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Father’s Day Special: Kids who followed in the footsteps of their fathers

From dance to photography, here’s what it’s like for celeb father-child duos who have made it big in the same fields. These famous fathers are Sunil Sethi, Raja Reddy, Raghu Rai, and Jiggs Kalra.

more lifestyle Updated: Jun 18, 2017 17:42 IST
Nikita Saxena
Nikita Saxena
Hindustan Times
Father's Day,Sunil Sethi,Tanira Sethi
Let’s take a look at some celebrity father-kid duos who have made it big in the same professions.

Fathers are always inspiring figures in the lives of their children. Whether it is their professional ethics or personal experiences, kids learn so much from their fathers. This Father’s Day, HT City talks to a few celebs and finds out what it’s like when a child follows in their father’s footsteps.

Sunil Sethi, president of Fashion Design Council of India

Sunil Sethi with his daughter Tanira.

I had mixed feelings when my daughter, Tanira, decided to get into the field of design, art, fashion, and textile. I was very happy because that meant she wouldn’t be getting into a 9-5 controlled industry. In this industry, there is creativity every day.

I was very happy that she got into this line. It presents us with a lot of common points. Now, we go to see different textile and art shows, museums and other things together. For a lot of people, their child may turn out to be a genius in other things but Tanira and I have the same sensibilities. Though, there is also a disadvantage to having my daughter in the same field; I am always worried that people will think of her as someone else’s daughter. But the clothing line that she has introduced took away that doubt from my mind. I also have another problem — I can’t help her 100% for the fear of appearing biased.

When it comes to our similarities, there is much that we share. She is less ornamental in her designs and we share that — an avant-garde and contemporary approach to things. We also like minimal and simple designs. Her passion and focus on her projects is also a similarity. The only thing a person from an older generation, like me, will talk about is that there is less discipline and regimentation. She needs to put in more working hours.

A favourite memory is seeing her learn how to cycle or when she was thrown into the pool, and she managed to swim. I could see the joy of achieving something on her face. A recent fave is when on the first day of the sale, the biggest joy was to see her saris selling well.

Tanira Sethi

From my father, I would like to imbibe his work ethics, his attention to detail and his affability.

My favourite memories with my father are from the time one of my designs got selected to be exhibited at the fashion week, and then the launch of my label Taani, he was so excited.

If there’s one thing that I think he needs to change, it’s this that he overworks himself. He needs to relax and chill out now. My message to him is: ‘Happy Father’s Day! You keep saying ‘Knowledge is Power’, be patient, I’m getting there. I love you more than Kanye loves Kanye.’


Kuchipudi exponent Raja Reddy

Raja Reddy with his daughters Bhavana Reddy (L) and Yamini Reddy (R).

I would like to tell my daughters that our Bharat is known as Vishwa Guru and Prachi Sudha for its music and dance, and I’m very happy that they’ve dedicated their lives to the arts. I am very proud and happy of my daughters Bhavana and Yamini. My anandam is from my kids. Parents ko kya chahiye? Baccho ki khushi?

They’re both so committed to the arts like their father. My elder daughter could have gotten married abroad but she said no just so she could stay here and pursue arts. My second daughter also turned down a marriage offer and even film offers just to focus on her dance and her music.

A memory that I would like to recount is of my elder daughter. When she was three years old, she would also ask for costumes like ours. So we got her a few costumes of her own. After that, whenever our performances would end, she would run onto the stage and start dancing whatever steps she knew. And we would keep calling her back but people would love it so much, they would ask us to let her perform.

The one thing that I think is similar between us is our love for dance. My daughters have inherited their passion for it from me – they’re mad about it, like I am.


Photographer Raghu Rai

Photographer Raghu Rai with her photographer daughter Avani Rai. ( Kalpak Pathak/HT Photo )

When my daughter Avani had decided to be in this line, I was apprehensive and unhappy initially but then she won an award for her work, and she called me said: ‘Papa, at least now you will have some respect for my work’. Then I knew that she will be fine.

I did not have any such thoughts in my head that my kids have to follow the same line of profession as me. When I was young, I had wanted to be a musician and my father had said no. I had to do civil engineering as it was my father’s wish. Keeping that in my mind, I hadn’t wanted to impose anything on them, for their sake.

What’s good about Avani is that she’s not only a good photographer but she also keeps reading about other things and keeps herself updated. Today’s kids are on a different platform altogether, which is very nice.

A favourite memory of mine is from when she was a child. Avani was three-and-a-half years old when we had bought a farm. Whenever she had to choose between going out and going to the farm with me, she would choose to come with me. And that was in the month of May June, when it would be really hot.

One day, we were here together and walking together in the sun. She asked me to pick her up and I told her that nobody picks up anybody. After another 10 minutes, she again asked me to pick her up and I gave her the same reply. And then pointing to a little flower that she was holding in her little hand, she said: ‘Papa main bhi toh isko utha ke chal rahi hu’. Then I kissed her and picked her up. It was such a poetic, powerful moment.


Restaurateur Zorawar Kalra

Jiggs Kalra with his son Zorawar Kalra.

My father is the only biggest influence in my life. I get my love for business and food from him. And it’s not like he taught me to be like him, he was just doing his own thing and I got influenced by him. He’s single-handedly impacted me.

There are so many qualities that I would like to imbibe from him. He is insanely ethical, uncompromising on standards and works till he has achieved what he wanted to. There’s a sense of responsibility in him, towards putting Indian food on the global map, and that’s one thing that I have taken from him. He has also instilled a competitive spirit in me. And then though a Punjabi father never tells his son that he’s proud of him, I know my father is very proud of me.

Of our favourite memories, there are two that stand out. When I opened my restaurant, he had given me a side hug and told me it was the best Indian food he had eaten at a restaurant. And given that we’re not an emotional lot, him doing that was a huge thing for me.

My second favourite memory of him is of the times when he would make omelettes for me. This was about 20-30 years ago. Then, he would bring back from his travels different kinds of cheese, cold cuts, and oregano, and he would very seldom make these omelettes for us. And we would value them all the more because they were a rare treat. Later, I learnt to make the same omelettes myself.

Jiggs Kalra: I have had full faith in his vision of presenting the future of Indian cuisine. His sharp business acumen and deep understanding of the evolving needs of the exposed younger generation has resulted in the resounding success of all the five restaurants and he continues to make me proud with his achievements.

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First Published: Jun 18, 2017 11:09 IST