For this actor and director, the entire world is a stage — quite literally. Currently busy taking her latest play, ‘With Love Aap Ki Saiyaara’ – all across India, Juhi Babbar has also been powering the mechanics of her iconic theatre group Ekjute with her mother Nadira Zaheer Babbar. Here, she tells us about her greatest fear, who she’d like to be reborn as, and more.
Excerpts from a conversation:
What’s your current state of mind?
Chaos. My schedules are all over the place with shoots, shows and travel.
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
I wish I were two inches taller!
What is your greatest regret?
I have no regrets in life.
What is your most marked characteristic?
I am very meticulous about how things are done. I like making lists using pen and paper, not on my phone.
What is your greatest fear?
Lizards. They make my skin crawl.
What is your greatest extravagance?
The high I experience after performing a show. It is unbeatable.
Who is your favourite hero?
Dad. He is a self-taught and self-made man.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Smugness. I can’t stand that superiority complex and arrogance.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?“You know”. Either I believe people do not know, or they should know what I
want them to know!
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
The ability to place family first. Be a feminist, have
a career, but take pride in taking care of loved ones.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
The unbeatable trust my folks and friends have in me.
Where would you most like to live?
I’d like to camp for a few months in a small town in hilly Himachal Pradesh; a few months in London. But home is Mumbai.
What is your most treasured possession?
Being the eldest grandchild has its advantages. My grandfather gave me my
dad’s school tiffin box and his stamp collection. That’s very precious.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Shaheed Bhagat Singh.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Time spent with family — my folks (Raj and Nadira Babbar), son Imaan and husband Anup.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
Cleopatra. I have the looks and the attitude.
What do you most value in your friends?
A non-judgemental attitude and a good sense of humour.
Which talent would you most like to have?
How I wish I could sing!
What is a lesson you have learnt from your parents?
To work hard and be true to my art.
Your motto in life?
Que sera, sera.
Shilpi Madan for The Leela