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Home / Brunch / “Don’t lose your identity after marriage or kids”

“Don’t lose your identity after marriage or kids”

Actor-turned-author Esha Deol Takhtani speaks about the power of self-respect in a woman’s life and reveals plans of a new film project

brunch Updated: Mar 15, 2020 00:02 IST
Dhara Vora Sabhnani
Dhara Vora Sabhnani
Hindustan Times
Outfit: BCBG; Hair: Akshata Honawar; Make up: Marianna Mukuchyan
Outfit: BCBG; Hair: Akshata Honawar; Make up: Marianna Mukuchyan(Kevin Nunes)

It’s a repeat of history for actor Esha Deol Takhtani -- from being one of the two daughters of actor Hema Malini to being a mother of two daughters. Her elder daughter Radhya is now two-and-a-half years old and often accompanies her on sets of her upcoming film project, which Esha is tight-lipped about.

Life of a working mother

Esha says that some of her earliest memories are of her mother getting ready in her make-up room, which was opposite her bedroom as a child. Gradually she realised that her mother was special and was loved by people. This also meant that veteran actor and dancer would often be away from home. “My mother would often be committed to dance performances in the US and would have a month-long tour. She would feel very low about leaving us girls behind and we only had a landline to be in touch with then. Whenever she would find the time, she would fly back just to be with us.” This did not mean that she was left alone though. Esha reveals that she grew up in an almost all-woman household filled with South Indian aunts, grandaunts, cousins and her grandmother, Jaya Chakravarthy whom she was very attached to. Chakravarthy would teach her Hindi and painting, memories she cherishes till today. Inspired by her mother who would try and spend as much time with her daughters, Esha says that she too tries her best to manage her work and her children.

“Self-respect, dignity and grace are very important. That is something I have always followed and I would love to instil the same in my daughters.”

“I am not the kind of person who will sit and do nothing. I now do my work meetings at home as my daughters are my responsibility and I want to spend time with them.Radhya really enjoys being on sets.” She also credits her husband’s support for this. The couple makes it a point to have either parent at home when the other is travelling for work. “We like our kids to wake up to either of us, if not both.” Growing up around women has also instilled a strong sense of independence in her she reveals and gender equality comes naturally. “Self-respect, dignity and grace are very important. You may look a certain way or come from a certain background but when you have these three qualities you stand apart from the crowd. That is something I have always followed and I would love to instil the same in my daughters.”

Esha’s debut book,  Amma Mia
Esha’s debut book, Amma Mia

As a mother of two daughters, every day is a learning experience. “When I grew up and started being around friends and started working, my mother used to tell me how she would be with me all the time and now that I am older I only hang out with my friends. Now I know that phase will also come into my life. It was after being married and having two kids that I realised that it’s important to unconditionally love your mother and be there for her. Now I am back to being my mother’s best friend,” Esha tells us.

2020 is an exciting year for her, her book on motherhood, Amma Mia releases on March 23 and she has also gotten into production and is almost ready with her first film project. Will she be facing the camera again, we wonder, “I definitely want to get back to acting, but I won’t reveal anything now. You will hear an announcement soon,” she promises.

“My mother is full of good advice, but I feel the best one is that if you are working before marriage or are pursuing any passion, continue working and fulfil your dreams, and don’t give up your career and interests post marriage and kids”

Having done both, hit and critically acclaimed films such as Dhoom (2004) and Yuva (2004), we are intrigued to know if Esha ever wanted to get back to acting post her marriage in 2012 to businessman Bharat Takhtani.

“Acting is something you can always get back to. Everyone has a personal choice, and I always believed in getting married and having kids at the right time. I didn’t want to miss the boat and be lonely and old. I always wanted to be surrounded by loved ones, which I am. This was very important to me and was very much on my list,” she reveals. With her younger daughter Miraya, now nine months old, Esha is raring to get back to the world of films again. This urge to fulfil one’s dreams even after motherhood is something she credits her mother to.

“My mother is full of good advice, but I feel the best one is that if you are working before marriage or are pursuing any passion, continue working and fulfil your dreams, and don’t give up your career and interests post marriage and kids. It’s important to allow your partner to work and fulfil her dreams. Don’t lose your identity after marriage or kids,” she reveals.

Self-love is the best love

Esha holds this advice dear to her heart as she feels it’s for a better future for the children. “It’s often expected of mothers to put their ambitions and hobbies aside. But often mothers or parents who don’t fulfil their dreams then put the burden on their children instead. Why should the kids suffer? The child will have his own dream. These emotional burdens shouldn’t bog down your kid in the future. So it’s better to take care of yourself and your dreams too, no one else is going to do it for you,” she explains.

From HT Brunch, March 15, 2020

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