'I didn't even realise how long it'd been since I did a movie'

Your new TV reality show Hindustan Ke Hunarbaaz sounds similar to India’s Got Talent.
I have always been associated with talent shows, right from my first show, Kya Masti Kya Dhoom. For me, this is a throwback to that … kids and talent. I’m a different person around kids.

But is it okay to push kids into the harsh glare of televised competition?
The best part of this show is that there’s no competition; every child is showcasing his or her talent and taking something back. The concept of treasuring every child is special.

Does being a mother in real life help?
Definitely, motherhood and the enormity of the responsibility that comes with the process of raising a child and moulding a young brain has made me more sensitive. My husband Goldie and I introspect all the time — is this good for him? Am I doing this right?

You were away from films for almost a decade (since Kal Ho Na Ho). How does it feel to rejoin Bollywood in Ekta Kapoor’s Akshay starrer Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai 2?
I haven’t started shooting for the film though the other actors have already done so. They are going to work around my time. They are being very kind about it. I didn’t realise that I hadn’t done a movie for so long. I don’t know if I will do any more films. I thank God that I have the luxury to be able to choose not to work.

Do you feel it’s de rigueur for a new mother to leave her career to take care of her newborn?
Not doing movies was a conscious decision because I wanted time with my child. Studies say 80 per cent of the IQ and EQ of a child develops during the first seven years. When I did TV, I worked according to my son’s time. I can’t do that for films.

You are one of the few actors who did not hit the gym post pregnancy.
Frankly, there’s no harm in losing weight faster than I did — it is an individual choice. I was quite comfortable with the weight I had, because I had always been extremely thin and this was completely different. As long as you are comfortable with your body, it is okay.

Do you have a say in the films that your son watches?
He loves movies (laughs). Sometimes I bribe him with a movie to make him do certain things. I keep a check on what he watches. But I am technologically challenged and my son is tech-savvy, so he teaches me a trick or two. He came to me, saying, ‘Mumma you said I shouldn’t be on this site, but I did manage to get onto it, I am putting it off.’

What kind of a mother are you?
Goldie and I are hands-on parents. There is a constant tightrope we walk — you are trying to be indulgent yet strict when required. Everyday is a balancing act. I would love to give him security, love and confidence. 

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