By Arundhuti Banerjee
Mumbai, Sep 13 (IANS) Mandira Bedi wears many hats. Over the years, she has reinvented herself from being the lead actress of the iconic TV series “Shanti” to hosting ICC Cricket World Cup for five years, and from being a fashion designer to a fitness icon who inspires fans with workout videos on social media, besides playing strong women on the screen. The 47-year-old multitalented personality says her filmmaker husband Raj Kaushal constantly inspires her to fly higher.
“My husband is the wind beneath my wings. After my parents, the one person who believed in me — more than myself — is my husband. I come from a background where I have no acting experience and when I did ‘Shanti’, I got a lot of support from my parents,” Mandira, who has completed 25 years in show business, told IANS, when asked who is her constant inspiration and support.
“If I have managed to continue with my career in the entertainment business for so many years, it is definitely thanks to the constant support of my husband. Every time I thought of doing an experiment as an actor, my husband said I can do it,” she said.
In the new season of “Kiska Hoga Thinkistan 2” that is streaming on OTT platform MX Player, Mandira features along with Neil Bhoopalam and Naveen Kasturia.
Talking about her character on the show, Mandira said: “It is one of the most lovely characters I have ever played where a woman is the helm of all things and still loved by everyone. She really gives credit and encourages youngsters to grow…I remember when I was an intern in an advertising agency right after my college days I saw how the ad world works. Somewhere I tried to bring those elements in my character.”
On the constant talk of feminism and equal opportunity for both genders at the workplace, Mandira said every relationship should be based on respect and parity.
“I have grown up in an environment of equality, so feminism is equality for me. I am married to Raj (Kaushal) for last 20 years very happily, (and that) is only because we are in an equal relationship. He is my best friend. My father gave me and my brother equal opportunities while growing up, whether in education or choices. I chose to get into media and not business study like my brother, who is an MBA. I never had the aptitude and my communication skill has been strong from the beginning. My parents encouraged both of us to study what we wanted to. So, I think when we talk about feminism, it should not be about male bashing,” said the actress.
If short hair has become hwer trademark, Mandira says she has learnt to deal with stereotypes gracefully.
“I think people cannot imagine me with long hair anymore. When any acting project comes on my way and the makers need the character to have long hair, I go through the look test wearing hair extension. People just cannot identify with me (if I have long hair). Having said that, I might grow my hair a little more after a while,” mentioned the actress who cut her long curly tresses 10 years ago.
(Arundhuti Banerjee can be contacted at [email protected])