Actors Karan Singh Grover and Bipasha Basu welcomed their daughter, Devi Basu Singh Grover, in November last year. And they have been busy looking after the seven-month-old ever since. On Father’s Day today, Karan, in his first interview after becoming a dad, recalls the first time he held his daughter. “Since I am an extremely emotional guy, I’d imagined that the moment I hold my daughter for the first time, I’d burn my eyes out, crying. But when I held Devi, I felt something changed in me. That feeling is inexplicable. When we were pregnant, I’d speak to Bipasha’s womb every day and say, ‘Hi chota babu, Papa is here’. I said that again when I held Devi for the first time and she opened her eyes. I did the first skin-to-skin with her, too.”
Though he’s proud to call himself “a hands-on dad”, Karan admits that he’s nowhere close to wife Bipasha in that department: “I don’t think any father can be as hands-on as a mother, because they definitely have more than two hands (laughs). Their potential is unfathomable. But yes, I try to do everything that I am capable of and become a better dad every day by understanding my baby’s needs, likes and dislikes.”
For celebs parents, striking a balance between work and their babies could be arduous. Ask if it’s been a challenge for him, too, and Karan admits, “Yes, time management is an issue for us, celebs, but it’s a little different for me. Being a dad takes a lot of my time and I enjoy that. Sometimes, if I have to take things slow on the work front, I don’t mind that because I don’t want to miss out on any of Devi’s firsts – her first crawl, her first wink, her first splash of water while bathing, etc. Having said that, I feel blessed to belong to a profession that allows me to do things at my own pace. So, I can choose to work one day and take an off the next day and be with my baby and Bipasha. A lot of people don’t have that luxury, so I feel grateful.”
Similarities between you and your daughter
She has my chin and she smiles like me. Also, she and I sleep in the same position. Bipasha calls it the fallen man position (laughs).
Favourite pastime with Devi
We have a playlist called Devi’s bath playlist. We play it when her bath is about to start. We also have music time in the day and I sing to her. She enjoys old songs from The Jungle Book, including The Bare Necessities and I Wan’na Be like You. I dance for her while mumma moisturises her after bath.
How becoming a dad changed you?
I thought I knew everything about love, but having a baby girl made me understand love in unparalleled ways. In fact, now, I am also aware of my greatest fears, most importantly the fear of losing someone I love. As soon as she came to us, there was an overwhelming sense of purpose to protect both my girls – Bipasha and Devi.
How has she changed me as an artiste?
It has not just changed me as an actor but also as an artist (painter). The emotions I feel get translated into the art I create. During our pregnancy, I made a series of paintings. It’s called the Devi series and it’s among my most special creations.
What does Devi mean to you?
I understand why it’s said that fathers are closer to their daughters. Devi is the physical manifestation of Bipasha and my love. She means everything to us. She’s our heart.