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Dear Kareena Kapoor Khan,
I happened to watch your interview on Koffee with Karan, where he was gushing over how much busier you have been during your pregnancy. That is indeed true.
Over the last few months, during your pregnancy, we have been inundated by pictures of you. You have been walking the ramp or posing for the cover of a magazine or leaving the venue of a tea-party or dinner with close friends.
You said and proved it, “I’m pregnant, not a corpse. Stop making it a national casualty”, “Don’t look at pregnancy as some sort of disease. It’s the most beautiful phenomenon that can happen to a woman” and “There’s nothing wrong with being pregnant. In fact, it’s a joy.”
How true! The paparazzi have, however, been agog about your ‘visibility’ and that you seem to be having a ‘normal’ life during pregnancy.
I understand that women in the glamour industry hide the ‘fat and bloated pregnant look’ for fear that their fans will see them in this ‘mother’ avatar (and shun them in the role of the sexy girl!) So, it must have taken special courage to buck that trend. And Kareena, you have always marched to your own drum.
However, this makes me wonder….what is the Pap definition of ‘normal’?
All around me, I see women in all stages of pregnancy, walking around, going to work, shopping, climbing into trains, buses and taxis, taking their older children to school, cooking for their families, cleaning their homes, running a business and lots of other things that make the life of normal pregnant women, well, normal!
There are all sorts of normal, I suppose!
Normal is Usha, the nurse who works for ten hours at a stretch or Nirmala, the steno-typist, who has to stand for 30 minutes in the bus to reach her office, unless some good samaritan offers her a seat. Or Vimla, who is a maidservant and has to eat the left-overs from the homes that she works in. Or even Sarrah, the teacher, who is on her feet all day teaching unruly children in school.
By contrast, I am sure that your diet was carefully monitored by your nutritionist (and cooked by your personal chef), exercise guided by your personal trainer, wardrobe arranged by your stylist, travel by your assistant and so on. You were ferried to your destination by your chauffeur and were helped out and along by your personal attendant.
Hope you don’t get me wrong! You certainly did not ask for the attention or the gushing. And there is nothing that grabs eyeballs more than a beautiful celeb; but we could have done without the hyperbolic rhetoric.
As I finally get down to writing this, congratulations are in order. You have delivered a baby, and now are in the first throes of motherhood (discussions about baby-names have already intruded on your privacy).
Like everything else that you have done throughout your life, I am sure that you will carry out this role perfectly.
You are and always have been an icon for today’s youth, whether it is your choices of roles in films, the candidness of your love-life, your devotion to your parents or your life-choices.
You have been quoted as saying, “I am a girl child and I would love to have a girl” and “I have done more for my family than a boy could ever do.” Many girls of this generation follow you and look up to you.
When you chose to shrink to size-zero, girls immediately crash-dieted to follow suit. A style of dress chosen by you was instantly a sought-after one! And so on…
So I earnestly hope that you do not indulge in some crash-dieting to get back to some impossible yummy-mummy size, in order to make a quick fit into your movie roles. That will surely set some crazy goals for other mommies!
‘Yummy-mummy’ is what you will always be, regardless of your dress-size. So, enjoy your baby and motherhood, without trying to live up to some crazy standards set by the Paps.
I read somewhere that you enjoy your work and definitely intend to work after motherhood, and also that you are upset that such a question is still asked in our country. This is certainly a refreshing trend. Kareena, you live in a country where mommy guilt (among other reasons) continues to make homemakers out of career women and has reduced the numbers of working mothers drastically.
You will have the back-up, support and the resources to achieve this really well.
Please stick to this decision.
This will make you another kind of role model for more girls of your generation.
God Bless and Regards,
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I am Ujwala Shenoy Karmarkar. I love reading, meeting people, listening to music, watching plays,
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