It is always said that a mother is the most influential figure in any child’s life, but a child is also influence a mother. Ira who followed her mother’s footsteps into theatre and now Bollywood, credits Lillete for shaping her life as it is today. “Growing up and seeing her and then following her into this profession has had a huge impact on me. As a mother she has taught us some really important life lessons, especially to be very independent, importance of intelligent, honesty and compassion. In our business especially, she has taught us how to confront various things and how to always carry on with a smile,” Ira divulges.
But for Lillete, her relationships with her daughters Ira and Neha, have made her a more tolerant person and over time their relationship has evolved into friendship. “I am not a patient person but when you have young kids you have to be patient with them. Both my kids have been brought up as individuals who are entitled to their opinion from when they were very young. So when you give your children so much independence, you realise that they are also adults. Since I lost my husband two years ago they have become a huge support in my life,” Lillete says. Moreover, Ira has also brought about a change in Lillete as an actor. “When Ira studied abroad, she brought a lot of things to the table. I have always been an instinctive actor, so when she returned, there were a lot of interesting things she applied to her work which I learnt as well,” Lillete adds.
A mother-child relationship is both complex and diverse. Remembering her childhood rants, Ira regrets her words that have made her mother feel disparaged. “You take out all your anger, frustration and snap at people who are the closest to you and your mother is number one on that list. As kid we do it more as we take everyone for granted,” Ira advices.
But for a mother there is nothing in the world that can hurt more than hearing her child say nasty things to her. They cut like a knife. “One thing you learn as a mother is that you are a punching bag. There is no way that you can run away from that. So a certain amount of venting, frustrations and your children saying mean things to you in the heat of the moment is part of it. Most of the time you try to forgive it, or understand it, but most of the time, it stays. No relation in the world, including mother-daughter, is sacrosanct. Many people feel that this is an unconditional bond that nothing can tear it, this is not true. It needs respect, it needs to be nourished and you can’t just assume it,” Lillete states.
Chhoti si baat
For the first time very Lillete and Ira will be coming together in front of the camera as mother-daughter for Culture Machine’s Chhoti. This video will have a special release on Mother’s Day and is a part of the Mothers & Daughters series on Blush, the web series. Talking about how they got a little bit of their real life camaraderie into the story, Ira says, “We had a lot of brain storming session where we tried to make the script very much our own, I remember that there were few sessions at our house, where we sat and talked about the concept so there was a lot of room for mum and me to make the script more realistic. During the process we kept on laughing as we recollected stories from our past. It was relatable, funny and very fresh story. So working on it together we had a chance to put ourselves into the story,” she says.
Although we will be seeing them together for the first time on screen, the duo has collaborated before for various plays, like 9 Parts of Desire under her mother’s maiden theatre company, which has completed over 300 shows! Talking about their on screen collaboration Lillete says, “Yes, in a way we are together. The film is based on a mother-daughter relation. The concept was very exciting as we were exploring an interesting aspect of mother-daughter relationship. In this film it was not a generic relation, we were actually playing us, and shades of our relationship. They have incorporated a few things like how we are as people, how we react to similar situations and so on. It had to be relevant to everyone and not something that someone wrote as a fiction,” Lillete says.