'I was in the labour room helping deliver Zahra'
Television star Manav Gohil talks about life with his 3-year-old who surprises him every day—equally with her antics as with her love!
Actor Manav Gohil, currently playing lead in the Hindi television show Yam Hain Hum, may have bowled over many a maiden with his acting chops and good looks, but now it’s his turn to be floored by a young charmer.
“She surprises us every single day. Right now, she is helping me enhance my vocab. She has learnt the word ‘epiglottis’. So when I ask her where does the lion roar from, she says, e-p-i-g-l-o-t-t-i-s in a super cute way,” says Manav.
“Last week, we were aboard a flight and when the steward asked her if she liked the drink, she said, ‘I am disappointed.’ Shweta (actress Shweta Kawaatra, wife) and I were so shocked. Then we realised she just wanted to use the word disappointed,” he guffaws.
That just about sums up the apple of his eye, his 3-year-old daughter Zahra Tabeetha (Zahra being Egyptian for blooming of a flower/rising of a star and Tabeetha being Ancient Greek for a gazelle that denotes grace and beauty, together Zahra-Tabeetha means a beautiful blossom).
A sweetness comes over him as Manav talks about his cherub. He and Zahra share a sweet bond that only dads and daughters can. “Every day when I return home from work, she holds me and howls. She cries out so loud that Shweta has to say ‘Hey dad takeover your daughter whom I have tortured all day’! It’s her way of saying she missed me. Her drama queen way,” he laughs.
Continue reading to know which is Manav Gohil’s favourite role
Manav says being dad is the most amazing role he has played. “I was ready in my 20s to become dad but I wanted Shweta to take her time on this decision.” He says that being blessed with a daughter is a special gift because he has only seen the company of men.
“I have a brother and the only woman I knew was my mom. With Shweta first and Zahra now in my life, I feel so different. When Shweta was expecting and enduring so much in a way that only women are equipped for, I was overwhelmed. Now, when I see Zahra doing these little sensitive things, I am floored,” he says.
Manav is not just a doting dad, he is an amazing hubby too. He was with Shweta most of the time through their pregnancy. She had joined yoga classes and some of the sessions required him to be present too.
“I remember she ate a lot of grapes. And sometimes, she would crave at odd hours for ice-cream! I was very happy to do all of that for her. In fact, I was out there in the labour room helping deliver Zahra. I was the first to hold her in my hands,” he says, smiling at the memory.
Continue reading to find out how Manav managed being both mom and dad to his daughter on a trip out of town
Diapering, bathing, potty training—this dad has done it all! And he is man enough for the task. Last year, when she was just 2, Zahra went on a mini-vacation with daddy dearest. Just with daddy dearest. “I wanted to give Shweta a break. It can get pretty hectic, parenting sure can. So I took off to Baroda where my folks are and told Shweta to chill with her friends,” he says.
Of course, it was a daunting task but thankfully Zahra took really well to Manav’s parents. “I think grandparents actually enjoy their parenthood with grandchildren. When we were growing up, they were too busy with their lives just as we are with ours now.”
A sense of contentment comes over the actor when he talks about what he best loves about fatherhood. He says, “When I hold Zahra close to me and say softly to her, ‘Papa loves you. I want you to know that I will always be there for you,’ she responds by looking deeply into my eyes and with a slow nod as though she deeply understands this bond. What more would I want from life?” he asks in rhetoric.
Parenting is priceless, wouldn’t you agree? Happy Father’s day, Manav!
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