Bhumika Chawla: As A Child Grows A Mother Grows Too

In a tête-à-tête with Bhumika Chawla - the fabulous actress shares her journey as a parent, her equation with her own mother and about choosing film roles post motherhood. Read on!

By Jyothi Srinivas

Bhumika Chawla: As A Child Grows A Mother Grows Too

Bhumika Chawla, one of Indian cinema’s popular film stars made her presence felt with the Bollywood blockbuster Tere Naam. This was back in the year 2003. She has several hit movies to her name such as Badri, Kushi, Okkadu,Missamma, Sillunu Oru Kaadhal, Gandhi, My Father, Anasuya and Buddy. Having played many roles in her life, ParentCircle was keen to find out about her latest role — not as a reel-life mother but a real-life one. Her son Yash, all of five years now, is the light of her world. It is amazing how Bhumika handles career, home and parenting with elan. Read on, as we get chatting with Bhumika to know more about her parenting style, in this ParentCircle special!

Here are the excerpts from the exclusive interview:

On things that change after becoming parent…

Not just one, in fact, a lot of things change once you become a parent. Every day is a new lesson to learn for any mother. As your child grows, you also grow as a mother. If I have to really point it out, sleep patterns for one change considerably after you become a mother. You also learn balance things a lot better than before.

On her mother and values she wishes to pass on…

I have always looked upto my mother on the way she keeps things together. As a parent, she was strict, but imbibed in us the right values. Another quality that I immensely admire about her is that she never judges people and never ever makes fun of anyone. Her undying faith in God and steely determination, has been an inspiration for me throughout my life.

When it comes to parenting, I continue to learn from my mom even today. During my last visit home, when my son threw a tantrum and screamed, I was about to lose my temper. But then my mom stepped in, calmed me down and told me that when it comes to children sometimes silence and patience works way better than shouting and punishing. So, I remained silent. True to her words, it worked wonders! My mother always finds a nicer way to explain things and inspires everyone around her to be a better person.

Few values from her that I wish to pass on to my son – her compassion towards animals and of course like I just mentioned, her non-judgmental nature.

On choosing film roles post motherhood…

Fortunately for me, all my movies are family-oriented – ones I can watch along with my son. So, I don’t have to worry if my films would embarrass him or not. In future also, I will not take any role that would embarrass him.

On handling son's gadget use…

Limiting gadget use when it comes to children is no easy task for parents today. However, we must strive to keep a fixed and allotted time for children to enjoy screen time. As parents, we must learn to divert their attention and get them involved and interested in other meaningful activities. There are so many things you can do other than watching TV and videos. Yash and I for one, do a lot of things together.

On spending time with son…

When we are in Bombay, I make sure to take him swimming. He also helps me to cook. Yes, both of us love to spend time together in the kitchen. These days, he is pretty much capable of doing several culinary skills on his own. He peels vegetables, stirs food while it cooks, adds the masalas and does just about anything a little boy his age can do. Both of us even indulge in some baking too. Together, we bake cakes, souffle, etc. Yash really helps me around the kitchen!

Besides some fun cooking, we do a lot of reading too. Reading to him before bedtime is like a ritual for us. Every night, I read to him a book covering different genres. Since, I am fond of reading and want my son to pick this habit from me, I keep buying tons and tons of books. I want him to explore the world through the world of books. We have plenty of books on galaxies, stars, space, etc. We also have books on bullying – as I want him to understand bullying as a concept. He must learn that there are two situations, to get bullied and being a bully, and both are not right.

On gender equality and raising gender-sensitive children…

The way I grew up, gender sensitivity was never a topic of discussion, it was simply a way of life. I was never told that I can or cannot do certain things. I was the one in my family who would change the light bulbs, buy groceries or cook meals. I never faced any discrimination at home growing up. So, I try to raise my son too without any bias. Just last month, while picking some toys from the store, he came back to me saying I don’t want pink ones as it is a girl's colour. I explained to him that there is nothing like a boy’s colour or a girl’s colour, all that matters is what colour you like.

So yes, I will do my bit to raise him in a way he grows up to respect women and treat them as equal. On a lighter note, when he has a girlfriend, I will make sure that he helps her around, divides the chores and that they treat each other with respect.

On parenting ...

Today, with so much going on around us, we tend to be confused as parents. And like any parent, I am also learning the art of parenting every day. Parenting is a long journey; and we all learn along the way. When it comes to young parents, I would like to draw your attention to one point. Sometimes, we, parents give in too easily to our children’s demands. Do not do that even if you want to please or calm down your child. You may have money and resources, and can afford to buy any fancy stuff your child wants, but do not buy it just because your child demands for it. Try not to give in to instant gratification. Always keep in mind that sometimes it is okay if they feel bad. Do not give in to their materialistic demands easily. 

If you think buying gifts can help you develop a connect with them, you are quite mistaken. And if you really want to share a bond with your children – spend time with them, play with them, read to them, and teach them the core values of humanity.

Also, as parents, talk to your children about the ups and downs of life, and teach them how to handle failure like dealing with heartbreaks and so forth. Yes, equip your child with life skills that will help him face the world.

                                                                   Hall of Fame

  • In 2009, Bhumika got Nandi Special Jury Award for the movie Satyabhama.
  • In 2004, she was awarded Nandi Award for Best Actress for Missamma.
  • In 2004, she was awarded the Zee Cine Award for Best Female Debut for the movie Tere Naam in Hindi. She starred alongside superstar Salman Khan.
  • In 2002, she won the Filmfare Award for Best Actress for her role in the Telugu movie Kushi.
  • She has acted in more than 35 films across film industries and languages like Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, Malayalam, Kannada, Bhojpuri, and Punjabi.

Also read: Balancing Screen Time and Family Time

About the author:

Written by Jyothi Srinivas on 10 December 2019.

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