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Mansoor Khan, the erstwhile director of QSQT, runs a farmstay Acres Wild with his wife Tina, believes in showing the mirror of reality to his children.
Nestled in the hilly enclave of Coonoor and running a farmstay plus a cheese making unit along with his wife Tina is what Mansoor Khan the director does now. He’s remembered by Bollywood buffs for being the award winning director of the ever romantic QSQT, and for how it launched his cousin Aamir Khan. Once you get a peek into his current abode Acres Wild where he and his family lives you would completely forget that he was once a director.
Acres Wild, the place, is an experience in itself where you can go and have a relaxed holiday and also maybe learn how to make cheese, get a peek into organic farming, or learn how to barbeque – the options are endless. Mansoor and Tina interact with guests like family and make the entire stay a pleasant one.
Mansoor and Tina are parents to Zayn and Pablo who are slowly embarking into adulthood at 23 and 21 respectively. Both of them are at the juncture of deciding on their vocation. Meanwhile Zayn got a feel of being an assistant director for the movie Kapoor and Sons, and Pablo is currently part of Aamir Khan’s next movie Dangal as assistant director.
Mansoor remembers how when he got to know he was becoming a father it was a shock to him as he was not prepared. He was worried about what kind of a father he would be, and whether he would be able to manage being one. Like most fathers, he was apprehensive about being able to do justice to the key role he was going to play. Zayn, his daughter, was ushered into his life and slowly things started getting better, and he started getting used to the fact. Pablo his son came in 2 years later and made the family a complete one.
In the beginning of his tryst with fatherhood is when two of his movies were released – Akele Hum Akele Tum (1993) and Josh (1995). Those were the days when his wife would do much more than him when it came to managing the kids. He would be there to take them on holidays, go to meet the principal or a PTM at school. However when it came to things like choice of food, taking them out, choice of schools, etc., those kind of intricate details of his kids life were not something he got involved in.
It was much later when they moved to Coonoor that he started getting involved in every aspect of their lives. This said, he also says that being a ‘laid back director’, he still used to make ample time to spend with them.
Mansoor comes from a joint family where he was pampered by everyone at home, be it parents or all the aunts and uncles at home. His father he says was very lenient, who would not deny anything to him, and an open minded person who did not have any hangups of religion, class, or anything else.
At a time when he had not decided on what he wanted to do, his father handed him the reins to his production house and also pushed him to make his first movie – the rest as you would say is history. He feels that he learnt the ‘hard way’ because there was too much money around him, and he had to get over and above that as a person.
As a father the one thing he is particular about was that he wanted to keep a check on things especially money, and not turn them into materialistic people. He feels his children turned out just fine, just like he wanted and are not very brand conscious, class conscious, etc. They understand the importance of things and know to weigh them in that manner. He, along with his wife have been able to make them grounded.
He is not a fan of the current education system, and says that it runs like an industry and produces people just to do that and not to think over and above that. He remembers when his daughter was studying for exams, how he told her that history should be understood by understanding why everything started, happened, etc. His daughter was quick to retort, “I do understand all this but I just need to pass my exam now.” He at least had the solace that she had been able to grasp reality of things rather than only the bookish information that’s fed to her.
Mansoor feels he has a comfortable relationship with his children, and they can talk anything to him. He ensures he does not interfere with their decisions and always gives opinions which make sense to them.
It was the realization that he’s not made to run behind money, which he could have, considering that all the movies he made were a success and also cult starters.
It was the need to do something that put him at peace with nature and his own self, that brought him to Coonoor in 2003. He was happy when his family also thought it was a good move and joined him there in 2004. His children were pleased with the change in scene and started enjoying living here. They of course dabbled in their interests too – like guitar for Zayn and drums for Pablo. Currently though they have a keen interest in various aspects of films.
In 2013 he launched his book the Third Curve which talks about the means of achieving economic growth as futile. He says that the urge to do all this is the same as the functioning of a ‘cancer cell’. From the time of launch to now he tries bringing the principles he has written about in reality. Primarily with his kids he always tries to show them the reality.
The one advice he would give to all fathers and parents as such would be to consciously slowdown from the race of development and growth, which we are molded and trained to believe is ‘the’ only thing and sit back and reflect on what makes sense to the person in you and the universe as a whole.
Image source: Mansoor Khan.
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