That Fatherly Bond - Aadarsh Balakrishna

He is an actor, a cricketer, and runners up of Bigg Boss Telugu Season 1, but above all, he is a kind and giving father to his 16-month-old son Nirvaan. Aadarsh is a hands-on parent and together with his wife and son, he is exploring the world and discovering new facets of his personality. Read on to know more about the bond he shares with his child, and much more.   

How has fatherhood changed your life?
As much as I’ve always wanted to be a father and emulate what my the father has been to me, I’ve come to realise that it’s something you can’t really prepare for. It’s an experience unlike any other. Fatherhood has changed me in a multitude of ways. I’ve gotten more responsible for starters. My night life and social time has gone out of the window completely, but that’s expected I guess. I also happened to move out of my parents’ home a while ago, so that automatically puts more responsibility on you. It’s like I’ve had to grow up overnight! It’s made me think of the kind of son that I’ve been to my parents, and I guess somewhere it’s helped my equation with my parents, too. You don’t take them for granted anymore.

Every day is a learning experience. You learn patience, unconditional love, and empathy. I guess it’s also made me more ambitious in the sense that I’d like to provide the best of everything to my family, not merely in a materialistic manner, but in a holistic way. My wife and I have a better understanding of ourselves, individually and together. By and large, it’s making us better versions of ourselves.

What do you enjoy most about being a dad?
You know what’s funny? When I was in my early 20s, as weird as it may sound, I remember wanting to be a father. I remember telling my friends that I wanted to be the coolest pop around. In fact, the name Nirvaan was decided a decade ago (laughs)! Turns out that my plans were all spot on. So when you see something that you’ve so strongly wanted, unfold in front of your eyes, it’s a feeling that cannot be explained. It’s joie de vivre!

Is there anything you do differently as compared to your parents?
I think my parents raised me amazingly well, but they were probably too one dimensional in their approach. So I guess I’m making a conscious effort to expose Nirvaan to as many different things and situations as possible...travel, music, sport, books. We talk to him a lot, in fact, sometimes we end up treating him like an adult (smiles)!

What is the one thing you’ve learnt from your son?
That success is not final and failure is not fatal. Essentially what I’m trying to say is that living in the moment is the greatest lesson that we can learn from children, and trust me it’s a constant struggle for us adults.

How do you spend time with Nirvaan?
Nirvaan accompanies us everywhere. He’s about 16 months now so he’s just about got to the stage where we are starting to do fun things together. We travel a lot and he’s a natural explorer, as most kids are...they’re so curious about everything around them. Being with Nirvaan, I’m learning the art of being curious and exploring, and I think if you carry that attitude, you can have fun in anything that
you do.        

What are your current projects on the work front?   
I’m working on four projects at the moment—Wife of Ram with Lakshmi Manchu where I play an extremely interesting bad guy; Neevevaro with Taapsee Pannu and Aadi Pinnisetty, in which I’m a blind sculptor; Vijeta with Kalyan Dev, wherein I play a guy who resents his family, but later reconciles with them. Finally, I’m working on a yet untitled film with Sharwanand and Sudheer Varma, where I play a gangster! All of these movies are so different from one another in terms of the kind of cinema and genre they belong to, and also my roles in each of them. So this is a very exciting time for me professionally. I’m just dying to do kickass cinema...it makes me so happy! I’d like to do cinema that is cutting edge and path breaking. 

Tell us about your experience at Bigg Boss. What did you learn through reality television?
Big Boss was an experience of a lifetime. Being there made me realise that freedom is the single most important thing in life! But, like I read somewhere, freedom is never free!

Is television a medium you’d like to explore?
There’s lots of interesting stuff happening on TV and if there’s something exciting that comes my way, I’m definitely up for it.

How do you balance your personal and professional life?
When you have a young family and you want the best for them, you learn to automatically balance your professional and personal life. I mean, you’re not always in control of timelines but then you learn to make the most of your free time. This time of my life will never come back (I’m talking from experience here) so I’m trying to seize the moment as much as possible (smiles)!

--- as told to Niharika