Irrfan Khan, who has always chosen to tread the unbeaten path in Hindi filmdom, believes in "wholesome" education, but says his own graduation degree turned out to be "useless" for his career as an actor.
Some of Bollywood's leading actors have made it big with their talent despite not having completed their education. Irrfan feels it's always good when people follow their interest rather than chasing the 'formula' of completing education first and then stepping into the field they desire.
During a chat with IANS at a school here, Irrfan said: `If you have done your schooling and if your kids decide to go for their passion (acting), it's their choice. You can't force such things (further studies) on your kids. You can't have the formula of doing graduation first and then MBA and then come to acting (or whatever their passion is)."
Citing his own example, the "Slumdog Millionaire" actor, who is a father of two in real life, recollected how "my mother's only condition was 'Tu graduate hoja, fir jo karna hai kar lena' (finish your graduation first and then do whatever you feel like)".
"But for me, that is (turned out to be) useless. It didn't pay me at all,` said the 48-year-old actor.
`Our kids today have become much smarter. When you ask them that 'What do you want to do', they say that they will decide when they are in eleventh or twelfth standard. I feel that's good and I respect that. They want to see where their interest lies and then they think of deciding their career. That's very good,` he added.
The actor was in the capital to visit a P&G Shiksha school for the brand's CSR initiative. During an interactive session with the children, he shared some of his childhood memories and emphasised on the importance of education for a better future.
Education to him means "to broaden your mind and not to put it in a cage`.
`There is a different system of education in India and I feel that it should be wholesome. Children have to understand things according to their age... Sometimes education becomes a cage for many kids,` added Irrfan, who is married to Sutapa Sikdar and has two sons -- Babil and Aryan.
On the film front, he is geared up for his next release `Piku`, where he is sharing screen for the first time with megastar Amitabh Bachchan and Deepika Padukone.
Many actors in tinsel town wish for a long and successful career like the Big B, but Irrfan finds it "hypothetical".
"I don't know what I will feel or do after five years. There is no way I can decide about the future. I take life as it comes. I want to enjoy life... whatever I may do, but yes, I want to be engaged to my interests always,` added the National Award-winning actor, who is also a popular face internationally courtesy his Hollywood projects.
Through `The Namesake", `A Mighty Heart`, "Life of Pi" and `The Amazing Spider-Man`, Irrfan has managed to make space in the west. He has also landed a role in `Inferno`, where he will soon share screen space with Tom Hanks.
Often, he is tagged as Bollywood's export to Hollywood. But he laughs it off.
`I don't disrespect that (tags), but neither do I take them seriously. These tags are the definitions given by my fans or media, but I go away from such definitions as I feel it limits people. The only achievement for me is when people recognise me and call my name with pride,` he said.