Dia’s mother has encouraged her to be her own person and the actress credits her success to the lady who’s given birth to her. Mother’s Day might have been yesterday, but Dia tells CS that for her, it’s a celebration that happens everyday:
Guarding my individuality
I cherish the fact that my mother has always treated me like an individual. So even when I was growing up, I was encouraged to speak my mind and express myself. Of course, there was a code of conduct expected. But there was nothing ever done without giving a valid reason. And if there was something that mom wanted me to do and I didn’t agree with it, I was allowed to express it. Then she would tell me why she was asking me to do whatever it was. She never stifled me or judged me.
She used to take me to sunrise feasts when she would wake me up early in the morning and visit the rocks in Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad. We would sometimes go for picnics on Sunday mornings. I remember her waking me up and saying, “Come, let’s watch the sunrise!” Then we used to do midnight feasts. This one birthday, she woke me up at 12 in the night and took me to the balcony. It was a full-moon night and she gifted me the moon. So officially the moon is mine (giggles).
Teachings of life
We have spent so much time together with her sometimes teaching me the names of different flora and fauna, and names of constellations. She used to talk to me about my grandparents whom I never met and actually made everybody whom I never got to see come alive in my mind. She has helped me know my family better through these stories. Also, mom is very well-read, so she would discuss history and art and music. And never in a manner that she was trying to teach me, but in a way like she was sharing it with me. So I absorbed it much better.
There are many things my mother doesn’t like about me. She doesn’t like the fact that I don’t take good care of my health, that I am a control freak and that sometimes I procrastinate. And then she tells me, “Dia, procrastination is the thief of time.” Then I try to do it right away. She says Kabir ke dohe: Kal kare so aaj kar, aaj kare so ab. There are many things I’ve learned from her.