Celebrity Parenting

Actor Rajpal Yadav – father of three girls – loves spending time with his daughters

“I am a middle-aged Mowgli with my kids, I love being with them.”

Actor Rajpal Yadav deserves a medal for his rare ability to be able to laugh at himself. From being the funnyman on the screen and for livening up the time he spends with his three daughters, the actor, politician, producer has been busy raking in applause and awards for his superb performances on the silver screen in Main Madhuri Dixit Banana Chahti Hoon, Jungle, Judwaa 2…is now working on David Dhawan’s Coolie No 1 and hopes to get cracking on a humour-laced web series. Excerpts from a quick conversation:

Three daughters, three cheers, aren’t they?

Absolutely. Jyoti, Harshita and Rehanshi are my three diamonds.

Jyoti is married and in her 20s. Rehanshi is eight months old and Harshita six years. Why the big age difference?

I was born and brought up in a small village, Kundra, near Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh. When I was 20, I got married, in keeping with the village tradition of starting family at that age. Jyoti was born, but unfortunately, her mother developed severe medical complications thereafter and we lost her. I got married again in 2003 to Radha, and had Harshita and Rehanshi.

It takes a village to bring up a child. Do you agree?

Absolutely. Honestly, Jyoti has got so much love from everyone: our family, the entire village which is like an extended family for all our children and us. Sometimes I feel she has got more love than she would have ever got even if her mother had been alive. Jyoti is my firstborn and very dear to me.

Now as you swing into your 40s, how is it bringing up two small kids, in terms of energy levels?

I am a middle-aged Mowgli. I love my kids, we do so much stuff together. We have just returned from the Della Resort near Mumbai, where we took a three-day break. We did everything in the adventure park there, from horse-riding to mad rides. Spending time with my kids energises me. I believe that every day is a new beginning when you are a parent.

But you are a self-confessed workaholic.

True. I am a compulsive worker. I love my work, and I love my family. I always try to strike a balance between both.

How do you stay in touch with them when you are shooting?

When in Mumbai, I always encourage my children to come to the sets with Radha. When I am out of Mumbai, then I Facetime, talk to them frequently. They are my stress-busters.

Shilpi Madan for Indian Express

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