Women's Day: Celebs dish on their favourite ladies!
Rajul Hegde caught up with a host of TV stars and got them to share stories of the women they admire the most for Women's Day today.
First up we have National Award-winning actress of Dahan fame Rituparna Sengupta:
My grandmother was one woman I idolised. She was extremely talented and very dynamic. Being a person of a bygone era, she was so educated. She was a social worker and I grew up in her guidance. She has been my inspiration throughout. I miss her so much.
People who have changed my life are my grandmother, my mother and my school teachers -- together, they are the woman in me, who I recognised when I grew up.
The most beautiful India women I admire from the core of my heart are Madhuri Dixit, Juhi Chawla and Sonia Gandhi.
My message to that special woman in my life: I wish my mother gains strength and peace, as we just lost my father. I hope she comes to term with life. I miss my dad, who empowered me to be a woman of substance.
Image: Rituparna Sengupta
Photographs: Courtesy www.haiderkhan.in
'You are a true woman and I am so proud of you'
Next we have actress and TV host Saumya Tandon:
It's very cliched but the woman I admire most has to be my mother. The reason would be because my mother is a painter; a professional artist who sacrificed everything for me and my sister. She dedicated everything to her children's upbringing. At this point in my career it would be very difficult for me to do what my mother has done. I think all the moms who handle careers and family should be awarded on Women's Day. I write poems and the first poem I wrote during my early school days was on my mother (Meri Sundar Ma). The collection of self-composed poems were published in the form of a book called Meri Bhavnayein and was also nominated for the Modi Young Writer National Award.
My mother is the most beautiful women for me. I would not be able to do half of what she had done in her life.
My sister Lavleen a (senior journalist who is now based in London) also inspired me a lot. She was always an extrovert and go-getter. I was always the opposite of her and very emotional. She is the one who exposed me to the media; she always took care of me and helped me deal with problems.
It is an opportunity and also challenging to be a woman in the 21st century, because there is so much we can do. Also, we have the freedom and acceptance that our women ancestors didn't. But we still compete in the world and give importance to family.
My message to that special woman in my life: You are so tender yet you are strong, you are so beautiful yet you can fight what is ugly. You are home and you are the world. You are a true woman and I am so proud of you.
Image: Saumya Tandon
Photographs: Still from Dance India Dance
'She supported me when I left my graduation incomplete to take part in the Miss India contest'
Model, ex-Miss India and actress Puja Gupta tells us about the special woman in her life:
My mother is a doctor by profession, but she gave me the liberty and supported me when I left my graduation incomplete to take part in the Miss India contest. What I am today is because of her -- she helped me to be independent and chase my dreams.
And the most gorgeous woman I have ever seen is Aishwarya Rai. She has excelled in films and is an international face. She deserves what she is today.
The Miss India experience taught me more about my own country and how we women play a significant role in shaping the future of our country. It's been a great honour to have existed in times when India is being perceived as a country of many great exploits. Today it's amazing to know that the highest post that can be held by an Indian citizen in the country is that of President and Mrs Pratibha Patil, a woman, is in that position. In the city where I grew up, the Hon Mrs Sheila Dikshit is Chief Minister and now in Mumbai, the city which I call home, our mayor is Dr Shubha Raut.
We can celebrate the fact that some things have changed because of the relentless campaigning and struggles by women's groups in India and worldwide. I am so proud to be an Indian and it has to be the greatest country in the world where both men and women are given equal opportunities to make something of themselves.
My message to that special woman in my life: She gave me the independence to go and chase my dream and it is because of her that I am so confident today. There is never a minute when I'm not glad you're the way you are, Mom...I love you loads.
Image: Puja Gupta
What I am today, I credit entirely to these 'teen deviyan'!'
Actor Karanvir Bohra shares his views on Women's Day:
The woman I really admire most is my naani, Mohanpyari Vyas. Even at the age of 80 she is so active and attentive (God's grace). Whenever I go to Jodhpur, the first thing she will ask me to do is take her to the mandir -- she goes regularly, irrespective of whether there is someone to drop her off there or not. She is so into it that she has a small Bal Gopala idol, which she wakes up in the morning, feeds and puts to sleep, treating him like a real child (smiles). It's so beautiful and her devotion is extremely admirable.
