‘Kajol’ in conversation with ‘Divya Solgama’
Divya Solgama – As you are playing a role of a doting mother in Helicopter Eela, so Kajol how would you rate your mother (Tanuja) with respect to your character in the film?
Kajol –Let me share with you Divya that my mother is not at all like Eela, where she is the coolest and most forward-thinking kind of woman ever you can meet. I will always be grateful for the kind of upbringing that she had given me in my life. And so, I hope that I am as brave as she is in real-life with my kids as she was with me. She is quite advanced, taught me the meaning of independence, what one should truly thing about self, and also taught me how to deal with life in every situation whether its success-and-failure or life-and-death. More importantly, she taught me all these in the nicest, most normal and livable way possible.
Divya Solgama – And Kajol, would you consider yourself as Eela in comparison with your real-life mother’s character?
Kajol – (laughs) Yes Divya, I am little bit like Eela in real-life. Although I am not as cool as my mom, but definitely I am more like Eela as mother. I still remember that my mother once said to me that there will come a time where I will have to depend and have faith on my upbringing towards my kids. And that’s something we all as parents have to start believing that what we have done is right so far. And let our kids start practicing with what we have been preaching from the time they were kids. Hence, slowly and gradually I have begun to believe that I have become braver as a parent.
Divya Solgama – As the movie ‘Helicopter Eela’ is based on a popular Gujarati play “Beta, Kaagdo”, so kindly share us the preparation part for your role.
Kajol – I am not playing a Gujarati woman in the film, where my character’s name is actually Eela Raiturkar who is a Maharashtrian lady. And so, there wasn’t much preparation necessary for my role. To be honest, the title of our film came from the #HelicopterMom, which was recently being developed to explain the Indian mother from time and memorial. However, I don’t see a stringing either for another 100-years at least for now, regardless of however much we may get empowered. But, our Helicopter Eela is just a little more in every respect of her life. For instance, she is little more obsessive, compulsive, possessive and intrusive towards her kid. At the same time, you forgive her no matter whatever she is and what on earth she does. You indeed think that she is little extra, but also forgives her because of the fact that everything she is doing stems from the point that she loves her son. If I am packing his tiffin, regardless of what his age is, it’s because I love my son. In the same way, if I am looking into his personal life, it’s because I love my son. Hence, it’s more forgivable in that respect.
Divya Solgama – Pradeep Sarkar is always known for making a different kind of woman-oriented movies. So Kajol, how was your working experience with him?
Kajol – It was great working with him, where in fact we were planning to do a film together long before, but just never came across with the right script. However, we had an absolutely amazing time working with each other in ‘Helicopter Eela’. To be honest, Dada (Pradeep Sarkar) is one of those awesome directors who every actor would love to work with. Further, every actor really wants a director who is able to pull something out of you, and which you would have not thought of. It’s that unusual kind of pull where you would look the scene with completely different perspective, or something different that you haven’t planned for yourself. I have an immense respect for Dada as a director, and he has more than lived up to what I have thought of him.
Divya Solgama – Kajol, which are those top qualities that you have engraved from your mother and grandmother, and which you also want your kids to have the same?
Kajol – Firstly Divya, one of the main qualities that I have got from my mother and grandmother is that I have made all of my actions in life from being able to think for myself and not getting caught-up in this herd mentality that seems to go around. And secondly, I should be able to stand-up and take the consequences of my actions. For instance, if I have made a mistake then will not blame it on other, but instead will own-up to them and live with it. Hence, these two traits I hope and pray that my kids continue to shore signs on that.
Divya Solgama – You made your debut with Bekhudi (1992), where the entire time was different in that 90s era. Most of the actors were associated with many films, but today, people are associated with one or maximum two. So Kajol, do you enjoy that phase or this phase?
Kajol – I was never a part of many films at the same time, because I always did one or two films in a year and not more than that. I remember that there was only one year in which I had 3-4 releases, but most of the time I never did more than 1-2 film in a year. But yes, today’s time is definitely a better for an actor, because we have different kinds of films going around. It’s not necessary now to make or be in the three genres of films, because we don’t have only action, romance and comedy left for the viewers. We now have an amalgamation of all these three that are beautifully articulated together. Also, I feel that nobody categorizes films like that anymore. Further, social media has now extended the longevity of an actor or of any film personality. Somebody asked me recently with a question that was success easier or failure in comparison of today’s time with that era. I would say that success and failure was much more drastic at that time. If you have attain stardom then you can reach to heights, but if you fail to attain then you can be paralyzed, where you just couldn’t think of anything to do in your life. However, today it’s completely scenario and exactly the opposite of what it was earlier. Although you cannot reach that kind of stardom which people have reached during that time, but at the same time, you are never failing. And so, because of social media, a lot of avenues have been opened up for you to do something or the other, and more importantly to keep doing it.
Divya Solgama – Speaking about stardom, do you feel Kajol that today’s actors have that capability enough to reach that level in future which superstars like Ajay Devgn, Akshay Kumar or Khan’s have attained it?
Kajol – Honestly, time will tell and you have to wait for more than 20-years for that to see how many have been last. And if they last, I hope and pray that they will become a superstar by-then.
Divya Solgama – Have you ever visited on-sets during any shoot of your mother (Tanuja) or father’s (Shomu Mukherjee) film? Can you share some anecdote related to that?
Kajol – Never visited on the sets of my mother’s film, but yes once or twice I went on the sets of my father’s films – ‘Fifty-Fifty’ and ‘Sangdil Sanam’. I remember meeting Manisha Koirala on the sets of Sangdil Sanam, and said to dad that she is so beautiful in real. I was literally in awe of her beauty. However, there was no such rule kind of to go on the sets, where my mother never took me on her sets in fact. I find utterly boring to be present on someone else’s sets. Watching somebody else’s work never excites me. If you are not shooting on the sets, then it’s the most boring thing in the world. It’s actually terrible and torture for me (laughs).
Divya Solgama – Being in the industry with more than two-and-a-half decades now, so do you believe that there are any genuine friends for you Kajol?
Kajol – I do believe that I have made some and very few genuine friends in the industry. I know and like a lot of people, but wouldn’t say that they are my chaddi-buddy kind of friends. However yes, I have few friends in my life from the industry who I would believe are genuine.
Divya Solgama – So Kajol, can I say that are books still your best-friends?
Kajol – (laughs) I still read a lot of books, because I simply love reading the same. It’s actually my mediation that makes me calm and also slice-of-life that’s all my own.
Divya Solgama – Have you ever felt to be a part of any film of today’s time, which you have liked or adored it?
Kajol – I never try to imagine myself into any of the films that I have seen, whether I have liked it or not. And the reason behind this is that I am not that could-have, should-have, or may-be kind of person in real-life. I am happy with what I am today and love the fact to have done a film like Helicopter Eela. I loved the character of Eela and enjoyed myself thoroughly working with Dada and Riddhi (Sen), where both of them were amazing people to work with, and also of course with Ajay Devgn as a producer. So all in all, my producer was fabulous, director was great and script was amazing. I am very much happy with what I have here in now and don’t crave or want to be a part of anything else other than that.
Divya Solgama – Lastly, you have a lot of loyal fans even today Kajol. So how do you connect with them?
Kajol – Thank you so much Divya for that and I really appreciate for the same. Honestly, I don’t do that many films today and also wasn’t even on any kind of social-media before that, but still have people coming up to me and expressing their love. So that’s actually a phenomena and just can’t analyze it because don’t know the equation to that. Although I am grateful to that, but I believe that it also has to do with the fact that I choose good films. I may not have done a film for anybody, but if I had to choose a reason for being here then that would be them.