Brunch Exclusive: Kareena can’t wait to be a mom

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Here’s a pop quiz: If you were to pick one of Kareena Kapoor’s most distinguishing physical features, what would you choose? Her electric light eyes? Her once (in)famous Size Zero frame? Or her mega-watt Punjabi smile? Chances are that most of you would pick her complexion: peaches and cream, you’d say; or describe it as rosy and pink.
But, as Kareena Kapoor strides into Mehboob Studios on Monday morning to become the first Indian actress to pose for a magazine cover when eight months pregnant, the adjective gods go into a tizzy. For peaches and cream, rosy and pink, all put together can’t capture the glow on Bollywood’s newest mother-to-be.
The radiance is complemented by her gait; neck held up, head pushed back, hands protectively close to her bump, but a body language that’s confidently accepting of the child growing inside her. “My pregnancy has been such a breeze, I don’t know how time has gone by,” she says, strands of her hair flying around as a result of the fan one of the photographer’s assistants has set up. “I’ve always done yoga and have been a fit girl, and that’s key. There have been no health issues – touchwood. I’m doing ads, films, shows, brand shoots… I’m dressing up and feeling good. I also continue being active. Being pregnant doesn’t give you an excuse to be lazy. You can’t say ‘I can’t do this, I can’t do that!’ That’s the mistake most women make.”
Her primer on pregnancy isn’t over, for Bebo, as Kareena is called by those who love her most, makes a food lover’s confessional. “Of course, I’ve over-indulged in eating,” she says. “But not on desserts. I’ve binged on biryani and other ‘Kapoor foods’ like payas… It’s the one time you can allow yourself to let go, no?”
Size Zero to double-sized
Flash back to 2008. For the film Tashan, Kareena took down her weight to 46kgs, appeared on the cover of Vogue magazine and introduced India to Size Zero. “It was a different era,” she says. “Before that, the voluptuous heroine is all we had. It was OK if you were a little tubby in a bikini. I took on the Size Zero challenge that Aditya Chopra threw at me for a movie role. It worked, and every girl in a sari then wanted to be a leggy lass and have six-pack abs. Today, actresses are more into fitness than ever. Every heroine is running to the gym, every actress wants a six-pack. But it’s finding your own balance that’s important. Like, I think Karisma (Kapoor) is very fit. Having said that, I’d love to be Size Zero again. It’ll be exciting.”
Obviously, any consciousness at being eight months pregnant is lost on Kareena Kapoor. “Why should a woman be embarrassed about her body when she’s pregnant?” she asks defiantly. “This is such a joyous experience; I’m loving the idea of sharing this pregnancy through this Brunch cover shoot with my fans and everyone who loves me. I don’t see any reason to hide. If you’ve put on a bit of weight on your face, your arms etc when you’re pregnant, it’s okay. It’s the only time you can proudly flaunt the extra kilos and say ‘I’m a woman, and this is what God has made, and it’s such a beautiful thing…’ I’m not sure why no Bollywood actress has done this before!”
Ask her whether breaking convention is something that she does out of rebellion, or whether it’s carefully planned and intended to make an impact, and Kareena says, “Nothing that has ever happened in my life has been planned. Not my films, not anything else. Which is why some things have been great, others not so. But I own everything I do very proudly… my successes and my failures. I take them all and wear them proudly on my sleeve.”
Organic motherhood
The actor says she is taking motherhood as it comes. “I’m approaching this very organically. There are no plans. I’m not jumping into any preconceived notions, and I’m not listening to preset advice,” she says, revealing the individualistic streak that has always been her calling card. “I think pregnancy is such a personal journey that I need to feel this myself rather than go thinking this is what I want to do, and this is what I don’t want to do.”
Her sister, Karisma, is a great help. “Of course my mother’s around, but I’ve instructed Saif (Ali Khan) to continue his routine. He has been busy shooting for Chef. I’m being my normal self during my pregnancy, and I’d like him to treat me that way. He’s going to take some days off in December. So for now, it’s my sister who is the greatest support. She has had two kids and has experienced the whole journey. Her being there is very significant to me.”
The other half…
“The strange part is that Saif and I have never really asked ourselves whether we want a boy or a girl. It’s the first time, so we want what God has decided for us. That’s why we haven’t even thought of names,” reveals Kareena. “Saif loves surprises, and he likes the excitement of not knowing. So he said ‘Listen, let’s just keep it at that!’”
Then, Kareena adds practically, “See, Saif has been a parent before. He is a father, and the coolest one I know. He is amazing with his children, and they are so well brought up. I just want him to be like that with our child. I don’t know how I’m going to be as a mother. But with Saif, it’s quite strange: Saif is very spoiled, and he spoils me a lot too. But with his children, he’s very grounded. Suddenly, he is all stable-headed and becomes another person. It’s quite amazing.”
Getting back in shape
“To be honest,” Kareena reveals, “I’m a little less nervous about the rest of my pregnancy as I am about getting back into shape. After all, I have the Size Zero tag to live up to…” But get back in shape, Kareena Kapoor will, and really soon. “I’ve been keeping myself so busy during this pregnancy that Saif always says ‘You’ll have this baby in Mehboob Studios!’ My friends are constantly teasing me and telling me to calm down and do less. But knowing me, don’t be surprised if I head straight from the hospital to a shoot. I think I’ll definitely be fully back at work one month after my baby is born.”
And… the last word!
“My pregnancy has been such a fun journey,” says Kareena, “I feel quite glamorous. I’ve been dressing up, going out, shooting, being normal. Saif keeps telling me I’ve never looked as beautiful. And that’s all any wife needs to hear, isn’t it?”
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