Blame it on the money or fame, but TV expert, Anil Wanvari, agrees that some TV parents tend to be pushy. “But not in a negative sense. They get their kids better facilities, study breaks and space to breathe. Most make sure that their kids are not made to wait long hours on the sets,” he says.
Wanvari, however, doesn’t deny that there are parents who force their kids to work long hours without rest. In some cases, they even push themselves on the channel personnel and make efforts to stay in touch with them. Havov Vastani, mother to child stars, Ziyah (Bumm Bumm Bole) and Zaynah (Aap Ki Antara), says that she has never forced her girls to work for financial reasons. “My kids had offers from the time they were two. I didn’t take them. Aap Ki Antara was a show meant to create autism awareness, so I decided to help. Zaynah never missed school for the show. My kids don’t shoot at night. And still parents are called greedy” she rues, adding that her daughters had been asked to host Dance India Dance Li’l Masters.
“I didn’t accept because my kids would have to miss school. It didn’t make sense,” states Vastani. Avika Gor, who plays the child bride Anandi in Balika Vadhu, has never had to miss school or wait long hours on the sets. Her mother says, “We ensured that her lines were in advance. She took a break for her exams because she needed to finish her revision.” Phoonk 2 star, Ehsaas Channa’s mother, Kuldip Kaur, states. “Ehsaas enjoys acting, so I let her act. But I want her to be successful in her career, whatever it may be. She needs to be independent.”
Farah Khan, co-judge on Dance India Dance Li’L Masters, plans to take stress management classes for parents. “The mums and dads are the ambitious ones. The kids are innocent and they fall in their trap often. I will keep the parents under check. Thankfully, most of the shooting will get done during the vacations. So they won’t miss school,” she says. Choreographer-director Ahmed Khan says that dealing with stardom becomes easy if children have sensible parents. “If the parent doesn’t force the child to grow up quickly, he or she naturally do well in school and then professionally. Otherwise, the growing-up process is a little painful,” he smiles.