Actor Kabir Bedi recently released his autobiography—‘Stories I Must Tell: The Emotional Life of an Actor’. In his memoir, he has opened up about the highs and lows of his life, his relationships including marriage and divorce and more.
Now, during a recent interaction, the Mohenjo Daro actor reminisced about the time when his children Pooja Bedi and Siddharth Bedi would fly to the US, while he was working in Hollywood, and they would spend time together.
Kabir Bedi started his acting career in Indian theatre and joined Hindi film. The senior actor remains to be one of the first international actors from India who went on to star in Hollywood films and became a star in Europe.
Speaking to his granddaughter actor Alaya F, daughter of Pooja Bedi and Farhan Furniturewala in a live session held on Wednesday, Kabir gave an overview about the stories in his autobiography.
The 75-year-old actor pointed out how he always regretted not being able to spend more time with his children - Pooja Bedi and Siddharth Bedi. Kabir spoke about the time when 'the children had to be brought to me in their vacations or I would fly from America'.
He also added that they had 'spent their last few years of high school with me'. Kabir said that though he had divorced Alaya's nani (grandmother) Protima Bedi, he never 'divorced my children'. Siddharth took his own life in 1997, at the age of 25, after being diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Recalling the stories she heard from mom Pooja Bedi about her time in USA, Alaya F asked him "How was it incorporating them into your life in America. Was it hard? Were there sacrifices that had to be made? Was it easy? How was it having them there every year for the summer and having that time with them and introducing them to your life there?"
Kabir said, "Whenever there's a divorce it's always a tragedy and the biggest sufferers are the children. But even though I divorced your nani, I never ever divorced my children. So the children had to be brought to me in their vacations or I would fly from America. So there was no sacrifice involved, there was a cost involved but that didn't matter. What mattered was spending time with them. Whenever there's a divorce people always talk about quality time...but quantity is also important."
He further added, "One of my great regrets is that I couldn't give enough quantity time (to Pooja and Siddharth). So I tried to make it up by having the best time I could with them when they came. And that's what mattered to me. Being able to have that time with them and make the most of it…"
Kabir continued, "Those were very special times I spent with your mother and your uncle. They spent their last few years of high school with me. They came and lived in America with me then Pooja returned to Bombay to start her Bollywood career and Siddharth stayed on to go to university first Carnegie Mellon and then Chapel Hill in North Carolina. It was always on my mind to keep them as a part of my life, which I managed to do. I always regret that I couldn't spend more time with them but then that's what happens in divorces."
In a previous interview, Kabir also opened up about his son Siddharth Bedi’s suicide and his battle with schizophrenia.
The veteran actor shared that the family struggled to figure out what was wrong with their son and it took them three years to come face to face with his schizophrenia diagnosis. He also recalls how Siddharth had a violent breakdown on Montreal streets and was controlled by as many as eight policemen.