Music composer Adnan Sami has lately been a lot in the news for his feuds with his wives. Four marriages, one biological and one adopted child later, Sami opens up about his life ahead.
'I have faith in the judiciary'
Adnan Sami’s messy separation from ex-wife Sabah Galadani has been grabbing headlines for the past year. Recently, Sabah discovered that Sami’s fourth and current wife, Roya Faryabi, was living in the plush apartment at Lokhandwala Complex that, she says, now technically belongs to her. And she got an eviction order from the Family Court. Roya has refused to leave her husband’s side and Sami has challenged the order, pointing out that his second marriage to Sabah is null and void.
Against the law
According to Muslim law, if a woman chooses to remarry her ex-husband, she is first required to take on another husband and divorce him. Sami insists that he was made to believe that Sabah had followed the procedure. And following a family tradition had gifted her property that he had bought as a declaration of his love.
“Sabah is well-off, with several hotels to her name. Still, I’d insisted on the gift, but I’ve since discovered that I was deceived. When I transferred the property to her, Sabah wasn’t even my legally-wedded wife,” Sami reasons, saying that he had raised the point in the Family Court. But Sabah then filed an appeal and the dispute is now in the Supreme Court.
As a matter of principle, Sami says, he has refused to give in to Sabah’s pressure tactics and vacate the premises. “I have faith in the judiciary,” he asserts. “I just wish Sabah had gone about the separation in a civilised manner instead of harassing my family and me. Our marriage has become a joke, ridiculous concoctions have been made and people who don’t even know me are jumping to conclusions.”
Sabah had earlier filed a complaint against Sami under the Protection of Women From Domestic Violence Act, alleging that he was an alcoholic and had roughed her up. The singer-musician responds to the charges saying, “I don’t drink now; I used to earlier like so many others, but downing a few pegs doesn’t make me an alcoholic. And I wouldn’t even hurt a fly.”
He points out that Sabah has not been able to produce any evidence (to support her claim) in the year gone by. “There were no marks on her body and no medical reports. If she had been able to prove her charges, action would have been taken against me. And if I was such bad husband, why did she come back for a second innings?” he questions.
Roya, Sami’s current wife, is a telecon engineer and as project manager of a US firm, would often come to Mumbai. Love blossomed between the two and Sami married her on April 3 this year. ”My father used to say that when God closes one door on you, he opens 10 more,” Sami smiles. “I believe him now. Roya just has to smile, and my energy quotient goes up.”
Adnan Sami married Zeba Bakhtiar in the 1990s. The two seperated in ’96. Followed a bitter battle over the custody of their son Azaan Khan. In May 1998, Bakhtiar alleged that Pakistani and UAE (Sami had taken his son to Dubai) officials were not co-operating with her and appealed to a Canadian court (Sami is a Canadian) for her child’s custory. Subsequently, immigration officials stormed his house and handed over her son to her.
Sami’s father, Arshad Sami Khan, filed a defamation suit against Bakhtiar. In 2004, Sami sued the Canadian government for $30 million for the immigration raid that ended with his son “being whisked away”. After 10 years, Bakhtiar let Azaan visit his father in Mumbai and recently stood up for Sami against his ex-wife Sabah Galadari.
In 2001, Sami married Dubai-based Sabah Galadari. They separated after a year-and-a-half, Sami claimed it was because of his obesity. By June 2006, he weighed 206 kilos and was given six months to live. He lost 107 kgs in nine months.
In 2008, Sabah Galadani returned to Mumbai and remarried him. On January 30, 2009, she registered a case at the Oshiwara police station accusing him of physical and mental torture and alcoholism. Meanwhile, an FIR was lodged against Sami for violating the law of India and purchasing eight flats in Mumbai without approval from the concerned authorities. Some of his property has been transferred to Sabah and has been the bone of contention following a messy divorce.
On April 3, 2010, Sami married Afghan-born German national Roya Faryabi.
WE HAVE IT STRAIGHT FROM THE
You already have a 15-year-old son, Azaan. What prompted you adopt another four year old?
I was approached by an orphanage, Pakistan Sweet Homes, to sponsor a child. Roya and I felt we needed do more than just pay the monthly or yearly expenses for the child. We wanted to be a part of his or her growing up years. We were ready to accept any child the faculty chose for us. But I was drawn to this adorable kid. Abu Bakr also caught Roya’s eye. And it was a happy coincidence when we discovered that he was our chosen one. He continues to live in Sihala in Pakistan but now he is ours.
Azaan recently debuted as a composer with the
Bumm Bumm Boletitle track, he could be world’s youngest composer.
(Smiling) He’s made me the proudest dad in the world. I was not allowed to see him for 10 years so I had no idea he was interested in music. One day, he handed a CD to me saying, “Dad, I’ve composed something, will you listen to it?”
I was impressed, not as a dad but a professional. He has music in his genes. Right now I don’t want to distract him but some day, I’d like him to compose a song for me. (Smiles) I’m sure he’ll get some sadistic satisfaction from making me sing to his tunes.
You haven’t been singing too many Bollywood songs lately?
I started the year on a high note with
Chance Pe Dance
Noor e Khuda…
My Name Is Khan
. Recently, I recorded a song with Hariharan and Leslie Lewis, and another for Abbas Tyrewala’s film. Abbas has written the lyrics and A R Rahman has composed it. John (Abraham) joined us at the studio and we had a blast. In the decade since I’ve been working with Rahman, he’s bagged two Oscars and a Grammy. But he’s still an unassuming ocean of talent whose best is still to come.
There was talk of a private album too... And a concert with the Jackson brothers as a tribute to MJ?
The concert was to take place in Vienna but the last time I spoke to the Jacksons, I was told that the venue has been changed to London. We’re working out the dates. And the album will be out by the year end or early 2011. Film songs have so many creative limitations but a private album is like an autobiography that reflects your state of mind. And right now I’m happy and chilled out. All that’s happening around me is like an irritating fly I want to swat away.
What’s happening to your acting debut?
By the end of the week, we should sit down on the third draft and lock the script. The film is expected to roll by the end of October.
Will it be a love story with plenty of songs?
There will be songs but I won’t be crooning my lines. And I won’t be playing a musician just because I am one. The film has drama and romance but I won’t be running around the trees.
Are you working on building up a six-pack?
Years ago, Dustin Hoffman came on the sets of
looking haggard. When Sir Lawrence Oliver commented on his appearance, he admitted he’d gone off food because his character was starving. Sir Oliver tututted, “Boy, you don’t have to do such things. Try acting for a change.” So, though my film has action sequences that’s my answer to your question.
Is your ex-wife Sabah Galadani still producing the film?
Sabah has her own production house and I was looking at some scripts with her. But this was always an independent venture and has nothing to do with her.
Is Roya Faryabi going to be involved with the film?
I value her suggestions but her involvement will be limited to that of a supportive wife. (Laughs) Roya’s priceless, for the rest there’s Master Card.