India Today - - LEISURE -

—Suhani Singh

Ka­jol wants you to know that she is noth­ing like the over­bear­ing mother she plays in He­li­copter Eela, which re­leases on Septem­ber 7. But her In­sta­gram posts do some­times em­bar­rass her teenage daugh­ter, Nysa, who leaves com­ments dis­ap­prov­ing of her schmaltzy cap­tions to fam­ily pic­tures. “She said, ‘I can­not be as­so­ci­ated with this. I am not your ad­min any­more’,” says Ka­jol with a laugh. There’s still a lot in com­mon be­tween mother and daugh­ter. “We tend to find a lot of things ir­rev­er­ent,” she says. “We laugh at the weirdest things and bitch a lot to­gether. Ma­nis and pedis do that to you.”

The sin­gle mother Ka­jol plays in He­li­copter Eela doesn’t share any man­i­cures and pedi­cures with her teenager—a son played by the Na­tional Award-win­ning ac­tor Rid­dhi Sen. Writ­ten by Mitesh Shah and Anand Gandhi, di­rected by Pradeep Sarkar and pro­duced by Ka­jol’s hus­band-ac­tor Ajay Devgn, the film looks at a par­ent’s un­con­di­tional love for her only child and its reper­cus­sions on the par­ent-child dy­namic. “I hope the film makes par­ents re­alise that kids this day and age have def­i­nite iden­ti­ties and thoughts,” says Ka­jol. “Be­cause of the flow of in­for­ma­tion, they are not as ig­no­rant as we were at their age. They’re much smarter, bet­ter read and in a way dis­con­nected too.”

Ka­jol de­scribes the film as a comin­gof-age story of a par­ent. “It’s a lot of dashed dreams and a strug­gle to find out who you were,” she says. “There are pieces of your­self that you lose once life be­comes so all-con­sum­ing as a par­ent... you for­get that you liked and did cer­tain things.” In this case, Eela re­dis­cov­ers her pas­sion for singing once she joins her son’s col­lege to fin­ish her ed­u­ca­tion. As in the Hindi film Nil Bat­tey San­nata, the sce­nario of hav­ing the par­ent in the class­room cre­ates con­flict and hu­mour.

A lot has changed for Ka­jol since she be­came a par­ent. For starters, she is even more ju­di­cious than she was with her movie picks. The time spent away from her seven-year-old son Yug has to be for a film that she’d like to see and with a script that works for her “per­son­ally”. There’s not a plethora of great scripts to choose from, she adds. “I don’t want to do a film for the sake of do­ing it or to be seen,” she says. “In­sta­gram does the job for me.”

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