Kajol has been fearless in deciding the course of her career without bothering about the consequences of her actions or taking her gender into consideration before taking a call. The actress says pay parity is essential, but should be decided by box office success more than gender.
“The debate on pay parity is a thought which has been put out. The pay should be according to genre, how the box office is and box office success,” Kajol told IANS in an interview over the phone from Singapore.
“Pay equality is coming up to par. To call it a ‘trend’ would be a strange (it is) something that should be a natural fact of life,” she added.
Kajol made her Hindi film debut with Rahul Rawail’s “Bekhudi” in 1992, and was known as the most natural actress of the 1990s. She was always clear what type of roles she wanted to do, genres she wanted to explore and confident about taking a break to enjoy family time.
“I keep taking a break. Every year I take a break. It is very important for my health. I cannot sum it all up in just one or two sentences. But it has been a long and fruitful journey. I am thankful for everything that God has blessed me with,” added the actress, who got her wax statue at Madame Tussauds Singapore last month.
She went to do projects like “Yeh Dillagi”, “Karan Arjun”, “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge”, “Bambai Ka Babu”, “Gupt: The Hidden Truth”, “Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya”, “Ishq”, “Dushman”, “Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain”, “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai”, “Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha”, “Raju Chacha” and “Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham…” — some bombed and some worked their magic on the box office.
Looking back at her journey, she said: “I have done what I thought was right. Some of it has paid off and some were mistakes. No, I would not call it a mistake, but a learning experience. And I don’t regret one bit of it or any aspect of it.”
Was it easy to work on her own terms’
“It was not easy or difficult. I didn’t think about it. Only, I did what I thought was right. I didn’t pay attention to what everybody was saying and what everybody wanted, which is exactly the way my mother has brought me up.”
Kajol confessed that lessons by her mother Tanuja helped her sail through all the ups and downs.
“She was like, ‘You have to figure out whether you are okay with the consequences of your actions. If you are, then nothing else matters’. And that is exactly the way I saw it. If the film flopped or it didn’t work, I was okay with it.
“They were the consequences of my actions. I have that feeling drilled into me by Tanuja — The Great,” she said.
Kajol and Ajay Devgn, who got married in 1999, are parents to two children — daughter Nysa and son Yug.
After the birth of her daughter in 2003, she did a few films like “Fanaa”, “U Me Aur Hum”, “My Name Is Khan”, “We Are Family” and “Toonpur Ka Superhero”. And again, after Yug’s birth, Kajol decided she would devote her time to motherhood.
She came back in 2015 with “Dilwale”, and is busy with “Eela”. She has also lent her voice to the character of Helen Parr a.k.a Elastigirl, for the Hindi version of Disney Pixar’s “Incredibles 2”.
Kajol is thrilled to get her wax statue at Madame Tussauds in Singapore, and walked on the red carpet with her daughter Nysa for the first time to unveil it. She says it was a very special moment that she wanted to share with her daughter.
“Actually seeing her all dressed up and standing next to me…was an ‘aww’ moment for me. I was happy that she was there. I wanted her to be there. It was a moment which you want to share with one piece of your life and she was the perfect person to be there with me for it.”
(Sugandha Rawal can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
By Sugandha Rawal