Rachit Gupta (BOMBAY TIMES; July 11, 2018)

They say, parenthood is akin to seeing your heart beating outside your body for the rest of your life. Actor-producer-filmmaker Shreyas Talpade certainly subscribes to the thought. These days, he is relishing his new role as a doting dad to his two-month-old daughter, Aadya.

Shreyas and his wife Deepti welcomed their first child through surrogacy on May 4, this year. And ever since, the Talpade household has put cinema conversations on hold. Shreyas says, “Aadya had us wrapped around her little finger from the very beginning. She made us come back to India the very day we landed in Hong Kong. It was like her saying, ‘How could you go on a vacation without me? Come back!’ Deepti and I flew back in an instant.”

For now, Shreyas has decided to take each day as it comes. He says, “Deepti and I are both chilled out, we’re not worrying about every little thing.”

Shreyas says, “We also have two pets and the first thing we did was to make sure that they didn’t feel insecure with Aadya’s arrival. We want our daughter to treat Don and Knight like her elder brothers. Right now, we’re just enjoying every moment with her. Every day, we see a little change in her.”

Equal parenting has become the norm today, and the actor fully endorses it. “Gone are the days when only mothers used to tend to the children. In any situation, kids would always seek their mother. But I want my daughter to count on me, too. I want her to tell me everything — her fears, happiness and excitement. That won’t happen unless I am completely involved in her life,” he explains.

So, the actor has taken to changing nappies and getting the temperature right for the baby’s milk. He adds, “I am feeding her, I am cleaning the nappies, too. The only thing that I’m scared of is bathing her. I am enjoying all these new experiences. I’m really enjoying being a hands-on father.”

While he’s really kicked about fatherhood, Shreyas hasn’t forgotten that his career is going through a purple patch, too. His last release, Golmaal Again (2017), was a hit and he debuted as a director with Poster Boys (2017), which was a remake of his own Marathi production, Poshter Boyz (2014). And over the years, Shreyas has become a sought-after name in Marathi cinema, too. He says, “There’s new belief and passion, and a whole new spate of filmmakers who want to create exciting stuff. Marathi cinema has started competing with not just Bollywood, but Hollywood, too. We have Hollywood films earning Rs 100 crore, capturing a big part of the Indian market. If you have to compete with them, you have to make sure that your content is good enough.” About his upcoming Marathi projects, he says, “I will be shooting for that film in the US in August-September. We will also start work on the sequel to Poshter Boyz.”

Throughout his career, Shreyas has tried to balance films like Iqbal (2005) and Dor (2006) with commercial fare like Apna Sapna Money Money (2006), Om Shanti Om (2007) and the Golmaal series. He says, “When it comes to choosing films and roles, I just go with my instinct and pick up whatever I feel I’ll enjoy doing. I feel that it’s never really gone bad for my career.”

Looking back, Shreyas says that he feels fortunate to have made a career in the movies. “After I am gone, the only thing that will keep my memories alive is cinema. If you can manage to make a film that sparks off a trend or a cult following, you’ve achieved something. We all constantly try to make these moments with our films,” he notes.

Shreyas also feels that the only way to survive in showbiz is to work tirelessly. “In the long run, only the best survives. Lambi race ka ghoda banna bahut zaroori hota hai. Those who come to the film industry to earn a quick buck or become famous do their three-four films and disappear into oblivion. But if your intentions are honest and you have a penchant for trying out new things, the film industry gives you a chance to shine and make your mark. I had no connections, I came from nowhere. But the film industry embraced me and gave me a chance.”