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'No more Maa Exchange for me in future!'

Last updated on: February 10, 2011 16:39 IST

'No more Maa Exchange for me in future!'


Rajul Hegde in Mumbai

This week, Maa Exchange peeks inside the lives of the popular television star kids -- Avinash Mukherjee of the Balika Vadhu fame and Ishita Panchal of Uttaran fame. The child actors' mothers will be swapped, and will have to live life on their terms for eight days.

Ishita, however, was not too pleased about the show's concept.

She was devastated when Avinash's mother Kavita entered her house. She was inconsolable and threw a series of tantrums, aiming her temper at her father.

This obviously led to Kavita thinking that Ishita was too pampered, so she stepped in to teach the small girl some manners.

Both mothers and their star kids share their experience.

We start with Ishita's mother Dr Priti Panchal.

The reason we agreed to do this show was because it was about parenting and the thinking pattern of both mothers. My daughter is not comfortable living with anyone else. She would not sleep without me even when my husband was operated. That day I had decided that I would make sure she sleeps without me during crises. When this show was offered to us, we decided to give it a try. Thanks to the show, Ishita has now learnt to sleep alone in a different room.

I feel Avinash is daddy's boy and his career is managed by his father. He is pampered by his father and is coached to eat, breathe and sleep acting. He is not attached to his mother and I felt that he didn't miss his mom much during the show.

There is also a lack of emphasis on education.

Kavita imposed upon my daughter and forced her to accept her. I felt that was not right. Girls are more sensitive than boys, so she should have given her more time to settle down.

Ishita shares her experience:

The first day itself I was forced to sleep with my new mother. But I managed to sleep with my dad for the rest of the days (smiles).

I was missing mom, as I have never lived without her. But Kavita felt I was not making an effort to accept her as my new mom. She told me that I had to accept her 100 percent and not 99 percent. I refused because I felt that was possible only with my mom. She insisted, so I started crying. That made her angry, and she threatened to take Goddess Kali ma's avatar. That was very scary for a sensitive child like me. I wish she was loving, rather than scary.

But I liked her teaching technique.

She never compared me with her son but she would talk about her son's awards. At times, I felt bad because I haven't got any awards. But even after two years, people still recognise me and appreciate my work and that's more than an award to me.

I felt like my own home had become a jail because there were cameras 24/7. Also, I was not allowed to meet my friends. I got really upset when I learnt that Avinash did not have to follow any of the rules she forced me to follow.

No more Maa Exchange for me in future!

Image: Ishita Panchal. Inset: Ishita's mother Priti Panchal


'I told her that I would show her my Kali ma ka avatar if she didn't follow my rules'

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Avinash's mother Kavita (a teacher) shares her experience:

Avinash's goal is to become more popular and win more awards than Shah Rukh Khan. When Ishita's mother took charge of the Mukherjee house, she was determined to burst Avinash's bubble. She questioned his lack of emphasis on education and forced his father to think of an alternative future for Avinash.

I was very excited to be part of the show. It was a learning experience. After I went to the Panchal house, I set some rules for the house and for Ishita's betterment. Ishita was very sacred when she learnt about the new rules, and started crying. I got little hyper and told her that I would show her my Kali ma ka avatar if she didn't follow my rules.

What I meant is that I would be strict if she didn't follow the rules. She got scared after that and started crying even more.

She would cry all the time so I took her to a counselor after which she changed her behaviour. Both of us applied nail paint on each other's fingers thrice a day! We played together and made some clay moulds.

Priti said my son is closer to his father, but that's not true. He is equally close to both of us. It depends on his demands.

Though her parents were not ready to accept it, I feel Ishita is over-pampered because she is the only child. In those eight days, I tried to solve that problem and told her father to spend quality time with his daughter. I also briefed their maids about housekeeping and gave them a few tips on food.

Avinash shares his experience:

My experience with Ishita's mom was good. Being a doctor, she taught me about medicine and helped me study science. I didn't go to school for eight days, so it was fun at home. I wouldn't mind doing such shows in future. 

But I disliked some things about her too. She would only talk, and not listen to me. She set rules for me, where I had to help her with household work. But I did that happily. Now I help my mom some times (grins)!

Image: Priti Panchal with Avinash Mukherjee. Inset: Avinash's mother Kavita

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