Why did you stop working after “Maine Pyaar Kiya”? And my answer is always the same, “Maine Pyaar Kiya. I was in love”. Did I want to work more? Yes! I was all of 19 and I had just about discovered this new side of me…I could act, a revelation for me too, especially after being petrified on stage in school.
“Maine Pyar Kiya” changed my perspective towards myself… I found myself enjoying the art. Surprisingly, Sooraji gave me a free hand too, “I want you to perform Suman the way you see her.” What followed is of course history. After a hit like that, I was floored by the offers pouring in and the euphoric response that I got was enough to imbalance anyone. However I was given a choice, family or career and I chose for love. I wasn’t ready to allow anything become a bone for contention between my husband and me. For me it was all about the commitment of love. And if at any point of time my mind had questioned my decision, it was put to rest by the birth of my son, Abhimanyu, my world lay cradled in my arms. It was a joy that overwhelmed me, cocooned me in its own world of paradise and I couldn’t see beyond him. I was called for all the award functions, the Bollywood parties, had everyone fawning over me…I would mingle for a while and then rush back home to my own small world.
From around the globe there was appreciation pouring in. Phones would be ringing incessantly. The postmen would ask for extra Diwali bonus as they had to carry sacks of letters and gifts to my door. I couldn’t even go shopping for my first born. There would be a crowd outside the building to get a glimpse of me. It was a surreal experience. People crave their entire lives for that, and I gave it all up without a blink. Love does make you do crazy things.
I have enjoyed both my children’s growing up years to the fullest. Shared every fun moment. I went to all their classes, karate, swimming, dancing, piano lessons, took their tiffins to school, arranged the biggest and best birthday parties without any party planners, played board games throughout weekend afternoons, celebrated each and every festival teaching them all traditions while doing them. All the normal routine things all mothers would do and more. They are everything to me. Today, when my children hold me close and say, “Mom we are proud of you, for what you achieved and what you have given up to be with us.”, it makes everything worthwhile.
It’s been over 25 years since “Maine Pyaar Kiya”, but people still remember and give me the same warmth and affection when they meet me. I feel blessed indeed that I have stayed alive in their hearts and mind. However, the incredulous truth is that there is a constant effort to move a little faster to keep up with the flow of time. And no, I am not saying it is the miraculous sting of the botox ….. It is constantly trying to slow the aging process by keeping one’s body fit and agile with high metabolism and correct food habits and the mind sharper by being abreast of the changing technology, latest trends, connecting with the Gen Next. The want to better yourself is growth but happiness lies in the journey.
I am told my face reflects positivity…. I take that as a far superior compliment than being beautiful. When you begin your day with gratitude…things usually go alright. My life has not been without its own ups and downs…but I always remember that I have more to be grateful for than to be sorry for. “Peeche dekhoge toh apni parchayi milegi, aage badhoge toh roshni dikhegi.” Believe that God has a better future set for you and every problem is meant to make you stronger.