Fit & Fa­mous

Esha Deol is bask­ing in preg­nancy bliss. She gets chat­ting on moth­er­hood, marriage and more…

Health & Nutrition - - CONTENTS -

Mom-to-be Esha Deol on moth­er­hood, marriage, fit­ness and more…

EHow many peo­ple know that the beau­ti­ful Hema Malini did the horse rid­ing scenes in ‘Razia Sul­tan’ - without us­ing a body dou­ble - when she was five months preg­nant? Or that, along­side she was also shoot­ing for ‘Satte Pe Satta’?

sha Deol nar­rates in­ter­est­ing lit­tle sto­ries to us about her mother when we com­ple­ment her on look­ing so fit and ag­ile, de­spite be­ing in her eighth month of preg­nancy. “I am blessed with my mother’s genes,” smiles the glow­ing mum-to-be. From the time she walks into their dance stu­dio (the venue for our in­ter­view at Hema’s bun­ga­low in Juhu, Mumbai), dressed in a lay­ered spaghetti top and black pants, till the time she set­tles down on the sofa, we can’t help but no­tice the ease and flex­i­bil­ity with which she is car­ry­ing her­self. No puffed up or tired face, no ex­cess weight, no slow, mea­sured steps… Esha is con­fi­dent, re­laxed and looks pretty en­er­getic. The preg­nancy glow is shin­ing through too... Bask­ing in the joy of it all, Esha talks moth­er­hood, marriage (to busi­ness­man Bharat Tak­thani) and more, in an easy-breezy chat with us.

A Fam­ily Of Fit­ness Freaks

While she may credit her healthy preg­nancy to her genes, there is no tak­ing away from the fact that Esha her­self is a fit­ness freak. In fact, the seeds were sown right in child­hood – when she played football in school and even cap­tained her team. Says she, “I have been ath­letic from my school days, learnt Rus­sian bal­let at a very young age, and dance, of course, was al­ways a part of our lives. And so were gym­ming and hard core work­outs.” She adds that she doesn’t re­mem­ber a time in her life when she didn’t work out. Fit­ness, in­ci­den­tally,

“Ba­si­cally, when you are hav­ing a healthy preg­nancy, with God’s grace, and are allowed to travel, the hus­band and wife take a nice hon­ey­moon va­ca­tion. It’s their fi­nal bit of be­ing just a cou­ple.”

also runs in the fam­ily… While women swooned over dad Dhar­men­dra’s chis­elled body in his hey­days, mum Hema’s danc­ing prow­ess worked as a huge fit­ness form for her in help­ing her main­tain her el­e­gant figure. “Even now, dad pushes him­self to do his cy­cling. He also does pranayama and yoga reg­u­larly. And mum gets up at 5.30 a.m ev­ery day and does her yoga. So I guess, I have the fit­ness genes also from them,” chuck­les she. All of which surely went a long way in en­sur­ing she en­joyed good health most of the time. “A rea­son why I am hav­ing a healthy preg­nancy too,” says she. In fact, even when they planned to start a fam­ily, the health freak in her made sure she and hus­band Bharat did reg­u­lar health check-ups ev­ery six months. “At one point, Bharat was like, ‘We have just done one six months ago’, and I would say, ‘I am like that only – a lit­tle crack when it comes to all things health’,” laughs she. And adds that jokes apart, Bharat is also a fit­ness freak like her. “One rea­son why I got at­tracted to him,” she blushes.

The Five-Year Plan

But both she and Bharat, she tells us, were sure they wanted to wait for five years be­fore plan­ning a baby. “We’ve been through all that - peo­ple telling us, ‘ Shaadi karke bachcha paida karo’. But we knew ex­actly when we wanted to be par­ents, and till when we wanted to en­joy and chill and travel. Not that we couldn’t en­joy now but it’s dif­fer­ent when a baby comes in. And once we de­cided now was the time, we took ex­tra care to keep our­selves healthy. I started eat­ing health­ier and read­ing a lot on preg­nancy and health. In fact, I have a full li­brary on safe preg­nancy books,” she grins. And adds, “I had peo­ple telling me - you will vomit, faint, crave for things in the mid­dle of the night etc. But noth­ing like that hap­pened. My sis­ter (Ahana) had nau­sea – she, in fact, puked for nine months, even on her way to the hos­pi­tal. I just had acid­ity, con­sti­pa­tion, mi­nor things which were bear­able, and of course, mood swings, but Bharat has been very un­der­stand­ing through­out.”

