Deepika Padukone, who has been away from home for several years now, yearns to spend time with her mother, Ujjala. “I live with my work, and my family lives in Bengaluru, so quality time is something I would love to give them,” says the actor.
She also adds that while she may be referred to as father Prakash Padukone’s daughter, she and younger sister Anisha have always followed in Ujjala’s footsteps. “Dad is a popular figure, so he’s written about more often. But in my family, we know that my mother has been more instrumental in bringing us up. From her I’ve learnt not just to live, speak and conduct myself, but also to multitask and yet be good at whatever I do,” smiles Deepika.
Meanwhile, Ujjala admits that while she may have wanted a son initially, she’s now glad to have the actor and Anisha as her children. “Before Deepika was born, I wanted a son because I don’t have any brothers and wanted to fill that gap. But when she was born, my father-in-law told me, ‘A son is a son till he gets his wife, but a daughter is a daughter for life’. These words have stayed with me. I have the best daughters in the world,” says the proud mother.
I don’t have much faith in our system, but I do in my kids
Since Deepika lives in Mumbai now, Bengaluru-based Ujjala is perennially worried about her safety. “My daughters are grown up now and can take care of themselves, but if Deepika were younger, I’d have thought twice before sending her off. I still get worried sometimes when she’s travelling or is alone at night,” she says. Ujjala is more concerned about the safety of Anisha, who travels to Delhi regularly for golf tournaments. She explains, “Deepika has her staff, so I don’t have to worry too much, but I am paranoid about Delhi and Anisha keeps going there, so I’m concerned about her.”
It’s her faith in God that has kept the mother strong in increasingly unsafe circumstances for women around the country. “I don’t have much faith in our system, but I do in my children and in God. He takes care of things and makes them better. I doubt the system will ever improve or change,” she says.