Mira Nair: 'My son is not a firang'



Mumbai, May 21 -- She left India when she was 19 and has homes in Uganda and USA. But internationally acclaimed filmmaker of Indian origin, Mira Nair, says she has kept her son Zohran (with husband Mahmood Mamdani), grounded, with his Indian roots intact.

"He is a total desi. Completely. We are not firangs at all. He is very much us. He is not an Uhmericcan (sic) at all. He was born in Uganda and raised between India and America. He is at home in many places. He thinks of himself as a Ugandan and as an Indian," said Mira during her recent visit to the country.

A junior in college with one more year to go, the 21-year-old is studying Arabic and politics. "He is a very 'chaalu' (clever) fellow. At home, we speak only Hindustani. He is involved with popular culture, but he is not into movies. As in, he doesn't make them (unlike me)." she says.

Ask her if it has been a deliberate attempt from her end to cocoon him from the spotlight, and the 55-year-old says, "Yes. We are not filmi people," adding that her son comes to India "often". She, however, wouldn't want him to follow in her footsteps in terms of her career. "He should do whatever he wants to do. I don't see it in him to make movies. He is very involved with current affairs, politics and political issues. I think he can be engaged in the world in someway to make a difference. He is very interested in that."

Despite that, Mira consults him on the films she makes to gather a young audience's point of view. "For instance, he brought Kal Penn to my eyes when I cast him as the lead in The Namesake (2006). I didn't know Kal earlier," she says.

Mira also reveals that Zohran was equally involved in the casting for The Reluctant Fundamentalist. He is also trying to get Mira active on social media. "He is the one who put me on Twitter. I knew about it but I didn't use it," adds the filmmaker.