Dhols, dancing, chaos, euphoria… and in between all this, she’s the burst of energy spreading her magic. I feel I’m part of that scene as soon she walks into her vanity with her entourage of manager, spot boy hair and make-up artists. Suddenly a lazy afternoon turns into a party. She greets me with warmth, checks with her manager about her next shot and reprimands her spot Jalwa (not kidding) for messing up her healthy juice. Her cackling laughter is infectious. I wish I could bottle this jolt of positivity for everyday use.
Kajol radiates a freshly minted quality about her. There’s an unmistakable lightness in her gait. A perpetual glow surrounds her. She’s looking specially radiant today in a magenta top. It’s not a colour you see her wearing often. And she agrees. She was never someone, who cared a damn about style or fashion. But today she’s considered a showstopper. Quizzed about the change, she blushes. “The reason is that I’m actually accepting the compliments. Earlier, if someone said I was looking nice; I didn’t believe it.”
Wait, what? “Yeah, I thought people just said that because they didn’t know how else to compliment me. But now when they say so, I believe it,” she smiles. “When you start liking what you see in the mirror, you start putting in more effort. When you have self-respect, when you stand upright, speak with confidence and believe in yourself, it reflects differently than if you’re hesitant about yourself or lack confidence. People can see what you’re within,” she explains.
It’s a priceless lesson in self-love. She’s not quoting Deepak Chopra but drawing from her own life. I don’t know Kajol well. I’ve met her just a couple of time on shoots. Yet I feel I know her. There are glimpses of my friends, my colleagues in her. Kajol is the most ëreal’ star I’ve come across in the glam-sham world. Behind the superstar and mascot of several brands, she’s a person, who hasn’t lost sight of her basic values. “I guess it comes from observing my mother. Whether she wore a fabulous saree, whether she sported diamonds, whether she wore make-up... she was first my mom. Her core never changed.” She elaborates, “If I have idols in life... they’re my mother and grandmother (the late Shobhna Samarth). I’ve seen them both go through hard times, personally, professionally and financially. But they remained the same as people. That’s something I’ve always maintained. It’s not necessary to assume a certain persona or live in a certain manner just because people expect it of you.”
One would like to know as to what made her go glam after all this while. “I’ve been a pretty confident person all my life. But grooming and style was something I didn’t care much about. I believed I was average looking. But then I was super interesting, super smartÖ so why would anyone not want to look at me? In a way, it’s a kind of reverse snobbery,” she grins as she makes this candid observation. She recalls that it was after daughter Nysa was born that she began dwelling on her potential for glamour. “Maybe, because I was not working at that time, I had the time. I took a two-year gap and later I had my 105th comeback.”
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