Aishwarya Rai Bachchan on Bringing up Aaradhya: 'I Like Doing Everything for Her Myself'
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Aishwarya Rai Bachchan on Bringing up Aaradhya: 'I Like Doing Everything for Her Myself'

From waking up at 5.30 am to dropping her to school, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is a hands-on mum. Recently her daughter watched her film 'Fanney Khan'

Aishwarya  Rai Bachchan’s iconic status  never comes  in  the way  of her duties as a mother, a wife, daughter and daughter-in-law—in  thar order. Just how she manages to fulfil all the above roles and still finds time to be one of India’s most recognized  entertainers, is a mystery. Not to  the lady herself, though.

“It’s something I’ve grown up with. From the time I  was  18 I’ve been juggling  with many responsibilities. My day begins at 5.30 am. It has been that way from  the time I remember. Of course, after Aaradhya my priorities have changed completely. She comes  first, everything else is secondary,” says  the protective mother, her voice lighting up with pride as soon as the  ‘A’ word appears in  our conversation.

“Do you know Aaradhya saw her mother’s film for the  first time? I mean, she had of course seen  me on television and doing songs, etc. But Fanney Khan is my first film where she actually sat through the whole film,”  says Aishwarya shyly.

And what did Aaradhya think of Mama Dearest? “I think her smiling eyes said it all. She had actually seen me  shoot a part of my song in Fanney Khan. So when she heard there was  a screening she  expressed  a wish to see the film with all her friends and  their parents. So all her friends came  with  their parents and had a good time.I was happy to let Fanney Khan be the  first  film Aaradhya watches. It has a  positive message  for viewers of all ages and there’s nothing in it that  children cannot watch.In any case Aaradhya is constantly singing and dancing  at home, sometimes  to my songs, sometimes to her father’s and her grandfather’s songs. It’s a normal household. We’re trying to  keep the atmosphere  around Aaradhya as  normal as possible.”

Aishwarya is not one  of those star-moms whose child is seen more with the nanny than the mom. She laughs at that observations but corrects, “Aaradhya does have a nanny. In fact I am told I should have two nannies because  the one that I have tends to take off on  longish  holidays. But it doesn’t really matter. I like doing everything for Aaradhya myself, though with my kind of schedules it is not always  possible to do so. Today, for example, I’ve to catch a flight for a family event. I dropped Araadhya. Now she will be picked up from school by my mother  in my absence. So it’s me or my mother.”

Aishwarya says she  grew up in an  atmosphere where her mother was always hands-on. “So it never even occurred  to me that  it could be otherwise.” Managing  her sprawling career  and her domestic responsibilities  is  not  easy. “Every  home maker who  is a working woman is  a hero. It  requires a lot of juggling with time. And a supportive  husband, which I luckily have.”

Aishwarya is looking at  doing handpicked roles, like the one in Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and  now  Fanney Khan. “I always  knew my role in Fanney Khan was small. When I was promoting the film I never  gave the impression that I  was there throughout the  film. Rakeysh Mehra and  his wife Bharati (who has co-produced Fanney Khan) narrated  the  idea to me  and  I  loved it.”

It’s almost as though the role of the pop diva was written for Aishwarya. She laughs, “That’s how  audience have perceived my presence. Once I  was on board I  became  totally involved with the development of  the  character, her relationship with the character  played by  Rajkummar Rao, her clothes, the song, etc.I loved the concept  .And Anil Kapoor as the father of the daughter  brought his  personal emotions  into the part.He was  so sincere.”

Rakeysh Mehra says  Aishwarya contributed  a lot to her character. She laughs, “It was a  small  but pivotal role. I don’t look at my roles in terms  of  the  footage. To me the role should define my personality and the  character I am playing. But now Rakeysh  needs  to do a full-fledged  film with me.”

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