Taimur, Inaaya, Yash-Roohi: The paparazzi can’t get enough of these celeb babies, but how much is too much?
The infant or toddler sons and daughters of Bollywood personalities have cameras aimed at them all the time. What do the star parents and the photographers have to say about it?Updated: Sep 11, 2018 11:32 IST
Being a celebrity comes at a cost, and while most don’t mind the 24x7 media surveillance, there are others who are not entirely comfortable with the idea of being followed by the paparazzi — many celeb parents don’t want their children photographed by the media, though some others just deal with it. Now, 20-month-old Taimur Ali Khan might be India’s most photographed baby, but his not-yet-one-year-old cousin Inaaya Naumi Kemmu is kept away from the flashbulbs.
Actor-author Soha Ali Khan, who usually posts photos of her daughter Inaaya on social media, lashed out at the paparazzi recently. Actor Saif Ali Khan, father of Taimur, however, told the media earlier, “I don’t have a problem with the photographers, because they’re just clicking his pictures. Although it’s a bit intrusive, no movie star has the privilege of being extremely private. You might be looking at Taj Mahal and people will start clicking your pictures. You try to be normal and then everyone takes your picture. That’s mildly bothersome. But I just think he has to get used to that, because, in the end, they’re just clicking a few photographs.”
Taimur’s mum, actor Kareena Kapoor Khan, has a different view. She said in an earlier interview, “Now I don’t like the fact that Taimur’s every move is monitored... and people even talking about his hairstyle and all... I do not know how to control it now. Having said that, I think he’s becoming more familiar with the camera; he looks right into the camera.”
Actor Kajol, mother to 15-year old daughter Nysa and seven-year old son Yug, had recently said in an interview to Mid-Day, “We, as celebrities, signed up for this profession. They are just born into it and shouldn’t be hounded. Our children are too young to understand that the reason they have cameras around is because their parents are stars.”
Celeb babies often wave and smile at the cameras, but since they don’t know what’s happening, parents have to be their protective gear, feels actor Sunny Leone, mum to two-year-plus daughter Nisha and infant sons Noah and Asher, with husband Daniel Weber. Leone says, “I know the cameras will be around and it’s okay, but it’s not a choice I’ll make for them. When they’re old enough, they can decide if they want to be in front of the camera and smile. I think if a parent asks not to take photos, [the paparazzi] should stop; and if they don’t, as their mother, I can cover [the children] up, so they won’t get the proper photos they want. It’s my job to protect [the children] and that I will do at any cost.”
Actor Karanvir Bohra, father to one-year old twins, Bella and Vienna, with wife Teejay Sidhu, tells us that this attention is part and parcel of being a popular figure. “We didn’t prepare for this kind of attention at all; we didn’t expect it. I suppose every parent who works in the entertainment industry goes through this.” He also feels that Indian celebs have it easier than in the West. “In India, the paparazzi are not like how they are abroad — [here] they don’t follow you around and hide behind bushes! They are a little nicer. I think I’d draw the line when you’re spending private time as a family, like if you’re out to dinner, or you’ve taken your children on an outing or on a holiday. The media should not disturb you. In my experience so far, Indian media haven’t been intrusive at all. Whenever they’ve wanted to take our children’s photos, they’ve asked first,” says Karanvir.
Photographer Viral Bhayani, who’s in the business of photographing celebrities, tells us that Indian photographers respect celebrity parents’ wish. “When a star says no to a picture, we respect that and don’t click them or the kid. For instance, we don’t click (actor Shah Rukh Khan’s young son) AbRam, because his parents don’t want us to. However, we do click Taimur because the parents offer no resistance.”
Agreeing to this, photographer Yogen Shah says they’re considerate and their photography doesn’t harm anyone. “We don’t click if someone refuses also we make sure to click from a distance, so that there’s no issue with flash,” he says.
However, there are celeb parents who have no problem with the paparazzi. Recently on Instagram, filmmaker Karan Johar uploaded a picture of his twins getting ready, and captioned it: “Getting ready for the paps!” In the picture, his son Yash is adjusting his sunglasses, while daughter Roohi is putting them on.
Similarly, actor Aayush Sharma, father to two-and-a-half-year-old Ahil, doesn’t mind the flashbulbs. “I think Ahil is lucky to receive this kind of love and attention at such a young age,” says the Loveratri actor, “It’s the love people give to the family that translates to him. Until now, the paparazzi have never misbehaved with him and have always been kind to us. There have been times when he’s sleeping and they’d turn the flash off, so he wouldn’t get disturbed.”