Kajol has several bees on her bonnet right now. Besides the fact that she is a workingwoman, wife and mother, she also dreams of opening an orphanage for deprived children. This actor has given us some of the best hits of Bollywood such as DILWALE DULHANIYA LE JAAYENGE and KUCH KUCH HOTA HAI. Her negative role in GUPT is unforgettable. Post-marriage, she came back with a vengeance in FANAA, opposite Superstar Aamir Khan. Poised for the national premiere of the Devgun's home production U, ME AUR HUM in which she is pitted against husband Ajay who also directed the film, Kajols holds forth on motherhood, her work in cinema and social activism. Our correspondent unplugs her in an intimate interview
What makes Kajol tick? Why, motherhood of course. I was born to be a mother because I consider motherhood my exclusive niche in life. Nysa is my top priority. I can give up everything and anything for her. Why, the other day, I cancelled a long overdue appointment with a journalist because I had to take Nysa to her friend's birthday party. The sheer joy she felt at the party made my day. I could not have gone with her had I stuck to my interview. Why Nysa alone? I am at the beck and call of my family at all times. It may be husband Ajay or my mother or sister. I think the family is and should be the first priority in any woman's life. They should have that dependence on you that you are there for them no matter who you are, where you are and how you are. I have the same sense of dependence on my mother till today.
Having worked with the best directors in Bollywood, what is your take on Ajay as a director? He once confessed to me that he dreamt of becoming a director when he was just eight years old. Thus, when he finally decided to direct, he prepared himself thoroughly for this new role. He got himself a bound script and edited the film in his head much before shooting was to begin. He was totally focused on what he had in mind, what he wanted in his cool and calm manner. He does lose his cool but does not let it show. He can control his anger well. His total honesty as an actor in front of the camera spills over when he is behind it. In fact, I would sometimes find his efficiency quite irritating. Everything on the sets would go perfectly according to his plan. And when I say this, I place him against some of the best directors I have worked with such as Aditya Chopra and Karan Johar. In my opinion, Ajay is the best director I have worked with and I am not saying this because he is my husband. He is totally involved in his work.
What is the secret of the Ajay-Kajol happy marriage? There is no secret at all. It has worked because both of us wanted it to work and we have tremendous love plus respect for one another. You need to work on a relationship and that is what we do in our own little ways every single day. The feeling of caring must be there in both the partners and this does not begin or end with those three words 'I love you.' It is true that I am possessive about him in the same way that I am possessive about Nysa. But we also realise that we need to give some space to each other to grow individually, as a married couple and as Nysa's parents. It is not that we do not have fights or arguments. But these are the things that add spice to a marriage, don't they?
How was the overall experience with your husband directing you on the sets? Nothing special. He was my husband at home and was the ruthlessly dominating boss on the sets and he told me to accept this change in the equation much before shooting began. After all, I have been an actress for too long to forget my professionalism on the sets and in front of the camera. Not that it did not disturb me at times, but I learnt to cope with it when I understood that he needed to cope with the changed equation as much as I did. He was so well organized that he left no scope at all for discussion, debate or argument.
You want to open an orphanage we hear? You have heard it right. I definitely want to open an orphanage in the near future. I do not have the time for it right now but the will is there. I want to have some more kids of my own because Nysa needs company closer to her age. Ajay and I have jointly decided to keep her away from the public glare and from the film industry because she is too small and should grow up like any normal child would. It is difficult but we are trying our best. We wish her to grow up with a sense of humour that vests her with the ability to laugh on herself.