Sanjay Nirupam, who will appear on Zee’s Ghar Ghar Mein, with his wife Geeta, speaks about compatibility and teaching children, reports Rachana Dubey.
How are the preparations for the upcoming elections, given that Congress won the Lok Sabha elections earlier this year?
They’re on, in full swing. I’m heading for a meeting right now. There will be more meetings spilling over to the next couple of weeks. Then we’ll announce the candidates and flag off the campaigns. We’d love to win the elections this time too.
It’s Teacher’s Day today. Do you take civics lessons for your daughter?
I think it’s very important for them to be aware of their rights and duties as young citizens. My daughter, Shivani, has just turned a teenager. She runs in the opposite direction when we discuss politics on the dining table. She gets bored but that doesn’t deter me from taking a class once in a while.
What do you teach her?
Everything from the way the electoral system functions to the duties of every cabinet member, the history of different parties, the leaders and the division of power at every level. She’ll remember these things when she grows up. It will help her make the best of her rights and duties.
What else do you discuss with her?
Everything. My wife and I ensure that she knows everything that she should know at this age. My daughter is not a very studious child but she’s good at her studies. She’s in the football team of her school. So, she has plenty of other things to do apart from studies. (Laughs) She’s sometimes busier than I am.
Your wife and you took on a compatibility test on Ghar Ghar Mein..
(Chuckles) Yeah, it was to show the world that we’re not politicians 24X7. We’re husbands and fathers too. We don’t just attend party meetings and get regulations passed. We can make tea and coffee for our wives.
So, did you pass the test?
(Laughs) Yeah, we thankfully did ‘nahin to bacchon ke saamne kya izzat rehti’. Imagine, 98 per cent scores. We know each other really well. We’ve been married for 20 years and we understand each other. That’s why I think we’re compatible as parents and as a couple.
Do you go out on dates?
Of course, otherwise life’s really dull. We go out together as often as we can. She’s really busy with the house and the kids. I, after the elections, have more responsibilities to discharge. But recently, we did watch Kaminey, in an evening show. We didn’t take our daughter because it’s an adult movie.
I believe you chat with your daughter on Facebook..
Yeah, we sit in our respective rooms and chat with each other. It’s fun and she sends me such funny messages! Sometimes, I don’t have answers to her questions. But this only shows that kids are technically more advanced than we could be.
Are you Sanjay Uncle with her friends or the leader Sanjay Nirupam?
Of course, I am uncle with all of them. My daughter sometimes does things for which even I get screamed at. My wife doesn’t let her eat junk food. She fears that Shivani will put on weight. But then, my daughter cons me into it and makes me take her out for pizzas and cola. She has a friend called Raveena and she calls her Ravu. Even I call her by the same name. I become a kid with kids. It makes me feel I’m not just a leader; I’m a family man as well.