Madhuri Dixit: I was happy being unknown in Denver
This is the Madhuri Dixit you never knew.
The soccer mom. The one who went grocery shopping.
The lady who went mountain biking.
And someone who will never, ever, go bungee jumping.
Madhuri Dixit reveals her mommy side and blushes when she recalls the most romantic moments in her life in this fascinating interview with Rediff.com’s Savera R Someshwar.
Part 1 of the interview: Madhuri, like never before!
Before marriage, you had a very different lifestyle. You were the centre of your universe. What gave you the courage to step out of that universe into a relationship as complicated and demanding as marriage? How did you deal with the initial years?
Everybody has dreams for themselves and how their life will be. For me, marriage and having kids was a very, very integral part of it. I didn’t want to be just a professional.
I come from a large family, four siblings. So I wanted a family. It was a very important part of the dreams I had for myself.
When I found the right person, it was very important that he didn’t know me as an actress because then he would know me as a person first.
When people have seen you as an actress, they have pre-conceived notions about how you should be…
None of it was there here with him. It was like starting on a blank piece of paper. For both of us, it was great.
I had found the right person, so there was no sense in waiting. What was I waiting for? I found the right person, I wanted to get married and I did.
And as far as balancing the two worlds goes, I get asked that all the time. How do you do it? (said with emphasis)
So I say my life is bipolar (laughs).
It’s like two extremes — one is a completely private life and the other is completely public.
How do I adjust? I don’t know.
Maybe it’s just my personality that can switch off and switch on, you know.
When I was with my family in Denver I was happy being unknown.
I enjoyed being on my own and taking my car out for grocery shopping — I loved doing that — taking my kids to school, dropping them off, picking them up…
But I enjoy the other side too. I enjoy my job. I enjoy being on the sets and doing what I do best.
The mantra is to really enjoy what you do… that’s very important.
If I think working is a burden because I have kids and a family, then it will be a burden.
I enjoy both aspects. I love talking to my kids. I love sitting with them, acting boisterous or going out or playing with them. I enjoy cooking for them…
I don’t feel it’s drudgery or it’s work… It’s not. It’s lovely.
That’s very important, to be happy in your space.
'My kids would be excited and ask, 'Are you really famous in India?”'
What was your daily routine in Denver like?
Like any other person, I would wake up in the morning, wake the kids up, get them dressed for school, drop them off to school.
Earlier, when the younger one was with me all the time, I used to drop the older one off to school and entertain the little one by taking him to libraries and other places.
In the afternoon, I would take them to their different activities like swimming, soccer and taekwondo.
Once dinner was done, it was time to go to sleep because they had to wake up early in the morning.
How did your children react to their mom, the celebrity?
They saw glimpses of it when they were younger. They would be excited and ask, ‘Are you really famous in India?’
But they didn’t really feel the whole impact of it in Denver.
'We don't fight about stupid things; life is too short to do that'
Everytime you took them out in Denver, you must have bumped into people who recognised you.
Yes, it did happen. When I did grocery shopping or took them to swim class…
People who recognised me and would be really excited to see me.
And my kids would ask: Mom, why do they call you Madhuri Dixit? You’re a Nene right? (laughs)
I would say, yes, I am a Nene after marriage, but I was a Dixit before marriage.
That’s when my kids realised there is a surname before marriage and a surname after marriage.
You are one of Bollywood’s most-loved heroines. What’s Madhuri Dixit’s greatest romantic moment?
That’s getting into my private space (laughs), but yes, I found a man who I think is ideal for me because we both think similarly.
We both have the same passion for life.
He has the same passion for his profession like I do.
He is a very conscientious kind of a person, so am I.
We have the same goals for our kids.
He is the ideal partner for me.
We’re a little different in the sense that he’ll jump off a cliff without even thinking about it, like bungee jumping for example.
I’m a little cautious (laughs).
Apart from that, I think we are very well-made for each other.
We feel that being in a relationship is not about who’s better or who’s not, it’s about teamwork. It’s about working together.
We have arguments, of course. We talk about stuff and sometimes, you know, one is not very happy or the other is not very happy, but we know what our goals are.
We know we have similar kind of goals for our kids, for our life and for his family, for my family.
There are a lot of things we are ready to sacrifice for our parents or for our kids. We think similarly when it comes to these things.
We don’t fight about stupid things; life is too short to do that. I think that’s why we are a kind of a good… ummm… mix together.
This is very romantic for me (laughs).
'I trained to be a scuba diver and I have a licence'
Have any ‘filmi’ romantic moments happened?
Yeah, I mean, there are lots… like making dinner for me with wine and everything… I’m not a drinker, but for him I did (have wine).
Giving me surprise birthday parties… all kinds of stuff.
He is very romantic and makes me feel really special. I’m very, very happy.
You talked about bungee jumping… have you done that?
No (very quickly and laughs). That’s what I said. I’m the cautious one. He’ll just go ahead and jump. He is more adventurous.
He’s grown up there, so… they’re more sporty.
But have you done anything like that?
We’ve done crazy things like mountain biking. For me it was crazy because I’ve never mountain-biked. And mountain biking is not just biking, you know.
I was like AAAAAAAAAAH…
With him, I got introduced to a different kind of life. A carefree life.
Here, it was work and have you done this and have you gone there (speaking in a rapid-fire staccato) and not really getting time to play or do anything.
With him, I saw the ordinary, lovely things that are out there, and enjoyed them.
I trained to be a scuba diver and I have a licence. I tried fishing and all kinds of sports. We parasailed.
But bungee jumping is one thing I will not do (very decidedly) because I am too scared.
I just cannot jump off a cliff. I cannot jump off anything, period.
What about your kids — are they very sporty?
Yeah, they are. They love sports.
They swim, they snorkel, they do all kinds of stuff.