Emraan Hashmi is a proud dad. On Friday, commemorated as International Tiger Day, his son, Ayaan, the `superhero’ of his first bestseller, ‘Kiss of Life: How A Superhero and my Son Defeated Cancer’, made his acting debut. The 37-year old actor chronicled the moment on the social media exulting, “Ayaan makes his first appearance on screen at the age of 6…The same age as I was when I first faced the camera!” The little boy is seen along with 14 other kids of different ages with a Tiger tattoo on their faces, urging grown-ups not to harm tigers or destroy the forests in a short film, Kids for Tigers, produced by Dia Mirza. Written by Cara Tejpal and Dia’s husband Sahil Sangha and filmed by Rohan Shrestha, it propagates a simple, heartfelt message through these innocents about tigers and environment conservation. The video uploaded on YouTube, impresses upon heartless adults the need to leave a better world behind for the voiceless wild cats.
Even though it was a first for him, Ayaan exhibited the effortless ease of a veteran as he campaigned for the cause, reprimanding grown-ups for doing horrible things. “You hurt tigers and you hurt living beings. When all the trees are gone, where will the animals go? Where will we go?” he questioned, earnestly.
His mom, Parveen, had taken him for the shoot and dad was waiting to see what his son had done. When he did see the video he was like, “Wow, this little guy is good! There’s so much ease in his body language, hands in his pocket, he mouths his lines without any signs of discomfort or inhibition. It’s very nice,” he applauded.
Emraan goes on to reminisce about his own acting debut, admitting frankly that it was easier for him because he did not have any lines. “It was my first ad for a mosquito repellent. There was a jingle playing, I had to come out from beneath a bed sheet and say something. I don’t remember what, but it was definitely not the kind of dialogue my son speaks. For me it was more about looking cute,” he laughs.
He was paid Rs 2,500 for the shoot. His parents didn’t want him to spend the money but at the same time they wanted him to feel good about earning it. “So they told me that I had bought own toys with my first paycheque and whisked me off on trip to Tokyo,” he flashbacks. Since this is for a cause, there was no money involved as far as Ayaan’s debut goes.But given how much his son loves animals, in particular dogs and the wild cats, Emraan is planning to take him on a tiger safari soon.