By Akanksha Gupta Last Updated:
Actor Boman Irani and his wife Zenobia’s love story is an endearing one that warms one right up. In this day and age with all the break-ups, make-ups, and unpredictability of relationships, the Iranis stand apart with their more-than-three-decade-long strong bond.
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Boman and Zenobia chanced upon each other long before the actor entered the world of showbiz. Many may not know this, but the 3 Idiots actor’s past had nothing to do with Bollywood for miles. In fact, Boman worked at the famous The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel as a waiter and in room service for two years before moving on to help his mother operate the family’s potato chips shop. His dad passed away at the young age of 28, even before Boman was born, and so the youngest of the four siblings started helping his mother with the family business. And that was the setting of Zenobia and Boman’s love story.
It was a chance encounter, or you could say kismat, when Zenobia stepped into Boman’s shop to buy chips. Awestruck, Boman made small talk to get the conversation started. Very soon the acquaintance grew into something more; Zenobia became a shop regular, walking in almost every single day to meet Boman on the pretext of buying some good ol’ potato chips!
Once talking about their love story, he said:
“She was a customer at the shop from where she became a frequent customer, then a daily customer”
It seems luck was in the favour of the young couple as it turned out that Zenobia too hailed from the close-knit Parsi community. The twosome didn’t have to face the strict marriage rules of Zoroastrianism and convinced their folks quite easily to give them their blessings. On the January 28, 1985, a 25-year-old Boman tied the knot with Zenobia in a traditional Parsi ceremony. To find a loving and understanding partner in Zenobia, Boman had struck gold. Explaining his admiration of her, he once said:
“I have the greatest respect for her as a human being. She is my conscience and a great soulmate. She is willing to tell me where I am going wrong… She is clear-headed and selfless. She is extremely clear, especially about values.”
Very soon the Irani family was complete with the birth of their sons, first Danesh and then Kayoze, who made his debut in the 2012 flick Student of the Year.
Zenobia is quite the pillar of support, always firm at her husband’s side, even when Boman wanted to let out the “roaring dragon waiting to explode”—explore the unchartered territory of a different occupation. Wanting more from life and an urge to do something different than run the chips shop, Boman set out to try a different profession. He said in an interview:
“About five years after my marriage, I decided to take up photography as I loved it very much.”
Boman often freelanced as a photographer, and soon with the support of his wife, he got into training in Chennai for two months. After coming back to Mumbai, he joined an ad agency. All the hard work soon paid off as Boman’s talent was recognized and he started photographing the Miss India pageants. Boman has remarked looking back:
“When photography happened, the dragon came out, but financially it was tough.”
However, Zenobia’s partnership was a blessing, and Boman explored more career options after this; stage actor at 35 and movie actor at 44.
It is pretty evident that even after 30 years of wedded bliss, the sheen has not faded from the Irani marriage. Boman keeps sharing his admiration and love for Zenobia on social media. On their 30th anniversary, the Munna Bhai M.B.B.S actor whisked his lady love to the Maldives. Along with a beautiful photo of the stunning destination, he tweeted:
“On our 30th anniversary honeymoon in God’s own hangout.”
It seems that the couple support each other in their ideals and causes, too! Quite recently, Zenobia walked the ramp with her husband for NGO Cancer Patients Aid Association in order to raise funds. The proud husband exclaimed on Twitter:
“Walked the ramp for the cancer patients fund raiser with this gorgeous girl, Zenobia! Mrs Irani.”
The Iranis are an exemplary couple, be it in Bollywood or real life. Their love has grown from strength to strength and it is quite evident from their journey—from the humble beginnings in a chips shop to the glitz of showbiz. They’ve been by each other’s side through thick and thin and we hope for more beautiful days for this amazing couple.