Actress Amrita Arora is a hands-on mom. Spiffy, smashing, svelte. “I hardly remember what life was like before I became a mother,” she laughs as we settle into an informal chat. She recounts having started work at the age of 16, with modelling assignments, commercials, VJ-ing, and then starring in blockbusters like Kambakkht Ishq and Golmaal Returns. “Now I have my own time to do what I want and my own space to be able to take things easy,” she says with a smile. Excerpts from the conversation:
So Azaan is nine, and Rayaan, six. Have you got a breather now?
They still need a great deal of attention. It is a different kind of attention at every age. It is the same Indian saga everywhere (laughs), as your child grows into a teenager and beyond. You worry about their food intake, where they are…
But things are much more peaceful now that they are older?
Absolutely. Their day is more structured, with school and classes as they pursue other interests as well in football, dance, etc.
Are there any issues of sibling rivalry?
Sibling revelry is more like it. We are busy celebrating milestones, with both vying for attention as their emotional quotient gets set while they grow up.
You always wanted to have two kids…
Absolutely. I think siblings are great. My elder sister Malaika (Arora) and I are each other’s heartbeat even today.
So are the cousins close?
Oh yes. Malaika’s son Arhaan is a gem. Azaan idolises him, and is in full awe of him (laughs). So they are constantly swapping stories, playing on PS4 when they meet, which is very often. Arhaan is very protective about Azaan and Rayaan.
And what about their relationship with the grandparents?
The children love spending time with both sets of grandparents. They enjoy sleepovers at their place, are so comfortable with them. It is a warm bond; they have been born into it as both Shakeel and I come from close-knit families.
Be honest. Did you ever wish for a baby girl?
Well! See, when Arhaan was born, all of us were fussing over him as he was the first baby in the family. So I learnt how to take care of a boy. When I was pregnant for the first time, then I only wanted a healthy baby. Azaan was born. The second time around, yes, I did secretly hope for a girl who would have a little bit of me and Malaika. A little bit of me somewhere did yearn for a baby girl.
Shilpi Madan for Indian Express