Farah Khan Kunder and Shirish Kunder’s love story is a true testimonial of ‘Opposites Attract’. Embracing each other’s differences, love found common ground in their intelligence, ambitions and unwavering commitment to work. Destined to be together, Farah Khan knew Shirish Kunder was the one for whom she would change her stubborn decision of not marrying anyone, ever!
In an industry where relationships and marriages are quite hard to float seamlessly, Farah Khan and Shirish Kunder make one of the most inspiring pairs of Bollywood whose love stood the test of time and deep-rooted patriarchal norms. Farah Khan, a versatile overachiever and Shirish Kunder, an adept filmmaker are two different sides of a coin; where Farah Khan is bold, outspoken and full of life, her husband Shirish Kunder is the calmest, intelligent and ‘actions-over-words’ kind of person. While their love story has been nothing less than a fairytale, they have had their fair share of ups and downs, but this love duo didn’t leave each other’s side even during the hardest storms.
Farah Khan is undoubtedly a top-tier Indian film director, choreographer, writer and film producer who works predominantly in Hindi films and has proven her mettle innumerable times. Born on 9th January 1965 in Mumbai, Maharashtra, Farah Khan’s birth name was Farahdeeba Khan. She is an influential figure in Indian cinema. Khan has proven her versatility over the years and has dominated the film industry with sheer dedication and hard work. She comes from a Muslim family with connections in the entertainment industry. Her father, Kamran Khan was a stuntman turned filmmaker. Her mother, Menaka Irani is the sister of well-known screenwriter Honey Irani and former child actor Daisy Irani. Khan, who is filled with zest and spirit, considers her mother to be the role model of her life. Khan’s primary schooling was done at St. Teresa’s Convent School, Mumbai. She later pursued sociology at St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai. It was during that time, the music video of Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ was released. The music video inspired her to choose an unconventional career in the film industry. She decided to make her vocation through dancing and choreographing. Khan initiated her career in the glamorous industry as an Assistant Choreographer. Her first film as a choreographer was ‘Kahan Kahan Se Guzar Gaya.’ Soon destiny showered her with a big break she was searching for with the film ‘Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar.’ The film initially had to be choreographed by renowned choreographer and dancer, Saroj Khan. But, when she walked out of the film, it proved to be a golden chance for Khan. She took the film by storm and showcased her talent. There was no looking back since then. Later, she worked for films like ‘Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa’, ‘Monsoon Wedding’, ‘Bombay Dreams’ and ‘Vanity Fair.’ Khan is also the cousin of Farhan Akhtar & Zoya Akhtar and shares a close-knit bond with Shah Rukh Khan & Gauri Khan.
Shirish Kunder is a proficient Indian filmmaker, screenwriter, and editor known for his work in the Bollywood film industry. Born on 24th May, 1973 in Mangalore, Karnataka, Shirish Kunder comes from a humble background. He studied Electronics & Telecommunications Engineering at the SDM College of Engineering and Technology in Dharwad. His career and professional life have been more widely documented whereas his personal life and family background have always been kept under folds. Before trying his luck in the show biz, Kunder worked as an Electronical Engineer for Motorola Telecommunications Company. He began working as an editor and later ventured into screenwriting and filmmaking in the Bollywood industry. He has worked as an editor for various films and showcased his nuances. A remarkable start to his journey happened with the film ‘Jaan-E-Mann’ starring Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar and Preity Zinta. The film was directed by Kunder and was critically acclaimed for its innovative visual narrative style. He has also directed ‘Joker’, ‘Mrs. Serial Killer’ and ‘Kriti’, a short film.
The First Meet
The sets of the film ‘Main Hoon Na’, the directorial debut of Khan acted as a catalyst for the love story of Kunder – Khan. Kunder was intimidated by Khan’s intelligence and admired her even before working with her. Soon he got an offer from Khan to work as an editor for her film ‘Mai Hoon Na.’ Kunder’s crush made him say yes to the offer even at a lower payroll. He started developing strong feelings for the dynamic persona whilst shooting for the film. Kunder, an introvert at heart, was too shy to confront his feelings in front of her. He didn’t do anything about his feelings and left things to fate. It was during a house party when Kunder got drunk and gathered the courage to confess her long-drawn feelings for Khan. Khan, who was also withdrawn by the editor’s intelligence, didn’t see this coming. She was surprised but flattered at the same time knowing somebody had a mysterious crush on her for so long. Working together helped them to know each other’s lives closely and sooner love was fostered between the two. Khan was sceptical about her decision as Kunder was eight years younger than her and there was a religious hindrance too but she decided to embark on this love journey.
Kunder’s proposal was more of an ultimatum. Afraid of heartbreaks, Kunder wanted an assurance of this relationship sailing to a destination. He said “If you don’t want to get married darling, please get out. I don’t want to be seeing you and wasting my time. If you are serious about this relationship and want to get married then we will take it further.” Khan, who never wanted to get married realized her deep love for Kunder and wanted to spend the rest of her life with him. She said yes to the proposal. They were in a courtship period of four years and kept the relationship under wraps.
Through Thick & Thin
Shirish Kunder and Farah Khan tied the knot on 9th December 2004 in three different ceremonies. They had a registered marriage, followed by a traditional South Indian wedding and a Nikaah ceremony. The Kanyadaan was done by his soul friend, Shah Rukh Khan. However, things weren’t as rosy for the couple as it seemed. Before tying the knot, the duo had to face a lot of criticism. The age-gap barrier attained a lot of trolls from their acquaintances and their marriage was assumed to be a doom. Khan was targeted with mean comments like ‘Older woman syndrome’ and ‘What is she thinking?’ Khan and Kunder knew they were soulmates so without paying heed to such negative comments and trolling, they commenced their love saga. Smashing the patriarchy once again, Khan became a mother at the age of 43 in the year 2008. The couple is blessed with triplets, two daughters and a son – Diva, Anya and Czar which were conceived through In Vitro fertilization (IVF). After a couple of failed attempts to conceive naturally, Khan and Kunder opted for this fertility treatment. The couple was taken down to the troll road once again and were poured some mean comments for being a mother at an older age. Kunder stood by Khan like a rock pillar and did not let such comments affect their lives. The duo was each other’s support system in every up and down of their lives – reflecting the fact that love conquers all and everything in the end.