Boman Irani recalls ‘favourite failure’ and his encounter with Homi Adajania’s father

Boman Irani opened up on his favourite failure which dates back to the time when he loved sports photography and wanted to be an official photographer at a Boxing World Cup.

Actor Boman Irani opened up on his favourite failure which dates back to the time when he loved sports photography and wanted to be an official photographer at a Boxing World Cup. In a conversation with Vaibhav Munjal, CEO and co-founder of ‘Chalchitra Talks’, during the Cinevesture International Film Festival 2024 (CIFF), Irani spoke about his first encounter with Aspy Adajania, an Indian Army officer, boxing administrator and father of filmmaker Homi Adajania.

Boman said: “I think every week there is one failure. My naivety is in full bloom even at the age of 64. And that naivety is the only thing that helps me succeed and fail. So, I think my favourite failure has been… I don’t think I look at it in a depressing kind of way honestly, so I don’t know how to favoritise them.”

Irani said: “But I think when I was walking around with my script doing a lot of legwork to get people to be interested in it or rather to be believers. People used to say ‘I can’t reference this story’, and I would say ‘okay’. They are not believing, it’s fine, I respect those people.

“But it doesn’t matter. So everybody passed. And that gave me the sense that ‘when they will get it, they will get it’. And I don’t like playing the victim. It’s the worst thing you can do to yourself play the victim.”

He then went on to narrate how he wanted to be an official photographer of the Boxing World Cup.

“I used to love sports photography,” Irani reminisced.

“I went to Aspy Adajania. He was the president of the Indian Boxing Association. I showed him all my photographs and he was very impressed. With his big booming voice, he said ‘very nice, beautiful, good’. But then Aspy said, ‘We can’t hire you’,” Irani recalled.

Aspy said, “You (Boman Irani) are a waferwala”.

“I used to sell wafers. I thought to myself, ‘Is he being racist or what?”, Irani said.

“Aspy asked, ‘Where do you buy your potatoes from?’ This is the most bizarre conversation happening when I wanted to pitch myself as the official photographer for the World Cup,” Irani said.

“Aspy said, ‘What do you know about potatoes?’ I said, ‘Everything I need to know about potatoes, I know it.’ Then I described to him about the potatoes in detail. He said, ‘You have done BA, MA in potatoes?’ Then he said, ‘What do you know about onions?’ I said, ‘Nothing’,” Irani shared.

Dropping the bombshell, Aspi said: “Exactly son, you have shown me photographs of cycling, sprinting, cricket, hockey, football, rugby, but there is not a single photograph of boxing. And you want to be the official photographer of the Boxing World Cup?’, to which Irani said, ‘You are absolutely right’.”

Irani said, “Aspi was like a mentor after that. He kept encouraging me.”

Irani shared the lessons he learnt: “These are the failures that should have some life lessons that really knock you down. Don’t be offended by people when they are teaching you something. Learn and be humble in that learning experience. That’s my favourite failure.”

For the unversed, Adajania ultimately roped in Irani as official photographer of the Boxing World Cup. It was held at the Bombay Gymkhana.

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