes Satyamev Jayate and watches it every Sunday with me. She is really proud and happy with the work that I have been doing.

*How is her equation with your wife? Does she give tips to Kiran Rao, especially with Azad around now?
My mother has a very good relationship with both Reena (Dutta) and Kiran. She is a very independent and mature person. She is not someone who interferes in other people’s lives.

*Does she still worry about you?
All the time (laughs). She is always thinking that I am working too hard and not eating properly.

*What was your mother’s parenting style?
I won’t say that she has been a very strict mother but neither would I describe her as chilled out. She has been very soft-hearted and at the same time, she disciplined us fairly well, without having to shout at us or getting violent. She had her own way of communicating her displeasure.

*Is there anyone you have warm, motherly feelings towards?
(Smiles) Well, I hope I am that way for all my kids, all the people I am close to — whether it’s Kiran, my brothers and sisters, or even my mother. I hope I am always there for them.

*You took your mother for the Haj pilgrimage some time back. Is there anything else you feel you have to do for her?
One of the most important things my mom wanted to do was the Haj. I was very happy that I was able to fulfil that for her. Other than that, she has never had any big desires. She just wants to see her children happy. I don’t think she is concerned about anything else.

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