What I am today, I credit entirely to these teen deviyan of my life (smiles). My mum Madhu Bohra, my sister and my wife. I've had three turning points in my life and the first was when I was growing up. I was a chronic liar, naughty and bad in studies and it was my mum's values, patience and spiritual teachings that got me on the virtuous path.
The second turning point was when I got into college -- I was happy-go-lucky, aimless and a wanderer. My sister Meenakshi guided and groomed me and gave me some direction in life -- if it wasn't for her, I wouldn't have been an actor.
And the third turning point was when I met my wife Teejay. I'm blessed and thankful to God for bringing her into my life. She has turned this caterpillar into a butterfly, she has made me realise my true potential and has always supported me, even during my low phases. I owe her my life.
Besides the women I've mentioned, there's Kiran Rao that I find beautiful, there's Ekta Kapoor, my publicist Lilly and my manager Shirin Morani.
My message to that special woman in my life: There's a quote that says "Love doesn't make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile." And truly, these women have made my life worth living.
Image: Karanvir Bohra
'We are no longer dependent on men'
Star of the horror show Anhoniyon ka Andhera Anita Hassanandani tells us about her role model:
The woman I admire the most is my mother, because I lost my father when I was really young. She took care of us (me and my sister) beautifully, plus always supported me in what I did. Her dedication towards our home and family is worth learning from. She has encouraged me every step of the way towards the realisation of my dream of being an actress. We are content in life only because of her.
The person who has changed my life would be Ekta Kapoor. She recognised my talent and gave me an opportunity to work with her. Deepa Rao and Ekta have always been there for me. Both of them are perfect friends.
I am a very big fan of Madhuri Dixit. After watching her on Jhalak Dikhla Jaa I feel that she is not only a beautiful actress, but also a good human being. She got married at the right time and now I think she is a great homemaker too.
Women today share the podium with men in almost all fields. Working women are no longer a rarity and are now accepted as an integral part of the workforce. It gives us freedom and we are no longer dependent on men. Women should have the ability to juggle both their personal as well as professional lives with elan. I am proud to be a 21st century woman.
My message to that special woman in my life: I salute all the above women who make a positive difference to society, work and family. On Women's Day, I would like to tell all women -- go and live your dreams!
Image: Anita Hassanandani
Photographs: Still from Anhoniyon Ka Andhera
'I'm no less than a man'
Actress Sanjeeda Sheikh of Naye Padosan fame weighs in on Women's Day:
The woman I admire the most is my mom.She's everything to me -- my idol, my strength and support. I admire the way she brought me up. At every step of my life she had something to teach me and she still does.
The most beautiful woman to me, undoubtedly, is Aishwarya Rai. She is a delight to watch and a true Indian beauty in every sense.
As a woman of the 21st century, I feel more confident, more focused, more independent and no less than a man.
A message to that special woman in my life: I wish to be half as good as you because it's an achievement for me. I love you Mom.
Image: Sanjeeda Sheikh
Photographs: Still from Zara Nachke Dikha
'Being a woman, I feel financial empowerment is a must'
And finally, Choti Bahu actress Rubina Dilaik also pays tribute to her mother:
The most significant woman in my life is my mother. It's very overwhelming to see the gleam in my mother's eyes whenever she talks about my achievements. Success hasn't come easily to me. I have given my sweat and blood to enhance my performance as an actress. For me success is not a stage, it's a process.
Being a woman, I feel financial empowerment is a must. It not only boosts your confidence but also gives you clear vision to choose from options in your life. I feel very proud about the fact that at such a young age, I'm able to shoulder the responsibilities of my family along with my father.
A message to that special woman in my life: My heartfelt gratitude to everyone because of whom I've achieved success and have seen some really favourable times in my life. On Women's Day, I take this opportunity to thank all of you!
Image: Rubina Dilaik
Photographs: Still from Choti Bahu