Crav­ings & More

The only crav­ings she had was for South In­dian food. “I think I went deep into my South In­dian roots where food was con­cerned. There were cer­tain pickles, pow­ders and rasam I craved for ev­ery day. I en­joy my kadhi chawal too, be­ing mar­ried to a Sindhi, but I didn’t par­tic­u­larly crave North In­dian stuff. Other­wise, I eat ev­ery­thing in mod­er­a­tion – no binge eat­ing, or ex­cess sweets or choco­lates.”

“Dad was against my join­ing films, and that was grilled so strongly in our heads that I to­tally re­belled be­cause I re­ally wanted to act. So I was made to be ‘the rebel’. I don’t want my child to feel like a rebel for no rea­son.”

“How a child turns out de­pends on how happy the par­ents are through­out the preg­nancy. That’s what Bharat and I be­lieve in. And Bharat is the main rea­son be­hind me hav­ing a lovely preg­nancy so far.”

The Baby­moon Bliss

So how did the idea of the much-in news ‘baby­moon­ing’ - that saw the to­tally lovedup par­ents-to-be in Greece - come about? There’s a twin­kle in her eye when she replies, “I guess in In­dia, it’s not re­ally been pro­nounced as much as I pro­nounced it out to the world. Ba­si­cally, when you are hav­ing a healthy preg­nancy, with God’s grace, and are allowed to travel, the hus­band and wife take a nice hon­ey­moon va­ca­tion. It’s their fi­nal bit of be­ing just a cou­ple. Bharat jokes, ‘My friends are com­plain­ing now, as your wife has in­creased our bud­gets. They want a baby­moon too’. “We de­cided to go to Greece as we both like trop­i­cal places. And since I am the kind who loves mak­ing mem­o­ries, I de­cided to do a ma­ter­nity photo shoot at San­torini, which is such a beau­ti­ful place. I want my child to cher­ish these mo­ments.” She is happy, smil­ing and ex­cited as she speaks… And calls out to the house-help for some wa­ter to drink, with an em­pha­sis on it be­ing thanda. “Cold wa­ter?” we ask, a lit­tle sur­prised, as preg­nant women, tra­di­tion­ally, are stopped from hav­ing any­thing cold, lest they catch a cold. “I can’t have wa­ter which is not cold,” she laughs. While some grand­mas’ tales she doesn’t bother much about, she ad­mits she is old school when it comes to be­liev­ing that ‘a woman should be very pos­i­tive through­out her preg­nancy’. “It af­fects a child’s pro­gram­ming. How a child turns out de­pends on how happy the par­ents are through­out the preg­nancy. That’s what Bharat and I be­lieve in. And Bharat is the main rea­son be­hind me hav­ing a lovely preg­nancy so far. He has kept me happy. The first three months, I did a lot of kitkit but he has taken it very well.”

Happy Grand­par­ents

And how ex­cited are her par­ents about turn­ing grand­par­ents yet again? “Mum will be a sec­ond time grand mom, and dad, of course, has been one many times now,” she laughs. Adding, “But, of

course, he is ex­cited too. Mum is re­ally look­ing for­ward as I am her first child. But I am happy Ahana had her baby be­fore me so they were all busy with Darien, and Darien en­joys mum’s com­pany. She teaches him shlokas which he has picked up very well. So Darien knows more shlokas than Ahana now.” So does li’l sis give advice to big sis? “Yes, she does. In fact, right now, she is also in Mumbai. So Darien is great prac­tice for Bharat and me. He is two now, and spends a lot of time with us.” In­ci­den­tally, Ahana threw a sur­prise baby shower for Esha, which turned out to be a grand and fun af­fair, and Esha can’t stop talk­ing about how great a time she had there… “Rocky’s out­fit, which I wore, was beau­ti­ful, and we played a lot of fun baby shower games. It was lovely.”

