MUMBAI: Actress Kareena Kapoor and husband Saif Ali Khan became parents to baby boy Taimur on December 20, 2016. Since the time Kareena Kapoor became pregnant she has been trying to drive home the point that pregnancy and childbirth does not mean that she would be ending her career in films. In an interview she had said, “Well I will definitely go on with my normal life. I am a working woman and there is absolutely nothing wrong in that. I love my job and I’m passionate about my work. I have wanted to become an actress ever since I was in my mother’s womb. So I will continue acting all my life until I am 80.” Through her entire pregnancy Kareena has said that being pregnant does not mean that she has become a walking corpse. And she has been saying this in repeat mode. But why? Kareena is easily one of the most successful stars in Bollywood and coming from her, this might sound a bit ridiculous because in today’s day and age, pregnancy is the most normal thing for a working woman. And most women do the balancing act between parenting and career. But in her mind Kareena seems to be having the jitters about the future of her career in Hindi movies because she knows exactly how the patriarchal Bollywood industry deals with motherhood. Or for that matter how heroines have jumped the ship the moment they found out about their pregnancy. For instance it had taken years for Madhur Bhandarkar to pursue Aishwarya Rai to act in his film Heroine. He had written the script with her in mind and was over the moon when she finally signed on the dotted line. But Madhur had no clue of the unforeseen circumstances that would change the fate of his film. Aishwarya Rai actually stopped shooting for Madhur Bhandarkar’s film Heroine when she found out she was pregnant, leaving the director completely in the lurch. Thankfully Kareena Kapoor then came to his rescue.
Except for Kajol, no one has actually managed to stay on top in Bollywood after motherhood. And Kajol also stayed away from the arclights for three years before she went back to the shooting floor. Kareena Kapoor however plans to be back soon. She has also been extremely careful to honour all her professional commitments and has been walking the ramp, doing endorsements, shooting for advertisements and magazine covers and glowing all the while, but she has also had to deal with comments from the likes of director Rohit Shetty. Rohit Shetty, who had directed her in the earlier Golmaal series, said that he was afraid of approaching Kareena Kapoor for a role in Golmaal 4 because she was pregnant. Kareena Kapoor did not take to this kindly and instead said “Pregnant or not pregnant, whoever wants to offer me the film can do so. And why is Rohit scared. I should be scared of him.” The actress was supposed to start shooting for the film Veere Di Wedding in October this year. In an earlier interview to a website she had said, “Whichever role I do, I am not going to camouflage it (the bump) on screen. I am proud of this phase (being pregnant) and there is nothing to hide about it. Whichever film I choose to do you will see me the way I am. Right now, I am working on dates so it all depends on how I feel.” But Kareena did not start shooting for the film in October and now it has been decided shooting would start in March. In an interview to The Times of India she said: “We were deciding if we were going to start the film this year or the next year. I think it’s better for me to start the film when I am very confident and I think I will be more confident next year so we are starting the film in March.” Although Kareena is one actress who has not let her marriage come in the way of her career it remains to be seen how she fares post pregnancy because most of her predecessors like Madhuri Dixit, Aishwarya Rai, Karishma Kapoor or even Shilpa Shetty, never made a worthy comeback to Bollywood post pregnancy.
Here’s a list of how their careers fared:
The actress moved to Denver in the US after her marriage to Dr Shriram Nene. She became mom to Arin in 2003 and Rayaan in 2005. Her comeback film Aaja Nachle in 2007 was a complete flop. Since then she has done Dedh Ishqiya and Gulaab Gang both released in 2014 and didn’t do well in the box office.
Aishwarya Rai got married in 2007 and gave birth to daughter Aradhya in 2011. After her marriage her film Jodhaa Akbar was a major hit and then she starred in the Hollywood hit Pink Panther 2 and also the superhit South Indian film Enthiran starring none other than superstar Rajnikanth.
Then she took a break for four years post-childbirth and she also took time to knock off the pregnancy weight slowly and healthily.
Post childbirth she had three releases since 2015. Jazbaa sank without a trace and Sarabjit got critical acclaim but failed at the box office. Much hype was created around Ae Dil Hail Mushkil the blockbuster of 2016. Although the film recovered its money but it did little for Aishwarya’s career.
Karisma Kapoor’s daughter Samaira was born in 2005 and son Kiaan was born in 2010. Vikram Bhatt’s Dangerous Ishq was her comeback film in 2012. The film sank without a trace. Since then she has not taken up any other project.
She is the only one actually who has been able to deliver a hit after becoming a mother. In 2003 her daughter Nysa was born and in 2006 her comeback film Fanaa was released. It set the cash registers jingling and since then she has delivered hits like My Name Is Khan, Toonpur Ka Superhero and Dilwale. She’s had flops like U, Me and Hum and We Are Family. She even bagged the Filmfare Award For Best Actress for My Name Is Khan. We cannot say the upward swing in her career curve remained the same after motherhood but she did manage to prove a point that in Bollywood a mother can also be a successful heroine. Her son Yug was born in 2010.
Her son Viaan was born in 2012. Since then she has only appeared in an item number in her self produced film Dishkiyaoon.