Mahima Chaudhary talks about Leander Paes, Subhash Ghai and other touchy topics.. in conversation with Roshmila Bhattacharya.
What made you single out Jalwa Four 2 Ka 1 for your TV debut?
The producer Bonnie Jain and I have done several stage shows together, so the comfort level was high.
Also, Jalwa.. is not a talent hunt to unearth the best but the most entertaining. I’m required to shoot only on Tuesdays. The studio’s close to my mom’s place which is convenient because I need mom to babysit my daughter Ariana.
What does the name Ariana mean?
Divine.. little angel. But let me tell you being a mother can be exhausting. Since I don’t trust nannies and bottles, my day revolves around Ariana. There are no days off. Still, she’s God’s gift to me. I don’t feel the need to ask for anything more.
Does she watch your show?
She doesn’t have the patience to sit through the entire show but I do point out, “Mummy” to her. Now, whenever she sees a pretty face she goes, “Mummy.”
She’s really close to my mom and when she’s frightened it’s, “Nani, nani.” Thank God, it’s not “Papa, papa”, I’d have been really jealous since she already looks so much like Bobby.
With both Rakhi Sawant and Mika Singh on the show, there must be fireworks?
We had expected that but neither the channel nor these two want to cook up another controversy. They don’t exchange a word, their deliberate avoidance is enjoyable.
It must be hard judging someone?
It is because we have some really good talents. Bhaktiyar (Irani) and his team were impressive in the first episode, Rakhi in the one coming up. Shakti (Kapoor) made you laugh earlier, now he’ll make you cry.
Shweta (Tiwari) is looking to extend herself. Purbi Joshi, Mika and Tanaaz (Irani) are also fine entertainers. I react spontaneously, like an ordinary viewer.
Since Satish Kaushik is a director and comic actor, he goes into details. Sometimes our markings are horribly similar, sometimes distinctly different.
What have been the first reactions?
The usual.. you’re looking good.. how did you get in shape so fast?
How did you?
I delivered in June, in September at my birthday bash my friends were like, “Hey, is the baby still inside or are you pregnant again?”
The next day, I called Satish Naidu. He had never trained a new mom who’d just gone through a C-section but in just two-three days I was feeling fitter.
He doesn’t make me diet. I eat every thing, he makes me work it off. I haven’t exercised for three weeks and have some hard work coming up.
Will we see you as a participant next?
I don’t think I have the heart to risk setting myself up for competition on a popular platform. I’d rather play safe.
Is it bye bye to films?
No, I’m open to scripts which are worth giving up 70 days out of 365.
Mukta Arts recently celebrated 30 years. You weren’t around.
I was out of town but I’ll always be grateful to Mukta for giving me Pardes, which people will always remember me by.
Will you ever work with Subhash Ghai again?
I don’t mind working for his banner but I don’t want him to direct me. As days go by everything becomes a fond
memory, even the fight with Subhashji. So I’d rather we don’t risk working together and fight all over again.
Do you watch Leander Paes play?
No, I believe in the saying good riddance to bad rubbish. And thanks to my little angel I don’t even have time to watch my own show.