Par­ent­ing Cues

Grow­ing up as chil­dren of su­per­stars must have had its pros and cons… Any par­ent­ing traits she wants to im­bibe from her par­ents? So also traits she would re­frain from, or want to cor­rect? This ques­tion seemed a lit­tle tricky to her but af­ter some thought, she gets straight to the point… “Mum has al­ways been larger than life for us. She multi-tasks, and has al­ways been a very strong pres­ence in our lives. My chil­dren will be lucky to have her as grand­mother. She never re­stricted us from do­ing or wear­ing what we wanted, or choos­ing our friends. I was very in­de­pen­dent and bold from young. She in­stilled a lot of con­fi­dence in us, so I want to make sure I do that too. “That said, I re­mem­ber a cou­ple of times when our par­ents weren’t aware of what we were do­ing and even we weren’t aware whether we were do­ing the right or wrong thing. I see that hap­pen­ing even now. The child is con­fused and the par­ent isn’t aware. I would like to bridge that gap be­tween a par­ent and child. How I am go­ing to do it I don’t know, but I would want our child to con­fide in at least ei­ther of his/ her par­ent at all times. “As for dad, he is so downto-earth. Full credit to him for mak­ing us so grounded. He is also very large-hearted. I would want to pass on these traits of his to my kids. But Papa was also a lit­tle con­ser­va­tive; he liked to see us in In­dian out­fits. So there was this phase when we were grow­ing up when we knew that if Papa was com­ing home, we would dress in sal­war kameez and sit, which def­i­nitely was not our per­son­al­i­ties. We out­grew that phase, but I would never want my chil­dren to do such things. Sounds funny now but it had a huge im­pact on us then. “He was also very pro­tec­tive about us be­cause he knew both the good and bad side of the film in­dus­try. He was against my join­ing films, and that was grilled so strongly in our heads that I to­tally re­belled be­cause I re­ally wanted to act. So I was made to be ‘the rebel’. I don’t want my child to feel like a rebel for no rea­son. I made mis­takes, achieved things, but they were all my choices. Dad didn’t see my movies for the long­est

“Mum has al­ways been larger than life for us. I was very in­de­pen­dent and bold from young. She in­stilled a lot of con­fi­dence in us, so I want to make sure I do that too with my child.”

“My mother’s advice to me when I was get­ting mar­ried was: Stop fight­ing for small stupid things be­cause be­fore you know, the time will be gone. Cher­ish mo­ments when they are there.”

time. But now, of course, he is proud of me. So these are things I will cor­rect when it comes to my par­ent­ing skills.” Hav­ing said that, she also says that she will never pres­sur­ize her child to do any­thing he/ she doesn’t want to do. “I will ex­pect our child to study and will put them in a lot of ex­tracur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties but he has to de­cide for him­self what he wants to do.” And how ea­ger are her in-laws in wel­com­ing their first grand­child? “They are pam­per­ing me too. We meet ev­ery week, and my mother-in-law makes Sindhi curry for me. The first four years, I stayed with my in-laws, but now, we de­cided to move out. I wanted it that way – I wanted to take care of my home now. But I learnt a lot liv­ing with my mother-in-law, es­pe­cially all about the kitchen. Be­fore marriage, I didn’t know how to boil or fry a po­tato. I learnt cook­ing to patao Bharat,” she winks.

Down The Love Lane

…She may have done that post marriage but it’s no se­cret that it was Bharat who ac­tu­ally pataoed Esha way back in school. “Haha… Feels like

“Love and pas­sion got you to­gether in the first place but get to know your spouse be­yond the ro­mance and roses; go deep into the soul and crack that. Ev­ery cou­ple fights; we do that too but we make up very fast.”

we’ve known each other for­ever. We started dat­ing in school, went apart, got back again and dated for a year be­fore de­cid­ing to be to­gether for good.” Any re­la­tion­ship mantras she prac­tices to en­sure their marriage is smooth­sail­ing and rock-solid? She replies, “Don’t let a third per­son’s opin­ion in­ter­fere with your hus­band’s and your un­der­stand­ing. Many peo­ple will give you advice but tell them all to go and take a hike. You have to trust each other im­plic­itly. Love and pas­sion got you to­gether in the first place but get to know your spouse be­yond the ro­mance and roses; go deep into the soul and crack that. Ev­ery cou­ple fights; we do that too but we make up very fast. My mother’s advice to me when I was get­ting mar­ried was: Stop fight­ing for small stupid things be­cause be­fore you know, the time will be gone. Cher­ish mo­ments when they are there.”

…And Esha cer­tainly knows how to cher­ish her mo­ments. From the time she de­cided to have a baby, she’s been on a mis­sion to make ev­ery mo­ment mem­o­rable. Whether it was mak­ing sure she was in the pink of health, or liv­ing it up in Greece as a cou­ple one last time be­fore the baby came in, or freak­ing out at the sur­prise baby shower sis­ter Ahana threw for her, here’s a mum-to-be who just can’t stop glow­ing… VIN­O­DINI KR­ISH­NAKU­MAR

The com­plete fam­ily

At her baby shower

At her ‘ godh bharaai’ cer­e­mony

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