New Delhi: The divorce between Sussanne Khan and Hrithik Roshan had no bearing on the bond that Zarine Khan, mother of the décor expert, shares with the Bollywood actor. She says they are still "mother" and "son" to each other.
Hrithik and Sussanne split in 2014 after a 17-year relationship, but the "Bang Bang" star still promoted the launch of a book by Zarine, on Twitter last week. He even called her "mom".
Zarine shares the same emotion for Hrithik, who has two sons with Sussanne.
"We have been friends since years. He is the father of my grandchildren and we are bonded for life," the wife of veteran actor Sanjay Khan and also mother of actor-producer Zayed Khan, jewellery designer Farah Khan Ali and entrepreneur Simone Arora, told IANS in an interview.
She credits Sussanne for her "graciousness" as a woman for letting the bond continue.
"When the divorce went through, she (Sussanne) didn't make a hue and cry. We are a family and we always have been family and friends together," added Zarine, who has over four decades of experience in interior designing, and who has now come up with her first book titled "Family Secrets: The Khan Family Cookbook".
Zarine, for whom "age is just a number", says she owes her culinary skills to her mother-in-law Bibi Fatima Begum Khan who cooked in a "Nawabi fashion".
"My maternal family and my husband's family used to bond over food a lot. My mother-in-law used to love the Nawabi style of cooking. I used to enjoy her food very much and as a result, I kept on taking down those recipes on slips of paper even at a very young age because I love food," she recollected.
Over the years, it is these slips that she kept putting into a box, and later decided to have the pages printed. "I even had them printed and bound in copies for my children after they got married," she said, referring to the importance of the family recipe concept.
"We are truly bonded and we are happy with the most innermost circle. I feel that family is with you in times of stress and happiness, so you have got to be together all the time. Since I have something good, I will give it to my children so that they continue the tradition of Khan family," she said.
Considering that the majority of her family is in the glamour world, how do they keep a check on calories?
"Everybody is conscious of calories but when they are on the table, they don't think twice. In fact, Hrithik breaks his fasts when he comes here (to our home). The men in the family love to not just eat, but also cook.
"My husband’s green masala chops are to die for. Zayed loves cooking European dishes and makes the best lasagne in the world,” she said.
She also has some pearls of wisdom for those who love to cook.
“If you want to get into cooking, you must cook with a lot of love in your heart. Then automatically food will taste better because you won't be in a hurry to finish it soon.
"For making Indian food, you have to take out time and patience,” she said, and added that cooking is a passion for her and that she has no plans for a cookery TV show.