Free Press Journal

‘I am all set for motherhood’, says Kalki Koechlin


‘A child makes you a better person, if you don’t end up killing it in the first few months’, Kalki Koechlin speaks to Shubarna Mukerji Shu about mothers, miseries and movies

She is one of the most loved actresses in B-town despite not having had a free-run in the mainstream segment. While Kalki Koechlin already has many accomplishments, she doesn’t cease to surprise and even shock her audience. Currently she is promoting Ribbons and keeping us in splits. Hear her talk…

You are all set to play a mother for the first time onscreen, so was the experience with Ribbons – beautifully tied up or a tangled mess?

It was a lot of research because as you said I was playing mommy for the first time and needed to read up a lot. The film goes from pre-pregnancy to about the first three years of the child, so I read a lot of horrible and scary things too.

But the good thing was our producer’s friend had just delivered a baby, about 16days old. She was on the sets, and we learnt a lot about how to hold the baby, how to breast feed and of course, how to change nappies. There are times in the film when we touched upon how mothers become robotic mothers from hell when after a long day’s work, they cannot nap because their babies are asking for something or crying for attention. You wake up and are like ‘what’s to be done, what’s to be done’ in a rather robotic manner rather than registering anything. That was worrisome but I am now set for my future motherhood.

Did it get you thinking about what it would be like when you get a baby?

A bit perhaps, but the fact is that you can never be ready for motherhood, you just have to dive in. Even when you read about it you cannot really know it, unless you experience it. There are women who described their experience as painful as a truck coming out of their vagina, and yet call it the most beautiful experience – now tell me will you ever think about what would it be like when it happens to you?

Of course, I would love to experience it someday. It is an everyday miracle – the connect, the thought of life forming through you and running through you. Children give you a new perspective on yourself and remind you things that perhaps you may have forgotten. Their innocence makes you look at life in a whole new way…

Also Read: It’s a man’s world for Kalki Koechlin

It also makes you a better person…

Of course, that too, but that’s if you survive the first few months without killing it.

Children automatically bring us to family. The concept of family having changed over the years, confuses a lot of us too. Our own idea of family has been changing with time. how much has your idea of an ideal family changed?

I think what has happened today is that we are much more nuclear and isolated than our previous generations. We no longer have that support system of a family. It is just you and your partner going through it all. Plus running a family is difficult enough in most homes both the parents are working… for me, I know it is not always possible to have family around but still you need some sort of a support system in form of friends. Sisterhood is also very important… you need to connect with your girls, discuss things, talk to them, speak about what’s bothering you…other times you need your friends to remind you what it is like to have fun.

How was it working with Sumeet Vyas, this being his first feature film!

He is standing right next to me so I will have to be nice! Okay, jokes apart – he is a shy guy, but actually he is really nice and can be very funny in a quiet way. He would be correcting my Hindi – my kis and kas a lot through the film, we improvised a lot in this film so we worked on stuff together.

What was director, Rakhi’s take on these improvisations.

Rakhi is fab! She has this typical way of going with all one take shots, so one scene runs into another and the camera is like a fly on the wall.  Of course, it’s a lot of pressure because you don’t want to fumble through your lines but that’s why we kept on rehearsing it over and over. Many a times it felt like you have just walked into someone else’s arguments.

It might have been a fab set to be a part of, truly a novel experience, speaking about different cinema and while the line between mainstream and off-beat is blurring, do you still thing we have a long way to go as far as content is concerned…

I have never really bothered about demarcating my films into mainstream or off-beat, for me it is always the content that matters. So I guess that makes this current phase very exciting with things like Netflix coming up, content has become really important, the audience has too much of a choice to waste their time on something that they don’t like… it is a great time for the actors too.

Tell us a li’l about Jia Aur Jia… working with Richa Chaddha and the experience of a two-girl film.

It was fab yaar, Richa and I first met on the sets of Wasseypur where I was hanging out a lot, we click really well because we are equally quirky and mad, this film was great fun together, with Richa teaching me Punjabi, and I helping her with Tamil. Of course, we holidayed and shopped too through this one.