In fact, when my husband (Rishi Kapoor) passed away, my children said, ‘Mummy, do something now. We don’t want you to stay at home. They pressured me to do ‘Jug Jug Jio’, so I did that film. Then I did two-three shows, I had a lot of fun and my heart was also flowing. It is most important that your mind is busy, so I started feeling good. Confidence also increased, otherwise when I did ‘Jug Jug Jio’, then my confidence was zero. I called Masterji at home and rehearsed the dialogues, because then and today’s acting is very different. Acting in our time used to be very animated acting, face-to-face, now it has become quite real and natural, so I had to take classes. I was so used to doing loud acting and talking loudly that I thought that the way he is acting, it will look very boring, but it was a good experience.
When you did ‘Do Dooni Chaar’ and ‘Besharam’, it was thought that maybe you will continue acting, but it did not happen. What was the reason for that?
At the time of ‘Do Dooni Chaar’, I had no intention of appearing in films. Those people needed me, so Rishi ji requested to do this film. I refused, so he said that you just listen to the story, then take a decision. When I heard the story, I loved it so much that I said I would. That’s how she did the film. Then, I did ‘Besharam’ because I was tempted to have my husband in it, Ranbir is also there, but unfortunately she didn’t turn out to be that good. I did not do these films at all thinking that I should come back, work. Then my life was very busy. Rishi ji used to keep me so busy that I did not get any time, but now I want to work. I want to be busy I want to travel, so that I don’t think about anything else, stay busy. Otherwise I had no desire to return to work.
I was told by an astrologer that you will come back in the movie and I used to say never. What the fuck, but right now I think these things happen too. Then I never trusted him, because I had other priorities. My children, my home, my husband, he was my priority. Today my kids are settled. They don’t even live near me. My husband passed away, so now I feel that I should prioritize what I want to do. I gave the rest of my time to my children, to my husband. Right now I should keep myself happy, travel, work, do whatever I want to do.
How difficult was it to reach the idea that you want to prioritize yourself now?
no way. As I said, my children encouraged me to do something for yourself. Otherwise, till then I did not even care, because till then I could not even understand anything. My husband had just passed, so I was not well, but when he said, I started thinking that yes, I should do it. Then I started going out, otherwise I was so anti-social earlier. Never used to invite friends to home, did not even go to anyone’s house. Those who were my husband’s friends were my friends. He used to come home. Very rarely did I go for lunch or dinner, that too only with them. That was my life but now I have become social. Started calling friends. Started going for lunch and dinner. I started to socialize, because right now I want to do all this, otherwise life will be very sad and I do not want to be sad. I want to be happy
You gave up acting very early at the age of 21, so it also seems that you still have a lot left in you as an actor?
No. You know what happened, when I started working, I was only 5 years old, so from the age of 5 to 21 I worked. By then I had done a lot. When I was a child, I had no life. I never enjoyed even the life of a teenager, I did not have any friends. I used to do three shifts in a day. I did some 70-80 films in seven years, as a heroine, I had no time for myself. So, all I had to do was quit work and be at peace. I had no desire left that I should do this, do that.
I had done so much and I had got so much popularity at the age of 7-8 years with ‘Do Kaliyan’ that people used to love me a lot, ask for autographs. So you also got fame. I got everything, so I had no desire left. My wish was to live life in peace. Whereas, right now I want to be busy and acting is the only thing that I know, so I am keeping myself busy like this. It is not that I had any wish left, which I am fulfilling.
Which time do you like more between the past and now? That old era or now?
Right now I am enjoying all this. Getting ready, meeting people, making friends, otherwise that time was like a job for me that I have to go, work, because I had no desire to become an actor. I had to do that for my family. But today I am doing it because I want to do it. So, today I feel more excited, more involved, earlier it was good to go, do it. That was a job.
These past two years have been very difficult for you, but how has this untoward incident (Rishi ji’s passing) changed you as a human being?
Look, it took time to get that confidence back. I may not be quite there yet, but I am getting there. The more I work, the stronger I become. I am stronger than ever. However, I was strong. I stood by my husband with a lot of courage, but today I have to see my house as well, my finances too. Earlier my husband used to watch all that. Now that I am the man of my family, I have become stronger than I was when my husband was with me, because I was dependent on him then. I had never driven home, but today I am handling a lot of things, which makes me feel stronger than ever.