With just two movies, he’s stitched his position in Bollywood’s hot hunks club with a massive fe ...
Issue: January 2014
Lights! Camera... Motherhood!
Shilpa Shetty Kundra flaunts her hourglass figure for the first time since the birth of her son Viaan for Hi! Blitz. Glowing with the joy of motherhood, she tells Farhad J Dadyburjor how she managed to get back from a size 14 to her sexy self, the special bond that she shares with her little man and how she’s braved the IPL controversy.
Shilpa Shetty Kundra has embarked on one of the most challenging and life-changing experiences, and she’s loving every minute of it. Having given birth to son Viaan a year-and-a-half back, her face is awash with the sheen of happiness that only comes with pure love. “You know I’ve always believed that there is no such thing as unconditional love, but the only place that you find it is between a mother and child. Because a mother can do anything for her child,” states Shilpa. “When you have your own baby and you’ve had it in your stomach for nine months and gone through the whole gamut of emotions over there, it’s just unconditional love after that.”
Ask her how husband Raj Kundra and she settled on the name, and Shilpa reveals, “We had a couple of names that I liked, many of which my husband hated. My husband being British was keen to give a name that would be easy to pronounce when he later goes to school in London. So he was called Viaan Raj which means ‘full of life’ and then we found out that the Sanskrit connotation of it meant ‘the beginning of a new awakening’. And lo and behold, Viaan really defines his name in the true sense—he’s completely full of life, jumping all over the place,” she laughs.
While motherhood certainly has its rich rewards, it also has its share of growing pains. Ask her what’s been the most difficult part so far, and Shilpa says, “The nights, the sleepless nights that you have in the first three-four months, that’s hard. There’s no other word to describe it. It’s very hard especially for someone like me who likes my sleep, but you do it unconditionally because that’s what’s important. It’s something that cannot be done by someone else. Even though I did have help, I woke up for every single feed—and it was such a joy. I now know all the nursery rhymes...I didn’t know there were so many!” she laughs, admitting that her life has seen a 360-degree change.
“What hasn’t changed about my life, that should be the question,” she says, smiling. “Everything! Everything’s changed! It happens quite naturally...all my shootings, my schedules, my entire day revolves around Viaan. Right now it’s his sleep time so I’m happy—he sleeps at 12 noon and wakes up by 3pm, so all my meetings happen in that gap ’cause I like to be available when he’s awake. You could say I’m a full-time mother and a part-time professional.”
Recalling her own childhood as very simple, Shilpa says, “I remember I had an aeroplane, a couple of dolls and a teddy bear. My son has so many toys that he doesn’t know what to do with them, he just looks at them and throws them away. I think we’re overindulgent as parents and I just hope he realises the value of things when he grows up.” She pauses. “You know both Raj and I had very middle class upbringings and we’re seeing the good life now. And that’s the value system I would like to instil in Viaan too, that there’s nothing wrong in not having something sometimes. It’s not that he can’t afford it, but that he’ll have to work hard for it.”
Most of all she feels blessed that she has the luxury of time to spend with her son, something her own mother never had when they were growing up. “My mum had a bigger challenge because she was a full-time working mother. She left me on my own after I was one, but she had help from my grandmother who used to stay with us. That’s why my mother always tells me, ‘You have the luxury of time, so don’t let go of it. Prioritise your son and all the rest will just come and go. Because this time is never going to come back.’ And I think that’s great advice, because I feel very blessed to have that time. There are a lot of people who don’t have that luxury with their children because they are working towards a better future for their kids. And I salute all the parents who manage to juggle it all, because let me tell you it’s very hard. It’s so hard to leave your child and go to work. Like now I ask Viaan before I go to work, ‘where is mama going?’ and he says ‘tooting’ for shooting,” she happily laughs. “I shoot just once a week, and the rest of the week I’m stuck to him like glue.”
Always known for her sexy curves, it’s astounding to see that Shilpa has shed all her pregnancy weight to sport a killer body once again. How on earth did she manage that so quickly? “Oh god, it was very difficult! I started shooting (for Nach Baliye) seven months after Viaan was born and I was as fat as a cow. I was a size 14 for the first time in my life! It made me feel strange because it didn’t feel like me—and I just wanted to be me. Also, I’m a health freak. More than just looking good, what’s important to me is that I have to feel good and I wasn’t able to sit and stand because of the heaviness I had put on. That’s when I realised I had to shed it and started working towards it.”
Often working out in the hours that were meant to catch up on sleep, Shilpa hired a trainer to help her keep at it. “I also maintained a very good diet. In fact I’m anal about eating the right things, like I don’t like supplements or things that are unnatural. I did it the natural way of a low carb/no carb diet and I lost 25 kilos in four months.”
In a time when marriages seem to be falling apart every other day, ask her how she manages to keep it together and Shilpa says, “Just keep it simple. Raj and I keep it very simple—we just value each other. And that’s what’s important. I don’t know why people say ‘compromise’ and all that. Today we live in an egalitarian world and women want to believe that they’re equal, which they are. So it has a lot to do with the man you’re married to, because when you give that kind of respect back to the woman there’s no way in hell your marriage can’t work. It’s all about balancing it out and forgiving and moving on, because nobody is perfect after all.”
What is it about Raj that she finds most endearing after all these years? “The fact that he’s so caring. He’s a very good father, a very good friend to me and a very good son—for which I have a lot of respect. And not just to his parents but also to my own. He’s like a brother to my sister,” says Shilpa.
Besides being a judge on the dance reality show Nach Baliye, Shilpa endorses a slew of brands, manages a spa chain, launched a yoga and physiotherapy programme and also recently turned producer. Having once famously won Celebrity Big Brother in the UK, would she ever enter the TV show’s Indian counterpart Bigg Boss? “No, never. Been there, done that!” she laughs. “I can never be part of that scenario again...I don’t know how I did it then. To survive it what is really required is grace under fire.”
Which brings us to the shocking IPL spot-fixing controversy that engulfed Raj and her last year. What’s her way of handling such a controversy? “I don’t give it too much attention, it just comes and it goes. I remember a saying someone once said that when you’re a celebrity, you shouldn’t do two things: you shouldn’t complain and you shouldn’t explain. So you should just enjoy the perks and accept the cons that come with it,” she says, adding, “When it comes to the whole IPL controversy, I know things will be over and done with when they complete the scrutiny. Once they come out with the truth I know that we will be unscathed and fine. Till that time you just have to wait, wait for that time to be over and done with.”
Read more in the January 2014 issue of Hi! BLITZ – the no.1 Lifestyle magazine.
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