'We all need the blessings of the gods at a time when we are just breathing free again after the pandemic.'
Janhvi Kapoor in many ways, reminds me of her legendary mother Sridevi: The same aura of serenity, a rarity among youngsters in the entertainment industry.
Janhvi would rather read a book than dance in a club, watch her iconic mother in Chaalbaaz than catch Squid Game.
On her 25th birthday on March 6, Subhash K Jha caught up with the talented actress.
How are you bringing in your birthday this year?
For my birthday this year I climbed up to Tirupati on foot with my aunt and a friend.
We all need the blessings of the gods at a time when we are just breathing free again after the pandemic.
Also, visiting Tirupati was something my mother loved doing with my dad. So here I am in Tirupati. Tomorrow will be a quiet family dinner. That's it.
What do birthdays mean to you?
Birthdays are a time for reflection, at least for me. So I do think about what I've done with my life so far. I get nervous and anxious on birthdays because of the way they are hyped by those around me.
That's why I like to keep it quiet, lie low and just spend it with loved ones over a nice meal.
Do you like the candles-balloons-cake birthday??
(laughs) I don't dislike it. I specially like the candles. But I don't like the hoo-ha that accompanies every birthday. I like to keep it chilled.
What is your idea of an ideal birthday?
To visit Tirupati. I did that on my birthdays before Covid. I am doing it again now.
My most cherished birthday memory is of my mother who would decorate the entire house with balloons and give a card with a lovely message.
What has the film industry taught you during the past four years since your debut? Are you wiser now?
I have honestly learnt a lot during these years. Of course not everything went as per plan... when does it ever! But I am so thankful for the experiences and the interesting people I've met during the past few years.
I don't know about wiser. But I've definitely grown up. I don't think I'm as naïve as I used to be. I hope I'm better at processing the world around me.
How did the pandemic change your life??
The pandemic kind of shifted -- rather re-aligned -- everyone's priorities. More than the four years in the industry, I think it's the pandemic which has made me wiser.
I value my time on the sets and the opportunities that life offers me, much more now.
Also, I've learnt to prioritise my own happiness much better now than I did before. The pandemic has made us realise what is really valuable.
How much did the pandemic affect your life?
Nothing went according to plans. The pandemic postponed, delayed, shelved projects.
This whole OTT movement since the pandemic has changed the equation between the artiste and the audience. There's a shift in the way the artiste works and the way audiences see films.
How did it change you??
The pandemic has affected different people in different ways. But what I have learnt is not to be anxious.
My work is fulfilling to me. And the reward for that work is more work, however selfish that may sound.
But honestly what matters at the end of the day is the time you spend with your family and also if you are happy with yourself. I think the pandemic has shaped that outlook for me.
Tell me about your forthcoming projects.?
I have finished two projects -- one for my dad called Mili and another for Aanand Rai Sir called Good Luck Jerry. I am very excited about both.
I've started prepping for Mr & Mrs Mahi. There are a few other projects in the pipeline. It's all looking very fulfilling, provided everything goes according to plan.
Your sister Khushi is all set to make her debut. Are you going to play her Badi Didi guiding her career?
Honestly between the two of us, Khushi is the elder sister in terms of her emotional maturity. And in dealing with situations.
Does she ransack your closet?
It is almost always me ransacking her closet.
If you had to change one thing in your life, what would it be ?
I don't want to change anything. I am happy with my life. I am grateful for all the opportunities that I get, and for all the people in my life.
I think I am the luckiest girl in the world. I hope God gives me the strength to do everything that will make my parents proud.