Mini Mathur speaks about her new show, competing with husband Kabir Khan on travelling, and more…
She goes by the name of ‘Mini’ Mathur. But, the level of her achievements can put any ‘major’ celebrity to shame. Despite all her success, she remains extremely grounded and approachable. After having tasted success as a livewire host of many reality shows, she is yet again knocking the doors of your hearts. This time round, with a travel show titled ‘Mini Me’, which also features her bubbly daughter Sairah as the show’s co-host. Over to you Mini…
Do you ever feel that your name is such a contradiction to the quantum of achievements that you have done so far in life?
(Smiles) Not really. I don’t think so that I have achieved so much that I should not be called Mini. I always believe that there is so much more that one can do in life. My bucket list is only half done so far. There are so many things out there, on which, I have no control over. I would love to do that. So, ‘Mini’ is just fine (smiles again).
Your twitter handle reads “Television Host. Cinemaphile. Travel & Humor junkie. Grammar nazi. Culinary Enthusiast. SCUBA diver. Sari lover. Passionate tea brewer. Environ-crusader”. Of all these, which one do you enjoy being the most?
Yes! I am indeed a multi-faceted personality. Like my Twitter handle says, my identity or my professional choice of a career is being a television host, which I love doing the most. It’s something that I have worked very hard on. I have tried not to waver from it by doing a lot of different things that people do when they are in the media. I have tried to build more on the lines of international presenters. I love being the energy that binds an event or a show together. Anything that has me will be a different show altogether without me is the way I approach any show or event.
Speaking of travelling, tell us a bit about your new show ‘Mini Me’.
My show ‘Mini Me’ is a travelogue, wherein, I and my 7-year-old daughter Sairah have been to 15 cities in 25 days. It’s a 10-episode travelogue that’s telecasted on TLC. The show involves a little bit of parenting, a little bit of travel with a unique concept wherein I have not tried to pretend about anything. The show is very organic. Everything that you see in the show has been telecasted the way it transpired. We have not tried to script anything or fix any of the situations. We (Sairah and I) came back bonded much more than what we were before the show started.
Whose idea was it to have Sairah on the show?
Because I am the producer of the show, the very idea to have Sairah with me was mine.
Do you see any spark of an actress or a filmmaker in Sairah?
I really don’t know (smiles). All that I know is that she is very natural in whatever that she does. At the same time, I do not want to encourage her in just one particular field. She is actually free to do whatever she wants. But I think that she is going to end up in the field of performing arts as she is a brilliant dancer. I don’t know about her being an actress or filmmaker in the future. But, what I do know is that the filmmaker boy is my son (smiles).
Did you face any difficulties during the making of the show?
We had no troubles or difficulties as such while making of the show. What was tough was that I was playing the role of a presenter, producer and mother… all rolled into one. And what was special was that we took an all-women crew. Since we were not scripting anything, it was a challenge for us to have the presence of mind while grabbing a situation and create a narrative around it. Also, we came back with the material and then, wrote the narrative for it. Only after that, we decided to show it to the channel and figure out if they were interested. It was actually the filmmaking process upside down. That was the only unusual thing about the show.
Which country has been your most memorable journey to?
Every episode in itself has been memorable. We tried to do something different in each city. So, we picked up an experience that one would not get if you are travelling like a normal tourist. We did not repeat any of our experiences in any country.
Is it true that you went for a diving certification on your honeymoon?
Yesss… Kabir and I did not want to do the usual stuff. That’s why, for four days, while everybody were partying outside, we were busy giving our diving exams!
A little birdie tells us that you went off to the rainforests of Malaysia six months after delivering your baby!
I was off to the rainforests in Malaysia after delivering Sairah. Just when I had the baby, I have this great opportunity to do ‘Iss Jungle Se Mujhe Bachao’, which happened to be an Indian version of the popular British reality game show ‘I’m A Celebrity…Get Me out of Here!’. At that time, Kabir had just finished shooting for his film New York. He said “I will take care of the baby; you go (for the show)’. And I will keep getting them back every weekend”. Thereafter, I spent 2 months in Malaysia and every alternate weekend, Kabir would carry the kids to the jungle so that I could meet them. That was so very special.
You have even had the experience of having binged on fried insects and bugs! Why, where and how?!
Thankfully, as the host of the show, I did not have to eat any fried insects or bugs. But, we did feed people (contestants) stuff like fish eyeballs etc… It was really great fun! (smiles).
Travel runs in the blood of Kabir as well. We just got to know that when you both were dating, he used to send you postcards from his travels.
Kabir is extremely fond of travel. Half my passion and zeal for travel comes from the fact that he travels so much. We are quite competitive about the number of times and the number of countries that we visit. As a documentary filmmaker, he has travelled to far more places than me.
How does it feel to be the pillar of his success?
I do not hold any responsibility for his success. Everything that he does is his own talent, passion and hard work. All that I can do is being his support system, which is totally reciprocal when I have to go and do what I need to do.