‘No awards match the feeling of joy my triplets bring me’
Motherhood has brought out a softer side that I didn't know existed, and I'm enjoying it totally, especially since it's happened to me late in my life, says Farah Khan in an interview with Shashi Baliga.india Updated: Dec 27, 2008 22:04 IST
The last year has been one of transitions for me, and all of them have been a result of motherhood. I had always thought I didn’t have the maternal instinct (in fact, I didn’t even think I had the marital instinct). Yes, I did enjoy playing with other babies — for half-an-hour, at the most — but how much can you love other people’s babies?
Even when I was shown my three babies, I didn’t feel as if my heart would burst with happiness (though that happens now when all three of them smile at me together). In fact, it was a bit surreal when they were born — the nursing staff were handing me these babies one after the other and I thought, okay, here are three babies. It didn’t quite register that they were all mine.
The bonding grew gradually and it was about three weeks after they were born that it struck me one day— my god, they’re all my babies!
Today I am amazed at how motherhood has changed me. It has brought out a softer side to me that I didn’t know existed, and I must say I’m enjoying it totally, especially since it’s happened to me at a later stage in my life. In fact, I’m surprised at how good it feels. No amount of awards or films running for 50 weeks can match this feeling. My children are really the joy of my life.
In fact, my husband Shirish Kunder and I have this habit of checking on them at 2 or 3 am and it is the most wonderful feeling to see them all sleeping peacefully, each in their own different position. I feel so blessed that I now want to give in return; I feel like doing something for others. Whether it is getting involved in a citizens’ initiative in my neighbourhood after the 26/11 terror attack in Mumbai or being part of a cervical cancer awareness drive, I think it all stems from motherhood.
Five years ago, I couldn’t have seen myself volunteering for causes like these. Five years ago, I would not have even been asked to get involved. So not only have I changed but others’ perception of me has, too.
On the other hand, I’ve also become very selfish at another level. Earlier, I could never say no to anyone. Idhar ao; yeh gaana karo; yeh karo; woh karo (Come here; do this song; do this; do that). I obliged everyone. But now I have absolutely no problem saying no, because I don’t want to dump my babies with an ayah or a nanny and go off to work. So I work only once a week and I’m very strict about my timings – I will come at 11 am and leave at 6 pm sharp.
In the beginning, I used to feel terribly guilty about leaving my babies for even the shortest time, but I’m getting used to it now. Still, one corner of my mind is constantly worrying about the babies — are they sleeping, are they bawling, have they had their feed… I can’t wait to get back. That worry is at the back of my mind day and night, even in my sleep. And before we go to bed, I make sure all the doors in the house are double-locked. I take no chances now.
(Farah Khan spoke to Shashi Baliga)