New Delhi, Oct 7: What deserved note amidst all the social controversy and debate was the quiet composure with which Hema Malini and Dharmendra received the brickbats and bouquets. She continued with her career and successfully balanced home and career as a wife and mother when her daughters Esha and Ahana were born.
If the controversies reared their heads off and on, she dealt with them with her quiet dignity. More than anything else she reacted upfront and gave fearless answers to prying questions about the legitimacy of her marriage and Dharmendra’s split responsibility towards both the women who mattered in his life.
“I don’t expect Dharamji to give me his strong shoulder to cry on if I have to deal with a personal or professional issue. He has his own responsibilities and challenges. As women we are blessed with more strength and practical wisdom and we just have to summon it when the need arises”, she remarked to me once when I jokingly asked her how she dealt with her teenaged daughters’ growing up vagaries.
“ There are countless women in our country who manage beautifully as single parents and take right decisions. It is entirely up to an individual to live her life with dignity and values that are naturally passed on to the offsprings”, she remarked.
That conversation came up a long time ago when Esha was stepping out into the film world and it sums up her success in everything she sets out to do. Today she is not just Hema Malini the super star who has had the longest innings as a box office star. She is a political celebrity as well. Her stance has not changed in her personal and public life. “ Be honest to yourself and others and respect and success will follow”, she concludes.
Uday Tara Nayar
(The columnist is a veteran journalist and former Editor of Screen who started the much popular Screen Awards; she is also the author of Dilip Kumar’s official biography, ‘Shadow and Substance’)