Relationship is all about making time for each other | Kareena Kapoor Khan - Exclusive Interview

I was around 8 years old when one of Dharma's most ambitious projects - Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, hit the screens. While the family drama kept me entertained, one girl left a strong impression with her amazing personality and care-free attitude. I was mesmerised by the fact that someone could pull off a character like Poo so flawlessly, without making it look too caricaturish. Other characters namely Kaurwaki, Sanjana, Chameli followed and needless to say, the actress went on to become one of my favourites. Not because of her beauty, nor the glamorous avatar (she wins brownie points for it anyway), but the sheer magic that she created, every time she appeared on screen. 

There is something  very charming about Kareena Kapoor Khan, who then went on to win many more hearts with her impeccable act as Geet in Jab We Met. Her sixteen year long journey in Bollywood has been a courageous one. The actress experimented with her roles, and created a benchmark that younger actresses could follow. Be it going size zero, taking up cameos in the form of dance numbers for fun or turning singer in Dev, she always took the unconventional route and preferred to follow her heart, instead of accepting trends that were often followed by her peers. Last week, I met the Begum for a chat at her office, just before her dinner time (she is very particular about food timings). She is one of the few people who can make even the most simple pair of jeans look glamorous. For someone who likes a heart-to-heart conversation over a WhatsApp message, Kareena still prefers to be old school and honestly, we love her for that! In a freewheeling chat, the actress discusses films, relationships and Ki & Ka, which hits the screens tomorrow.

What was the first thing that attracted you to the script of Ki & Ka?
The concept! The very fact that Balki decided to work on a concept like this and wanted to present a unique love story. He didn't want to go the typical boy meets girl route. Here, you have a boy who wants to be like his mother, which is very rare. Normally, most guys would say that they want to be like their father. Kabir (Arjun's character) is different. So you see, the script started on an amazing note and I just couldn't say no! You have to see the movie to believe it.

How much of Kareena do you see in Kia, your character?
Um! I do relate to it, since she is married, independent and hard working. She is very much a modern girl, who has grown up with ambitions and believes in chasing her dreams. 

And what about Saif? Is he anything like Arjun's character, Kabir?
Not at all! He started working at the age of 17. He can never think of not working.

The trailer of Ki & Ka, especially the intimate moments, gave rise to unnecessary controversies. How did you react to it?
We live in India. According to some people, everything in life is terminated once you are married. It's like you gotta change the way you breathe as well, as if you have sold your soul. But, that's not the case, right? I am an actor and my husband respects me for that. We are in 2016 and the concepts of our films are changing with time. If the two characters in a film are husband and wife, they have to be intimate with each other. There is no other way! I discussed the script and the requirements with my husband before signing the film. He was absolutely fine and said that if it is the requirement, you must go ahead and do it. In fact, he added that I have stood for a lot of things that go against the norm, which includes working after marriage. So, he has always wanted me to be the modern woman that I claim to be. People must not forget that I am an actor as well.

Image credit: Femina 2016
Ki & Ka is all about a relationship, and these days, the newspapers are filled with stories about relationships going kaput. Tales of separation and divorce. Personally, how do you look at such things?
For me, a relationship between two individuals is built over love, support and respect for each other. Ki & Ka shows how the woman accepts her man, despite knowing that he has no ambitions. Love knows no boundaries or calculations. Separations and break-ups happen in a very personal space. Nobody knows what actually happens behind the closed doors. That's how I look at it.

In the case of celebrities, do you think it is stardom that often takes a toll?
Not really. In my case, both Saif and I are actors. Both of us are busy with our respective projects. When I was shooting for Udta Punjab and Ki & Ka, he was not. Now that he has begun working on Rangoon, I am caught up with promotions. So, we often miss each other. But, relationship is all about making time for one another. You can't just make a statement and yell out - I don't have time for love! Women are multi-taskers and if one really wants to, you can always remove some time. Personally, I always try and make an effort to take sometime out to go see him. Sometimes, we both take some time off for a getaway. You have to work on things in a way that you get that little extra time for your loved ones.

Do you also think the fast paced lifestyle today has played a role in this?
More than that, I feel people are getting used to depending on all things digital. You get one million likes and folks go, Oh! I am so loved. I read stories where normal conversations, that could happen face to face, are taking place on Twitter. People are taking to Facebook to wish their loved ones on birthdays and anniversaries! How difficult is it to pick up the phone and wish someone?

So, it seems like you are unlikely to break your promise (that of never creating a social media account).
Obviously! I will never be on any social media platform. Why can't I just meet someone or talk to them over the phone? Or if I like someone in a film, I'll call them up or send them a note na. That's so much more personal and special. The only thing I like about Twitter is the fact that it can help spread awareness, especially during a time of crisis. But for conversations and using it as a tool to simply send out messages? Never. I think, I am still a little old school like that.

But, what about fans who look up to you and wish to connect with their favourite actress?
I like to connect with them through interviews, promotions among others. Also, it is not possible to answer millions of fans on social media. You will always end up disappointing someone. But, I am glad I have a strong and active fan club on social media called Kareena Online. They are almost like my army and are very possessive about me. I feel proud to be on Twitter and Instagram through them. With fans as protective as them, I know I am safe on social media. They will bajao anyone who writes anything against me (laughs). They will troll them.

You are now working with co-actors from the new lot. What do you have to say about their skills and the experience of working with them?
As far as Arjun is concerned, he is as experienced as any other senior actor in the industry. Perhaps, that is also because he is an industry kid and has grown up watching films. But, I feel all the young boys have great energy and acting skills, which is almost like a seasoned star. They are very conscious about everything that they do. They are all guns blazing, raring to go!

Image credit: Harper's Bazaar Bride
What was Saif's first reaction when he heard about the concept of this film?
He thought it was very cool. The very fact that Balki came up with a concept like this fascinated him. It's not a commercial blockbuster kind of a formula, with item songs and a huge ensemble cast. But, it has a concept from the heart, which will stand for something and be a nice film. So, that's why he encouraged me to do the film.

There is a lot of curiosity building up around your character in Udta Punjab. What is it all about?
It's a drug drama and I play a doctor. Udta Punjab stresses upon an important reality of Punjab - the drug busts that have been taking place. The film is more intense, gritty and dark, which is completely different from Ki & Ka. The latter is also real, but so much more quirky and fun. Udta Punjab is very dark and I am sure people will like the look once it is released.

Since you were shooting for the two films simultaneously, was it difficult to shift from a dark world to a quirky one the very next day?
In fact, I shot for three films from completely different genres - Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Udta Punjab and Ki & Ka, all back to back. As an actor, you have to give your best in each character and work it out as much as possible. For someone who loves cinema and acting, I absolutely enjoyed the experience!

Priya Adivarekar aka
The Dancebee

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Priya Adivarekar

Priya Adivarekar - Founder and Creative Director at Diary of a Dancebee. She is also a renowned Voice Actress and award winning artiste, with serious passion for dance. When not working round the clock, she can be seen reading, enjoying a movie-binge or listening to music.
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