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Mom Hema comes to Ahana's defence

"Ahana can't cope with the film industry," says the protective mother.

india Updated: Apr 03, 2006 13:21 IST

Former 'dream girl' Hema Malini is training younger daughter Ahana, who is interested in directing, to face the camera but insists it is only to "boost her self-confidence".

Both mother and daughter are in an advertisement endorsing a water purifier.

When asked if the advertisement was a step towards acting for Ahana, Hema said: "It's just to boost her self-confidence. I just wanted her to know this was one of the things she can do if she wants to. Otherwise I am not going to force any of my children to do anything."

Excerpts from the interview:

Recently you did an ad with Ahana?
I just made her do it, because she has to know her true worth. Right now she doesn't seem to know what she wants. She says, "I want to this, I want do that...I'll direct a film...I'll do an ad." She thinks she's good for small work.

I feel she's capable of truly wonderful work. So I coaxed her into doing this ad. I told her, "Mama is with you. You'll be just next to mummy and she'll take care of everything." That convinced her.

Dream girl Hema Malini with Esha and Ahana

You bullied her into doing it?


You think today's kids can be bullied into doing anything? No, I just offered her my support.

Is this advertisement a step towards acting for Ahana?
No, no not at all. It's just to boost her self-confidence. I just wanted her to know this (facing the camera) was one of the things she can do if she wants to. Otherwise I am not going to force any of my children to do anything.

I won't allow anyone to force Ahana to do anything. I respect her opinions and will go with anything she wants to. Anything she isn't comfortable with she doesn't have to do.

Ahana is the shy one in the family?
Yes. The problem is all of us in the family - her father, mother, her sister and her two bothers - are doing high-profile work. Her nature is such that she can't be pushed to do anything.

She is the baby of the family.
Yeah. But baby needs to grow up. She wants to be behind the camera. Which is fine by me. She should be where she's comfortable. Whatever she does, I want her to be the best.

The world has become so competitive. That's true especially of the film industry where you are a success or failure, nothing between the two extremes. I feel Ahana won't be able to cope with the film industry. I don't want her to go through what Esha is going through. Every release of hers is a matter of life and death.

You have gone through it all.
Not really. I never bothered. Only once in a while I'd worry about a favourite film's fortunes.

It is difficult for your daughters to equal their parents' success.
Very, very difficult. I don't see the same stress for children in other professions. They are happy just being what they want to be. If I had been an interior designer my daughters wouldn't have to go through this ordeal.

Kids in other professions do anything...join their father's business, study architecture, whatever. My daughters don't have it that easy. Esha is still not comfortable doing some of the things she has to. The clothes are so painfully minimal.

But Ahana dances with you on stage?
Yeah. She is happy doing all that. But what she wants to do is direct a film. She has a script. She's looking for a dialogue writer. Without assisting anyone, she wants to go to the top of the mountain without climbing step by step.

I know she'll find her level in life.