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Babita Shivdasani Kapoor didn't let separation and traditional gender expectations stop her from raising her daughters as independent women!
“Mum single-handedly brought us up,” said Kareena Kapoor Khan, Indian actress and the daughter of the infamous Babita Shivdasani Kapoor, also known as Babita.
Babita Hari Shivdasani a yesteryear Indian actress was born on 20th April 1947 to the Indian actor Hari Shivdasani and a British Christian mother Barbara Shivdasani.
She made her debut in the film industry with the movie ‘Dus Lakh’ (1966) starring Om Prakash, Pran, and Helen.
The movie that garnered the spotlight on her was ‘Farz’(1967) with Jeetendra and their pairing was absolutely cherished by the audiences. A cherry on the top was the prominent and iconic songs of the movie.
Image source: Pinterest
She performed in 19 legendary films and ‘Kal aaj aur kal’(1971) remains a landmark picture for not only her professional but personal life as well. It was her first film with the Indian actor and later her husband Randhir Kapoor.
Babita Shivdasani and Randhir Kapoor tied the knot on 6th November 1971. After their marriage, she quit her acting career, reportedly about which she had no regrets.
Randhir Kapoor during that time was at the top of his career and everything was running like clockwork, in 1974 their first daughter, Karishma Kapoor was born.
During the 1980s Randhir Kapoor saw a downfall in his career and his films were not performing well at the box office, and soon after developed a drinking habit.
After a few years of Kareena Kapoor’s birth, Randhir moved out of their house. Babita Shivdasani and Randhir Kapoor are not divorced, but they live separately. And when asked why he didn’t go for divorce in an interview with the Hindustan Times, he replied, “Divorce for what? Why should we head for divorce? I don’t intend to get married again, and nor does she.”
In the same interview, Randhir Kapoor shared, “She found that I was a terrible man who drank a lot and came home late, which was something she didn’t like. And I didn’t want to live the way she wanted, and she couldn’t accept me as I am, though it was a love marriage. So it’s okay. We had two lovely children to look after. She brought them up in the best way, and they have excelled in their career. What else I could have asked for as a father.”
Being a relentless pillar of strength for her children
Babita Shivdasani Kapoor with her daughters Karishma and Kareena. Image source: Wikipedia.
Carrying out the responsibility of raising two children completely alone after stepping out of a troublesome marriage and simultaneously taking care of yourself can undoubtedly be an extremely emotionally and mentally taxing task.
Her daughters, Karishma and Kareena Kapoor in every interview talked about their mother and proudly expressed that their mother is their best friend, making them strong, and single-handedly raising them.
In an interview with Barkha Dutt, Kareena Kapoor said, “My mother is my best friend, but I adore my father. He in a strange way is not in your face because he is someone who has also always chosen to be at the back. He is silently always there for us. And my parents have a lovely relationship, because sometimes two people realize their lives are not going exactly the way they planned, so it’s better we don’t stay together, but we can still be friends and stay in touch”, adding further she emphasized, “my mother has been a driving force. She has been there all the time for me and Lolo (Karishma Kapoor), she is the sun behind everything.”
Apparently, there has been a norm in the Kapoor clan that a Kapoor daughter should not act; however, being a pathfinder, Babita Shivdasani encouraged her daughters to adopt that path of acting. And her constant efforts and zeal made Karishma Kapoor land her first film, ‘Prem Qaidi’(1991).
In an interview, recalling the time when she faced backlash for her few songs, such as, ‘sexy sexy mujhe log bole’ and ‘sarkai lo khatiya’, as they did not align well with the societal norms she said, “Things were not easy and a lot of times, I’d cry myself to sleep. Mom gave me hope that someday my hard work would pay off.”
Although in present times we can see the Kapoor family in the lap of luxury, things were not always on a golden platter.
Being separated and quitting her career, Babita Shivdasni had to face an adverse financial crisis. In an interview with Hindustan Times, Kareena Kapoor said, “We weren’t brought up in luxury, as people think about the Kapoor clan. My mom (Babita) and sister (Karishma) really struggled to give me a better life. Especially my mom, because she was a single parent. Everything was very limited for us.”
Recalling the past, she further added, “Lolo went to college in local trains, but I escaped that because I didn’t go to college here. But I took the school bus like everyone else. We had one car and didn’t have enough money for a driver. It’s only because mom brought us up like this that we value everything we have today. The bad days we have seen have made us very strong and fragile at the same time. And the experiences have made me a very intense person.”
In another interview with Hindustan Times Kareena Kapoor informed that, before Karishma Kapoor became a well-known personality, her mother was always engaged in one thing or another and had a real estate business apart from other small businesses as their financial condition was not very stable.
Being a single mother and carrying all the overwhelming and taxing responsibilities solely with a sweet smile while struggling emotionally and mentally to maintain a level of sanity for yourself and your children can unquestionably be more than exhausting.
Babita Shivdasani has surely been a role model to her daughters by showing them the need to step out of a relationship that is taking a toll, the importance of financial independence, and the significance of carrying the ability to not lose hope.
Image source: Wikipedia and Filmfare, Pinterest, edited on CanvaPro
Hello! My name is Ishita Varma and I am in the final year of Political Science honors.
I am always up for any feminist discussion and do not believe in only talking about gender equality read more...
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