'He has always given us the freedom to make our own decisions, whether they were right or wrong.'
It's time to reveal the family secrets. And Aishwaryaa R Dhanush doesn't mind spilling the beans.
So Aishwaryaa's parents, husband and sister had better watch out, she tells Savera R Someshwar/Rediff.com
The final segment of the three-part interview:
Videos: Rajesh Karkera/Rediff.com
Everything that you do in your life is coloured by the prism of being Rajinikant's daughter.
Does that make it difficult for you and have you at any point in time resented it because the bar for anything that you do is so much higher?
When you achieve something it's because...
That's the thing. It's a challenge to make an identity for yourself because when you come from such looming personalities who overshadow you -- whether it my dad or my husband -- it is such a huge task.
Once you start looking at it like a shadow and looking at it like something that's a burden, then you are never going to get anywhere.
It's going to be very depressing and you would get irritated at any thing that you do at every point.
But if you start looking at it more like a guiding force and an inspiration, everything changes.
If I am sitting where I am today, it is because of the support of the men in my life -- be it my father, my husband or my sons.
For example, if my sons kept crying and saying I want my mum back home, I would drop everything and run back to them.
So, all the men in my life have helped me achieve whatever I have achieved today, big or small.
I believe one should be positive about everything instead of saying everything is going to be tainted, everything is going to be stained by someone's achievements and you are never going to be known for anything.
It is better to count your blessings than keep talking about what we don't have.
This learning that you have, did it come over time?
I think it was very organic.
It was not something that I realised just one morning. It has been that way and I think it is the only way to look at life. Otherwise, there is going to be a lot of negativity.
This is the only positive take to life and I think we do have a lot of positive things to be happy about.
You are a trained singer and classical dancer -- pretty much normal for a south Indian household.
What are the other normal things that were a part of your childhood?
I went to temples.
I went to parks.
I went to the beach, a lot.
I had arguments with my mum.
And I had fights with my sister.
So I think it was pretty as normal as it can get (laughs).
What advice would you have for working mothers?
I think it is very important for every woman to have self worth.
You need to feel comfortable in your skin. No one needs to make you feel bad or good about the way you feel about yourself.
Whatever you have done for yourself, it needn't be great. You don't need to be in the limelight to feel you have achieved something.
I think the biggest task is that of a home maker. It's not easy.
If the woman at home decides one day that I am just going to sit back, nothing is going to happen at home.
Nobody can go to school, nobody can go to work, provisions won't come... that's it. Your life is a standstill.
And I feel that every woman who is bringing up sons has a huge responsibility on her hands.
They need to bring up sons who respect women at every point in their lives, whether it is their help, whether it is their teachers, whether it's their mother, whether it's their aunt, sisters.
Only then will they grow up into men who respect their girlfriends and wives.
Only then will they be good fathers-in-law.
It is very important to bring up sons in a manner that they will become good citizens tomorrow.
Every mother has that responsibility and it is a huge responsibility.
I think that's where you need to start.
You are an advocate for yourself. You need to do that at home.
What kind of relationship do you share with your sister Soundarya? By the way, her pet name is..
And yours is?
They call me Pappu at home.
What kind of relationship do the two of you share? Do you fight a lot?
How has that relationship evolved? You've written a little bit about it in your book, Standing On An Applebox.
It has been like normal sisters.
We've had our share of fights. We've had our share of arguments. We've had our share of mushiness.
I think we've fought the most over clothes because we kind of share the same size.
It's things like, 'Why've you taken my shirt?' and 'You've got my skirt here' (laughs).
What is the one thing that drives you up the wall as a mother, as a wife, as a daughter and as a sister?
A lot of things drive me up the wall as a mother. That's going to be a huge list (laughs).
Watch Aishwaryaa talk about family habits that drive her crazy in the video below.
In your book, you talk about you felt when Soundarya easily got permission to study in Australia while you had to struggle to get permission to go to college. Do you think being first born had certain disadvantages?
First borns are experiments in every house, whether it's my son or me. The second ones are the lucky ones who get away with anything.
If you are the eldest child in your family, you might agree with what Aishwaryaa says in the video below.
Is your father still protective about you and your sister?
I'm sure every dad is protective about his daughters at any point in time.
Does he still think you are little girls?
I'm sure every dad thinks that.
Does he even now tell you to be careful, give you instructions?
No, he has always told us this is what it is, this is what I feel is, but you make your decision.
He has always given us the freedom to make our own decisions, whether they were right or wrong.