‘I don’t hide stuff, but…’

‘I’m an extrovert, but there is a facet to me that I closely guard.’
‘I just think that there has to be something that you keep for yourself.’

Shilpa Shetty opens about being a mom to two in a candid chat with Neha Dhupia, on the latter’s show, No Filter With Neha.

“Guts to me, I am 45 and I’ve had another child. I’ll be 50 and my child is five,” Shilpa says, referring to her eight-year-old son, Viaan, and baby daughter, Samisha.

On a hobby she picked up during the lockdown

Well, I don’t know if yoga really is my hobby but it is definitely a passion and I think you should pursue something that you’re passionate about.

I’m doing like this live session every Saturday with a grandmaster and I’m learning different techniques of meditation and advanced yoga.

Even more advanced than what I know right now.

So it’s been quite a fun process and you know I’m a mother of two now, actually three, one who’s acting his shoe size, my husband.

On her chemistry with her husband Ra Kundra and who’s the boss in business

There is a very clear demarcation.

He really leaves some decisions to me.

When it comes to business acumen, he definitely aces over there. When it comes to creativity, he leaves that aspect to me.

It’s very clear and there’s no jumping of lines.

I think that’s what keeps us in sync with each other and I really think that you know that there has to be a marriage even in business.

What I’m not good at I don’t even get into that sphere you know.

Like I said money, I’m terrible with money. I only know how to make it, I don’t know what to do with it.

On breaking norms about motherhood

I don’t care to pay too much attention for other people’s opinions and judgments on me because it’s really not their place.

I am doing my best as a mother.

However people perceive me to be, I really want to bring my child up the way my parents brought us up.

The only difference is obviously we were brought up in a smaller home with lot lesser in terms of facilities but the same amount of love, if not more.

I want my child to be grounded.

I want to keep it real for him, so he is reprimanded when he does something wrong.

He has to be polite and kind and a good human being at the end of it all.

We are trying to give him the best of everything and unapologetically so because I feel if my parents could afford it, they would’ve done the same with us.

At the same time, to make him value what is being given to him that is something that we pay a lot of attention to, Raj and me.

Raj is a great parent also.

He really is the wind beneath my wings so I don’t think I could’ve gone out there and achieved all the stuff that I have after my marriage if not for him because he is even now after Samisha coming into our lives.

We do the balancing act between Raj and me.

When life was normal and it will soon get back to normal, I’m sure but in the current scenario it’s a lot of balancing that one needs to do. You have to share the load.

On having meltdowns

I think yoga has made a big difference to what I used to be 10 years ago.

I remember I did have a few meltdowns after Viaan because when you’re this first time mom, it’s very daunting and it just hits you.

So it was difficult the first time around. Now, I feel it’s like a cake walk.

Guts to me, I am 45 and I’ve had another child.

I’ll be 50 and my child is five.

On her son’s views about the photo culture

In the beginning, it used to be really hard. Fans aren’t that understanding.

I mean, we are who we are because of them and due respect but sometimes you know, you are handling a child in your arms and then they are coming and they want a photo and they just jump on you.

Then you put your child down and because it’s hard to manage all of it together and then your child is strolling off.

And then they want a photo and a selfie camera and you are trying to run after your child.

It’s just a mess but there was a point where Viaan started saying ‘No photos, no photos’.

He became a bodyguard.

He went into this no photo phase, I think when he was four. Now he is eight.

On how Shamita influenced her

I didn’t even have a credit card.

I remember Shamita wanted a credit card and then she egged me on.

She is like, ‘Shilpa, you know, you need to get a credit card. I mean this is terrible.’

So, if I needed to buy something back in the day, I remember, I had to ask mom and I’d be I really want to get this, mom.

Then she would give me money.

I was that simple.

Then, I remember Shamita started going to college and she wanted a credit card.

She’s the more independent sort and I remember telling my mom, ‘I think I should get a credit card’.

And she’s like ‘why do you need a credit card?’

And then you know, there was this whole discussion and then as soon as I got a credit card, Shamita is like, ‘Shilpa’s got a credit card, so I think even I want it.’

Then I got the whole story.

On Shamita turning down Lagaan

Shamita has a mind of her own.

I remember, back in the day when she was offered Adi’s movie Mohabbatein, she was also offered another very big film Lagaan and because it’s over and done with, I can talk about it.

Both were supposed to come out at the same time so then she had to make that choice.

And, I remember then she had to make the choice and she then obviously took up Mohabbatein.

Both were very big hit films.

On who bears the brunt of her outbreaks and how she portrays herself

Raj. It’s always the ones who you feel closest to that bear the brunt of it.

Because I’m someone who likes to keep my distance.

Even though I have a lot of friends, there is still a line.

I’ve always been that way.

I’m an extrovert, but there is a facet to me that I closely guard.

I just think that there has to be something that you keep for yourself. I mean saying that my life is pretty much like an open book.

I don’t hide stuff.

But there’s something you want to keep back.

And in this world of social media, gosh, there’s very little that you can actually just preserve for yourself.

I like to share stuff that has made a difference to my life and that has kept me rooted, that can help other people out there.

I have tried to use my social media handle to kind of help people in whatever small sort of way.

Like you say to me, I am doing a lot of stuff.

I am a mother, I’m a hands-on mom.

On the reality show, Big Brother

I didn’t expect anything.

I think that’s why I went in.

If I had any clue or inkling of what it would entail, I don’t think I would’ve said yes.

But I’m happy I did because I felt it just suddenly, I just grew up after going on that show.

I was very guarded before that.

On being a part of a reality show now

No. You know the situation was different then.

I was footloose and fancy free. Today, I have two kids.

I don’t even get out to go to work.

I want to do everything, I do businesses that I can just run from my house.

Even now for me to get out and shoot is cumbersome because I don’t want to be complacent but I’m not someone who aims to do something.

There is no goal.

Photographs: Kind courtesy Shilpa Shetty/Instagram

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