‘I broke my mother’s heart a little when I eloped’

Photograph: Kind courtesy Zeenat Aman/Instagram

Zeenat Aman dedicated her latest post on Instagram to her mother, and shared the kind of relationship they had.

The actor posted two pictures of her mother, one with Zeenat’s father, Amanullah Khan, and the other with her German stepfather, ‘Uncle Heinz’. 

‘Every Sunday, a dedicated well-wisher sends me old photographs from their archive. Zeenat Aman memorabilia if you please. This Sunday he sent me these two images of my mother, pictured respectively with my father Amanullah Khan and my German stepfather Uncle Heinz,’ Zeenat writes.

Photograph: Kind courtesy Zeenat Aman/Instagram

‘There has been no more extraordinary woman in the world than my Ma. She was my safe harbour. She was a woman ahead of the curve. She was gracious, beautiful and whip smart.’

‘After she and my father separated in the 50s, she taught herself business and became a working woman. She sent me to the best of boarding schools and never missed a visit, whence she would come laden with parcels of tuck.

‘When I made up my mind to pursue a career in acting, she gave up her own work to be my manager. She negotiated my contracts, invested my earnings, packed my tiffins, ran my lines, inspired my style, and bolstered my confidence to the nth degree. All this while maintaining her own exciting social life within the expat community in Mumbai.’


Photograph: Kind courtesy Zeenat Aman/Instagram

‘Mummy never thought any man was worthy of me (she was onto something there), and it was the only matter that we ever locked horns on. Even then, if I were ever low, I would crawl into her bed in our apartment off Nepean Sea Road, lay by her side and hold her hand. No words would be spoken, but my turmoil would settle and I would feel secure.

‘It’s true that I broke her heart a little when I eloped, but it mended with the birth of my first son, who shares a birthday with her.

‘When ma died in 1995, I felt as though a veil of protection was snatched off my shoulders. These pictures are all the more precious to me now that I can only return to her safe harbour in my memories.’