'I've cleaned my kids' potty too'
Actor Sumeet Raghvan, fresh from the release of his movie Sandook, tells us how his children have brought an indescribable happiness to his life
He is in the middle of the promotions for his film Sandook but away from the hullabaloo, film, television and theatre actor Sumeet Raghavan is only too happy to talk about his children. “I have lived their childhood with them; I wouldn’t have liked it if I would have been an absentee father and suddenly woken up to find my children all grown up,” says Sumeet, dad to Neerad, 18, and Deeya, 15.
As we ask him to turn back time to talk about his first year as father, the conversation veers towards the emotional. “Things were so different back then. I was a voice artist while Chinmayee was working in a Gujarati play when we came to know that we were expecting our first baby! Surprise, pleasure, anxiety – it was a weird mix of emotions but that’s what we went through,” he reminisces.
His children may be in their teens now, (one almost moving out of it!) but he says the feelings are just the same. He is still surprised, pleased and anxious as a father. “I think they just grew too fast, out of the cuddly phase, out of the I-can-just-throw-you-up-in-the-air phase and now they are opinionated individuals. Which I absolutely love too,” says the Sarabhai V/s Sarabhai actor as an afterthought. Neerad, 18, is preparing for a career in music while Deeya, 15, is in school.
Sumeet says he was always the family guy who would wrap up shoot and head home but being a dad made that even more pronounced. “I was a hands-on father. So I have done the potty-wash-powder routine especially in the first few years where every parent goes around with a mad certificate on them. Our lives went topsy-turvy, our rules became more strict. But there was that extra urge to come back home and be with my son,” he smiles.
Continue reading to know how Sumeet Raghavan handled Sunny Deol and Jackie Chan at home
The craziest thing he shares about their childhood is how both the children would imitate him, Neerad more so. “He would ‘come home’ and hand a cheque to Chinmayee every evening saying, ‘here’s what I got at the voiceover assignment today’! His imitation would irk me only when he would mimic this Sunny Deol-Raveena Tandon song to the T. I used to give him the dirtiest glare possible and ask Chinmayee if this one was really my son!” he laughs. Now when Sumeet reminds his son of his ‘dance’, he gets the same glare in return.
On the other hand, his daughter Deeya was a complete tomboy, he recollects. “In fact, she was very tiny too. She would run amok anywhere we would go and we had a terrible time holding on to her. I used to call her Jackie Chan then and do so even now!” he chortles.
Continue reading to know how Sumeet Raghavan bonds with his children
Sumeet says he would think of himself as a disciplinarian father. So while he has a lot of fun with his children, rules such as keeping the house spic and span, not wasting food or electricity and sharing food equally, are never bended in this household.
“I always tell them that when we sit to eat we must take care of who is eating after us which means that sharing our food equally is very important. Sometimes Chinmayee tells me that I am being unreasonable, but I know how socially aware my children have turned out,” says Sumeet.
And managing teenagers can be a whole new ball game certainly! “It is. The children confide in me, possibly a little more in their mom. But they know I am with them. They know they can share anything under the sun with me. Yes, even if it is something like not having enough likes on their FB or Instagram pic to ducking a subject in school or anything else!” he laughs.
Daddydom has taught him many things. Like not to bat an eyelid when his children tell him they don’t believe in God. “They told me that just the other day. Of course, I gulped. But externally I told them, it’s fine. Only let me not catch you praying fervently if you get into trouble. Ever!” he laughs, adding he loves to harass his children. “We have fist fights at home, even with Deeya! Chinmayee in fact thinks the house is better off without me,” he laughs.
Parenting is a roller coaster ride, what do you say! Happy Father’s Day, Sumeet!
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