For 23-year-old Zoa Morani, life changed lanes suddenly when dad Karim Morani, director of Cineyug Films, was named an accused in the 2G scam.
She was getting ready to promote her debut movie, " Always Kabhie Kabhie", when she found herself surrounded by controversy. Since then, she's been paying regular visits to Delhi for her dad's trial, even as she balances promotional events for her films across the country. DT caught up with her on Saturday, when she was here.
"I landed in Delhi for a few hours, after which I had to go to Mumbai for promotions. Then I came back to Delhi and had to go back again. This whole week, I've been going up and down and trying to find a balance between papa's trial and my promotions." She adds, "No one anticipates anything like this, you know. It's all been so unexpected. I've always been the apple of my father's eye and beech mein, while growing up, I became a little bratty. But then around two years ago, I felt that I should again get back that status of the 'apple of my father's eye' and I started working really hard. This movie means so much to me because I want to make him proud. But the situation is so terrible right now. I don't understand how it all changed so suddenly. He's not by my side when I need him the most."
Zoa says that she's "literally floating through time" and doesn't know how she really is dealing with the uncertainty of her dad's future. "I'm completely spaced out. And I know papa too is very hassled, even though he wants to focus on the release. But he cannot – he doesn't know what will happen. I'm having a conversation with God as to why he made me face such circumstances. I know this too shall pass, but one does wonder why one had to face all this."
Zoa adds, "It's a very stressful time for my family and me. My mother is a very strong woman, my younger sister's also dealing with it, and so am I. At times it all becomes really strange – one minute I'm in court for Papa's trial, and then the next, I'm facing cameras to promote my film and then I'm travelling across cities, and coming to Delhi to be by his side. It's at moments like these when you need to hide your emotions and bring out the actor in you. It's really difficult to manage it like this, but we are all standing firm because we know he's innocent."
But it's his health that she says she is most worried about. She says, "No one seems to understand how bad his health is. He's had heart trouble since he was 30. We are used to waking up in the night and calling a doctor for him. But who will do all that now? He takes blood thinners and daily exercise is very important for him; not adhering to all this could prove fatal. But who will take responsibility for all of this during the trial? That's stressing us the most."
Morani's friend Shah Rukh Khan has stood by him, and the family, says Zoa, is grateful. "SRK has stood by my father and that's the time you get to know who your real friends are. He's been a pillar of support. And the statements he's given about standing by papa's side – you know he is someone who truly values friendships."