Tusshar Kapoor’s eyes light up when you discuss his 14-month-old baby Laksshya.
The 40-year-old actor became a single parent after his first child was born via surrogacy and IVF in June last year. He says that his life revolves around Laksshya these days and schedules are planned accordingly. Tusshar says that life has changed completely after Laksshya came into his life
“I was destined to have him in my life,” says Tusshar.
Excerpts from the conversation that we had….
What changes has Laksshya brought in your life?
There’s no time to think unnecessarily or worry about what anyone says. You want to work and pass the next milestone, you don’t care about frivolous things. You want to work and be busy so that you can come home to him. I try to spend time with him and plan my schedules accordingly. I balance it out. When he sleeps after eight I go watch movies and read books. You don’t need to be with friends. You don’t need any company. I’m more organised now and I don’t feel like going out for parties. I am so content. I meet friends only on weekends.
What made you take this decision at this point in life?
I was always thinking about it and needed a child in my life, as I was getting older. I was thinking of getting married but I was not ready for arranged marriage. When I was shooting with Prakash Raj, one day we were car pooling and he said, “Why don’t you get married? Have you thought about your future life? If you don’t want to get married, why don’t you adopt a child?’ He’s adopted one and is a single father. He was the one who educated me about surrogacy. He introduced me to a woman who was a single mom through surrogacy. I met her, spoke to her and took some weeks to think about it.
She guided me thoroughly with the procedure. Prakash Raj guided me too. Then I took the decision to be a father and I was destined to have Laksshya in my life. I told my parents and they were very supportive.
Were you apprehensive?
I was worried initially about what people would say and how everyone would react. Fortunately, everyone took it very positively. Once I took the decision and brought Laksshya home I was so accepted and applauded by close relatives and friends.
Who decided on the name Laksshya?
Ektaa decided what name to give based on the timing of his birth. I loved the name, since Laksshya means aim or destination. He’s the aim and destination of my life now.
Who looks after him when you are busy?
He is with my mother or sister. The whole house is always with him. They are all hands-on. Ektaa does her meetings in the morning so that she can be with him in the afternoon. She has changed a lot after Laksshya came in the house. She doesn’t make loud noises and takes care to close the door softly and takes care of her own things. The whole culture of the house has changed.
Who pampers him with gifts more?
My sister spoils him with gifts. I’m very organised. I give him one toy, put it back and give him another. I am more structured. But when Ektaa comes he starts jumping and dancing on the floor and he loves that craziness.
Are you a hands-on father?
I took him for shootings when I was working on Golmaal. I would spend some time with him in the mornings and he’d be there with me after pack-up. He enjoyed his stay there because there was no pollution. After 5.30 pm I used to be with him. I spent two hours with him in the morning and evening. There was an effort as you miss him. He would also wait for me. It’s difficult managing things but I’m learning time management. I miss him and I don’t like being far away from him for long hours.
What was the atmosphere on the sets like?
Rohit would change the lighting just because Laksshya was there. He would make it softer. Even if we were in the Atrium they would make sure that I could spend some time with me.
We heard that you are very possessive of him and you didn’t let your parents take him on a holiday?
My parents wanted to take him with them but since I was going away for my shoots I felt it’s best he is with me. No one can be more important than the parents.
Did your parents spend time with you when you were a toddler?
We were brought up with comfort and that generation cared about getting financially secure and they were busy working. Our generation has everything and we feel it’s more about giving and spending time and it’s about emotional bonding. My parents also give him more than they gave me.
Star children are the centre of media attention. How are you going to face that?
That’s all right. It’s how he is brought up and what values we instill in him. This is not what defines you as a person. It’s about how you respect others and believing everything in life and valuing everything. He has to face all this. My childhood was different. My parents kept us away from the limelight and shoots and all.
Do you take him to public places now?
I go with him to the garden and play area with him in Bandra. Parents come with their kids there and he plays. No one disturbs him.
What values have you imbibed from your father that you want Laksshya to imbibe?
Just watching my dad I have learnt how to be patient. Success has come to me in phases. I learnt from Dad that resilience is very important. You have to take it in a positive way. He was very rooted. He’s a cool and happy-go-lucky guy and does not let failure effect him. He moves on to the next project.
I was always the silent kid who didn’t indulge or spend. They used to always ask me, “Why are you so controlled? I want to teach Laksshya the same thing, to feel empowered enough to take life as it comes and move on to the next challenge.
Did your uncle Abhishek Kapoor give you any tips? What about your other friends and Kareena especially?
Abhishek Kapoor’s wife was guiding me. All my friends, Neelam, Bhawna gave me a lot of tips and tell me what to do every day. As for Kareena (Bebo), Taimur was born later so I gave her tips. She came to see his nursery and said “It’s so simple.” She’s very hands-on, she doesn’t need tips. She has her sister Karishma for tips. We discuss a lot about the nursery, milk, brands, where do you take him, which park do you take him to play in… She keeps asking me everything.
Karan Johar also had twins through surrogacy. Did he come to you for tips?
Yes, Karan Johar came and met me, and he said he wanted to do the same. He asked me how to go about the entire thing. I spoke to him for a few hours and guided him. Later he called me up and said he beat me to it, since he had twins.
What next now?
I have taken a back seat to be with Laksshya and think about what to do next. After the film releases, everything changes. It adds to the popularity and the atmosphere is new. I will be able to think what path I have to take.