For his easy demeanour, Harsha Bhogle switches to a slightly serious mood, when he realises it is a discussion on parenting. That lasts for no more than half a minute before he breaks into that grin one has seen innumerable times on air. “If you really want the truth, I will step out and go for a walk. Anita will give you the complete story,” he says.
While he says it with characteristic wit, his mainstay while commentating, it is not far from the truth. His wife, Anita has been the backbone of the parenthood story in the Bhogle household. She has been through the journey of bringing up their two boys, whom the parents are immensely proud of. Calling them boys is somewhat incorrect, as they quickly point out. After all, Chinmay is 29 and Satchit is 24.
Anita and Harsha were classmates at IIM Ahmedabad. Both started their careers in advertising, with Harsha at Rediffusion and Anita at Contract Advertising after graduation in 1985. Three years after that, the couple had Chinmay and after a year’s break Anita went back to work joining FCB Ulka in 1989. But with no grandparents to help out, working full-time for limited hours came with its own constraints. In 1990, Anita decided to branch out on her own, starting a market research and consultancy firm, Prosearch Consultants. In 1993, their second son Satchit was born and Harsha was just finding his feet as a commentator, which meant more time was spent out of home, often abroad, for long periods of time. This was when Anita decided to drop anchor and take charge of bringing up the kids. “There was many an occasion when I felt like a single parent. We did not have anyone in Mumbai and it wasn’t easy with Harsha being away on overseas tours. There is no doubt I had to give up a lot but I am certainly not bitter about it. I was there to open the door when they came back from school. That I think is a very important time,” says Anita candidly.
You don’t want to be left behind. Do you?
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