Mommy knows best

With Mother’s Day on Sunday, CS brings to you the special mother-daughter duo of the yesteryear actress and the bubbly actress to share their bond of understanding and love:

Who: Tanuja and Tanisha
What: Their relationship with each other
PIC/ Satyajit Desai

Being normal
Tanuja: The word ‘filmstar’ is meaningless. Acting is just a job. In our days, there was no No 1 and No 2. Everyone had their own place in the industry. Nobody competed with each other. Certain roles suited certain people. Of course, there were not so many people in the industry either. I have taught my daughters to be down-to-earth and act like regular people.¬†Tanisha: When my mum was an actress, I was in boarding school and was treated like a normal kid. But many people including the nuns in the school would say, “Your mom’s so much fun. She’s so well spoken. She knows so much about life.” And that was just because she was an amazing person. Her personality defines her and not her profession.

Inculcating values
Tanuja: Values are very important. Respect, manners and conscience are all deeply rooted in the Indian culture. We are traditionally very sensual people. But today, it is all about sexuality. Also, respectability comes when you respect yourself. You don’t go up to people and ask why they don’t respect you. Another necessary thing is trust. I have inculcated these things in my children because my grandmother inculcated them in my mother and my mother, in me. I have also taught my daughters to be honest. ¬†Tanisha: My mother always taught us to tell the truth because then nobody can challenge you. She also asked us to be fair and not cheat anybody. She always asks us to not put ourself in a situation where we are disrespected. As we were a fully female family, we were always taught to be self-sufficient, strong and independent too. My great grandmother would always read out stories of Parvati and Sita to us and they were strong women for their times. Along with teaching us that a woman is very strong, we were also taught lessons from Amar Chitrakatha and Akbar Birbal stories.

Catty fights
Tanuja: Like any mother and daughters, the three of us have fought like cats and dogs. But I have always told them, ‘Fight, but sort it out before sleeping so that you sleep with a clear conscience. If you have done something, clear it out with the person.’
Tanisha: My sister and I would fight and when mom interfered, I would saying ‘Don’t interfere! It’s between Kads and me.’ We have had two-way fights and three-way fights. But they were fun.

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