Sridevi shares her parenting experiences, says her elder child is obedient like her, while the younger one is more independent...
Upala KBR (DNA; May 14, 2017)

I have known (if you can call it that) the reclusive Sridevi for decades. In all those years, the conversations have been very few. But it’s very clear. She is committed to whatever she does, a 100 per cent, from acting to motherhood. She has done some wonderful roles, but the one she loves most of being a mom — which is also the title of her next film produced by her husband Boney Kapoor.

On Mother’s Day, the actress talks about motherhood, her daughters Jhanvi (who is ready to be launched as an actress, soon) and Khushi and shares some memories with her own mother... read on.

What was your relationship with your mom and how different is it with your daughters?
My mom used to say that I was a shy and obedient child. She would decide for me — be it my clothes and jewellery for any occasion or anything else — and I would follow her blindly as I believed and trusted her choices. I knew she would choose what suited me best. My children, too, trust my choice. Times have changed and they have their own mindsets, but they definitely take my opinion on everything. Being a part of current generation, they have always something good and interesting to suggest. And I love to follow them.

Are your children more independent?
Yes, they are very independent, but they obviously need me around time to time. More than Khushi, Jhanvi needs me around.

Are you more of a friend to them or is Boney? Whom do they confide in?
They are friendly with both of us. Khushi is closer to Boneyji and Jhanvi is closer to me. Jhanvi, I feel is more like me — absolutely obedient. I remember... once my mom narrated an incident about me to her friends. She had asked me to sit on the compound wall of our building as she was talking to the neighbours. Suddenly, she realised she had left something in the kitchen, so she told me, ‘Sit here. I will just come.’ She went and got busy with other things and after two hours, she remembered that she left her daughter sitting on the wall. She came running out to meet me and found me sitting quietly in the same position she had left me! My mother asked me, ‘Why didn’t you call out to me?’ I said, ‘But you told me to sit here…’ She told everybody this story about what an obedient child I was. At the same time, Khushi is also obedient, but will not sit on the wall for two hours, but I think Jaanu will... Both my children are extremely attached to us. Jhanvi seeks more attention from me while Khushi can manage things on her own. Though Janvi’s grown up now, sometimes I still have to feed her. She won’t eat properly at certain times so I have to make sure that she eats properly. Sometimes she tells me to put her to sleep so all these nakhras she does. Khushi has always been a very independent person right since childhood.

Between you and your husband who is stricter?
We balance it out. Sometimes I am strict and he says, okay, fine, you can’t just be so strict or the other way around. But the bottom line is our children know their limits.

Are you net savvy or did your daughters help you to come on Twitter?
My Twitter account got activated during English Vinglish for promotional reasons as the marketing team thought it would be good to go digital. I am on Twitter and Instagram, but not on Facebook. Though my daughters are not on Twitter, they are only on Instagram. They have a private account. There are too many fake accounts of them going around on Insta and some people think that it’s their account when it’s not. They put up pictures on these fake accounts and make it look like as if Jhanvi and Khushi are putting it out when they are not. And of course, they both help me with my digital activities that is Insta and Twitter account.

Being public figures, you and Boney are used to handling the media spotlight on you. How do your daughters handle it and how do you guide them?
Earlier, I used to get a bit rattled and worried because I didn’t want them to get into the spotlight. But in today’s time you can’t help this. You are clicked at every event and everywhere. Now, I believe that we have learnt to live with it and they have learnt to cope with it.

Between Boney and you, who is ultra protective about your children?
We both are equally protective and keep track of all the activities. All four of you are often seen doing many things together as a close-knit family, though today’s children prefer spending time with their friends. Our children are happy being with us and doing things with us. But at the same time, we give them enough space to spend time with their friends whenever they want to. They are happy to come with us and love doing things together —whether it is shopping or watching movies or just sitting at the dining table and chatting.

Both your daughters are beautiful, well-brought up kids and very dignified like you. What advice have you given them to be what they are?
Thank you for saying that. I think children learn through their parents. They have grown up with the same values we have. And we made sure that they value good things and respect everybody, especially elders.

Did you want Jhanvi to do something else and not become an actress or are you happy with whatever careers they want for themselves?
I always believe in destiny. She wanted to have a career in acting and we are supportive. And I will be as supportive as my mother was to me when I started my career. Obviously in her happiness is our happiness and we are happy to support her in all her endeavours.

How involved are your daughters in your films?
Very involved. Right from reading the scripts and discussing those with me. They are always very anxious to see the rushes. I can see the glow in their eyes whenever they see me on the screen. I am happy that they enjoy being part of the whole process.

Do they give advice on your clothes and styling?
Yes, and that’s great fun! We discuss what we are wearing and what we need to wear for any occasion, but kabhi kabhi Boneyji bhi beech mein aa jaate hai aur bolte hai aap logo ne apna decide karr liya, but what about me? Then Jhanvi and Khushi try to convince him and they enjoy helping him with the new and interesting styles.

Any message for your daughters today?
Well, be happy and stay happy always. And above all keep us happy.