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'Bosky knows exactly what she is doing'

Watching the mother and daughter together, it is easy to know how comfortable they are with each other. Meghna is the centre of her mother Raakhee's life.

Over lunch, Raakhee serves her daughter's favourite prawn curry for her preoccupied daughter. But she doesn't force-feed Bosky.

There is a discreet and disarming respect between the two of them for each other's space. Whether it was her decision to marry the man of her choice or the guest list for her wedding, Raakhee has always allowed her daughter the freedom to make independent decisions.

Unlike Gulzar who tends to fret and worry about Meghna, Raakhee believes in letting her develop her own personality through trial and error. That is how Raakhee grew up.

On the eve of the release of Meghna's first directorial debut, Raakhee speaks about her daughter:

"After marriage, to be a mother was my ultimate goal in life. I would have been equally happy with a Boska or a Bosky *laughs*.

"Today I think whatever happened in my life happened for the best. Because I have Bosky. If she weren't there, I would be a very unhappy person.

"Both Gulzar and I have given her double the amount of love and attention than other children get. She never had to watch us fighting like other couples. Both of us made sure she never had to experience any unpleasantness. When Bosky was born, I was very depressed. But I took control of myself for her sake and thank God for that.

"I took her with me on all the outdoors. From Kabhi Kabhie, to Barsaat Ki Ek Raat, Bosky always accompanied me until she was ten. Each year I took one month off every April just for Bosky.

"But I never took her to the studios. My mother and my niece would look after Bosky. She was so eager to go to school every day. I don't think she missed even one day of school in her life. Even when she had fever she cried to go to school.

"I share a very strong, unpretentious relationship and have always been very strict with her. I don't indulge her even today. I was the balancing factor in Bosky's life. Gulzar pampered her too much. One parent has to discipline the child. That is why Bosky never got spoilt.

"I don't interfere in Bosky and her husband's life at all. They make their own decisions. Her husband Govind is like the son I never had; they're a stone's throw away from my house - but I respect their privacy. When I do go over to their place, I sit with them for 45 minutes and return home.

"I'm not even anxious to become a grandparent like Gulzar is. I keep telling him, 'Just because you want them to become parents doesn't mean they should oblige!'

"She's scared of her father. She doesn't open her heart easily to him. She has him on a pedestal. I am Bosky's friend as well as her mother. We fight like all friends do. She can confide in me about anything. And she knows me inside out.

"Filhaal is not like her father's films. Bosky knows exactly what she is doing. There was no question of my acting in her film. If she came to sign me, I would treat her exactly the way I would any other filmmaker. If she had a role for me, I would consider it like any other role.

"I have been with her throughout the making of the film. When I saw Filhaal, I was filled with pride and affection. The film could easily have gone overboard. But Bosky has shown great restraint in presenting all the characters.

"Tabu and Sushmita have done very well. Although Sushmita has the more sympathetic role, Tabu performs a delicate balancing act in a role that could have easily toppled over.

"Yes, I am proud of my daughter."

Raakhee spoke to Subhash K Jha

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