World Teacher’s Day: Zoya-Javed Akhtar to Alia-Mahesh Bhatt, Bollywood fathers who mentored their daughters
On World Teacher’s Day, here is a look at some of the most heartwarming success stories in the Hindi film industry that also showcase the very special bond between fathers and daughters. Defying gender prejudices, these stories show when daughters are loved, cherished and encouraged, they can soar to the highest pinnacles of success. An overview of a few such examples:
Zoya Akhtar and Javed Akhtar
Zoya Akhtar is one of the few women in the industry whose unique directorial vision has spawned an independent empire of creative content spanning OTT shows like ‘Made in Heaven’ and multiple award-winning films including ‘Gully Boy.’ Zoya is a clutter-breaking director whose work defies genres and much of this creative vision comes from her parents Honey Irani, a writer and director herself and Javed Akhtar, the iconic screenplay writer, poet and lyricist. Zoya’s cinema always has some amount of creative collaboration with her legendary father whose lyrics and poems have animated her films including ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.’
Deepshikha Deshmukh and Vashu Bhagnani
Veteran producer Vashu Bhagnani came to Mumbai with his family more than 25 years ago with nothing but dreams in his eyes. His passion for cinema led him to create Pooja Entertainment and today his legacy is being taken forward by his children. Deepshikha started assisting her father on and worked her way up to now handle massive productions like ‘Bellbottom’ and ‘Ganapath.’ She is today the business development head for the heritage production house and films like ‘Sarabjit’, ‘Jawaani Jaaneman’ and counting show her creative range and business acumen She also runs the organic beauty brand, ‘Love Organically.’
Pooja/Alia Bhatt and Mahesh Bhatt
From the time he came into the industry, Mahesh Bhatt etched his own unique path as a director and producer with films like ‘Saaransh’, ‘Arth’, ‘Sadak’, ‘Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin’, Aashiqui, and a lot more. Not only has he given countless breaks to young actors, lyricists, and musicians via his films, he has encouraged his two strikingly unique daughters to live their dreams. Pooja was one of the most unconventional talents in the eighties and went on to produce films as well. She recently made a stunning comeback in the OTT series ‘Bombay Begums’ while Alia, despite not being launched by her father, is currently one of the most acclaimed and successful actors in the industry.
Ekta Kapoor and Jeetendra
In an industry that is traditionally known for star sons getting ready-made launch vehicles, Ekta made her own rules and went on to redefine the entertainment industry with content that was not always critically acclaimed but caught the imagination of the masses. She now runs a massive content creation industry that caters to various platforms including the big screen. She has backed some of the most successful small and big screen ventures like ‘Pavitra Rishta’, ‘Bade Acche Lagte Hain’, ‘Kundali Bhagya’ and films like ‘Ek Villain’, ‘Dirty Picture’ and counting. She is today a household name and is the joint managing director and creative head of Balaji Telefilm. Jeetendra, the man who started his career as an ‘extra’ in a V Shantaram film could not be prouder of the fact that his daughter too, did it her way.
Sonam/Rhea and Anil Kapoor
Anil Kapoor began his career as a supporting actor in films like ‘Hamare Tumhare’ and ‘Ek Baar Kaho’ till a starring role in ‘Woh Saat Din’ catapulted him to stardom. His daughters Sonam and Rhea may not have struggled as much as him but they have imbibed his discipline, work ethic and passion for cinema. They have also been raised to be refreshingly honest in an industry that is known for weighing every word and action. While Sonam has grown into a fine actor via films like ‘Neerja’, Rhea is busy producing films like ‘Veere Di Wedding’, ‘Khoobsurat’ and ‘Aisha’. The two also co-own a fashion line. ‘Rheason.’