Om Puri will be moving on in life this year. His dream home is being built with his first wife, Seema Kapoor, in her hometown, Jhalawar in Rajasthan. At 61, Om is all set to start life again from scratch.
The most sensitive area that needs to be tackled in his separation with his current wife Nandita is his son 11-year-old Ishaan. It was the fear of hurting his son at such a crucial time that has kept Om from making the break so far. But now, says Om, the time has come for him to think of his personal happiness...with Ishaan's approval.
Om has been gradually preparing the child for his separation. But the reasons for the separation and Om's need to start afresh with a woman who is not Ishaan's mother are things too difficult for the child to understand. Om has therefore written a long heartfelt letter to his son which Ishaan will open at the right time.
Says Om, "I thought this was the best way to let Ishaan know that his father is not a bad person. That he is not a deserter. I have to explain to my son why I need to live away from him. I've put it all down in a letter that Ishaan will open after I leave.
I know he will not think unkindly of me once he reads what I have to say. I want him to know that although I'll be staying away from him and his mother I have the highest regard for her. That by leaving I don't mean to disrespect either my son's or his mother's feelings."
This poignant but pragmatic letter has been written, signed, sealed and now waiting to be delivered to the boy as soon as the time is right.
Meanwhile, Om is playing the perfect father. "I'm doing my best. In November I took Ishaan and his mother for a holiday on London, a city that my boy loves. I stayed in the hotel while Ishaan and his mom shopped and went sightseeing to their heart's content with a dear friend of mine.
Right now I'm shooting in a far-flung place near Khajuraho. There are no luxury hotels here. Ishaan said, 'Baba, I want to come and be with you.' I warned him he wouldn't have all the comforts and luxuries that he's used to. But Ishaan and I had so much fun."
Says Om, "I want Ishaan to know his Baba hasn't left him. I will be there for him anytime. I will take him on vacations. I'll be there for all the important events in his life. I don't want my son to think I've deserted him .I'll always be there for him and Nandita."
The other life with his first wife Seema Kapoor in Jhalawar now awaits Om.
Says Om, "I'm looking forward to my new life. I've stopped drinking completely. Now I want to give up smoking also. I want to live for Ishaan and Nandita, and for Seema."