Actor and Comedian Aasif Mandvi on Regaining Balance in His Love for His Son and Wife

"Watching you with him, watching him with you — it's a beautiful thing and I'm grateful that I get to witness it."

Originally Published: 
Jonathan Muroya for Fatherly

Love letters are wasted on youth. No matter what artistry and passion go into the prose you once laid out for your lover, the letters lack, well, life experience. When you devote yourself to someone, partner with them, and have a child together, then you have something to write about. Before, you were stumbling in passion. Now, you’ve truly found love. In Found Love, we celebrate the unique love partners feel for the mother of their children.

Dear Shaifali,

How do I explain what you mean to me? How do I even start?

Both of us waited until middle age to get married. Both such career-oriented, single people in the world. Our marriage has been a journey into understanding how partnership works. I don’t think either of us entered marriage with a real understanding of it. But we have taught each other and learned so much.

You’re brilliant and beautiful. You’re the smartest person I know. You’re articulate and impressive. I always look to you for advice and what you say is often — okay, usually — true. That’s because you’re so clear on what you think and what matters to you.

Sometimes, it’s a bit rocky. Because of course it is. But we are each other’s goal posts. We help each other grow into becoming the better version of ourselves. We are so similar and yet completely opposite. But when we have built bridges between our differences, and when we have come together, we’re incredible as a team.

When we had our son, I quickly understood firsthand the beautiful bond between a mother and a child. As progressive as we are, we found ourselves in far more traditional roles than we initially imagined. You were nursing the baby; I was fending off the saber tooth tigers. Having him forced these two middle-aged people to grow up faster than we ever would have.

I often joke that parenthood is a journey into irrelevancy. Our son runs the house. You and I work for him. It was often tough to feel like ourselves, having a baby in the middle of a global pandemic. But as he gets older and as the world opens up a little more we’re hopefully starting to regain that balance, that time to connect — the date nights and small moments together.

I love seeing you as a mom. The infinite amount of patience you give to our son to let him grow — no matter how exhausted you are — is incredible. You’re his safe space.

Watching you with him, watching him with you — it’s a beautiful thing and I’m grateful that I get to witness it. He’s so lucky to have you, and I’m lucky, too.



Aasif Mandvi is an Obie-award winning actor and comedian. He currently stars in Evil on CBS and is a former correspondent on The Daily Show. He lives in New York City with his wife, NYU visiting scholar Shaifali Puri, and son.

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