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Five famous Mumbai mothers talk about motherhood

Five famous Mumbai mommies tell Suprita Mitter what they started to appreciate about their moms when they embraced motherhood

Juhi Chawla (actor)
I realised for the first time how you can care about somebody else more than you care about yourself. Before becoming a parent, I had never spared a thought to think how would my mother (Mona Chawla) have reacted to any situation in my own life.

(From left) Juhi Chawla with daughter Jahnavi, husband Jay Mehta and son Arjun
(From left) Juhi Chawla with daughter Jahnavi, husband Jay Mehta and son Arjun

I always looked at my life from my own point of view. I had no idea what she might have been feeling about what was going on in my life. I realised the concern and the love that she must have felt all the time for me, which I now feel for my children.

Alesia Raut (fashion model)
There are three important things that I began to appreciate about my mom only after I had my son. She was patient in uncontrollable situations.

Alesia Raut with son Mark and mother Natalia
Alesia Raut with son Mark and mother Natalia

I learnt to save money for my son's future just like she did for mine. I also realised how difficult it must have been for her to organise things well in advance, every time, just like I do now.

Payal Khandwala (designer)
My mother has always been the kind to put others first, especially me. Being an only child, I took this for granted, to be honest. I suppose I still do. But now, as a mother, I can truly appreciate what it means to put your needs second.

Payal Khandwala (centre) with mother Vibha and daughter Mira
Payal Khandwala (centre) with mother Vibha and daughter Mira

To balance your career, your hobbies, your life, your needs with the needs of your child, school homework, their interests and then to prioritise it al — it's relentless.

It can be tough at times, and it feels like you need to dip into an infinite pool of patience. She always made it look so easy and she's doing it all over again with my daughter Mira now. She does it selflessly, with kindness and love, tirelessly and without any expectations. I can only hope to be distant second, she's a tough role model to match.

Sanjna Kapoor (theatre person)
I believe I always appreciated this but it got hugely reaffirmed once I had my own son, 13 years ago. It was the sense of trust and independence my mother instilled in me.

Sanjana Kapoor with her mother Jennifer Kendal
Sanjana Kapoor with her mother Jennifer Kendal

The trust that I could take care of myself, could travel in public transport on my own, could do my co-actor's hair in the Greek style she taught me for our school's annual play, could even direct school plays on my own, could walk out onto the rocks at Breach Candy and spend hours playing by the ocean, knowing how to take care of myself against strange men who might misbehave.

With her son Hamir
With her son Hamir

I was not protected against the horrors or ugliness of life, as much as I was introduced to the beauty and wonder of the world around me.

Merlin D'Souza {musician}
When my mom would give me advice I always wondered, “Why is she repetitively lecturing me?” Today, when there are things that I want to tell my son, when I worry about him, he reacts in the same way that I did with my mom. Moms always believe their children are the best.

Merlin D'Souza with son Rhys
Merlin D'Souza with son Rhys

When my mom would tell me to sing at a friend's wedding or a gathering so that people could see my talent, I would refuse and argue with her.

With mother Veronica
With mother Veronica

She saw my potential before anyone else. Similarly, I felt Rhys (my son) would be a star when he was one-year-old. He was humming with a feeding bottle in his mouth. That's when I realised why she pushed me to do my best and encouraged me always.

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