The very candid Kareena Kapoor wonders why there’s such hoo-ha about her marriage when nothing’s really changed for her

She’s candid and breezy to the point of being a pleasant surprise from Bollywood. Whether it’s talking about her film’s failures, how she likes to holiday, her relationship with husband Saif Ali Khan and mother-in-law Sharmila Tagore, this lady has got to be the queen of cool.

Kareena Kapoor Khan is back with a bang, this time in a genre people love her most in, and she loves being in too — romcoms. Gori Tere Pyar Mein brings her back with Imran Khan after last year’s Ek Mian Aur Ek Tu.

“I haven’t done a romcom since Jab We Met. I love watching romcoms, like these Hollywood popcorn films. So I’m sure in India also people like such films. It’s not like it has to be a big-budget melodramatic film always. It’s also something fresh, and a clean entertainer you can take your family to. And that’s what I wanted to do,” says Kareena, on a promotional tour in Bangalore for Gori Tere Pyar Mein. The first half of the film is shot in Bangalore, and Kareena was all praise for the city’s weather, its airport, and it’s clean and green presence.

Kareena says it’s a simple rule she follows when picking a film to act in: “If I enjoy the narration — I like narrations more than reading a script — I just jump at it. I should enjoy what I hear, and the logic is somewhere, I think the audience will connect with it.”

Despite having done over 40 films in her 14-year career, with a rather long phase of unsuccessful films behind her, Kareena insists she could not have asked for a better career. “Success and failure are all a part of it. I’m proud of my failures as much as I’m proud of my successes. If there was no failure, there would never be a high. I can never regret any decision in my life because they are all MY decisions,” she stresses. “I have no one to blame.” With an older sister, Karisma Kapoor, having taken the Hindi film industry by storm in the late 1990s, does she see her career as very different? “Every era is different. Both films and directors are different. Now of course things have changed… they are so much more better. But she (Karisma) definitely paved the way. Everyone knew me as Karisma’s younger sister. Even today when they refer to me that way, I have the biggest smile on my face. It’s the proudest thing for me. I love it.”

While we would like to believe marriage has somehow affected the kind of roles she’s choosing — she played a journalist in Satyagraha earlier this year and now she’s a social activist in Gori… — Kareena will hear none of it. “It’s more in the eyes of the media that they focus so much on my marriage. In my mind I don’t even look at it like that. That’s such a part of my life. Saif and me don’t even discuss our work. I never even ask him about his roles. I’m an actor and my passion is acting. And that’s what I’ve always been doing.”

Kareena says that’s something she’s always been doing — keeping her personal life and work in two strictly different spheres. “Even before I was married, I gave my personal life priority over my career. While I was working with the biggest of Khans on the biggest of films I was very focussed on the fact that I have a relationship and I’m in love. I like taking holidays. I like going out. I like to work a certain time of the year. I don’t like to work during Christmas and New Year. I’ve always been that kind of actor and it’s worked for me. I don’t understand if someone tells me ‘O God I don’t do anything apart from work’. I’d rather die. Love is oxygen for me. Meeting my friends, my family, going on a holiday for 15 days… I mean I don’t see anything wrong in doing that and then coming back to work. See all actors do it all over the world so I don’t know why it’s considered taboo in India...” she shrugs.

Marriage hasn’t changed equations in her life one bit, she claims. “I don’t see the change! Everyone’s been asking me…what could possibly be the change? You know, I’ve lived with Saif for the last six years. We got up one day and decided to get married. This is of course a public promise and for respectability from the world, and our fans. But everything still stands the same. And I HOPE things won’t change. Because I don’t want them to,” she concludes. She says she knows her responsibilities as a daughter-in-law because she’s a responsible daughter too. “She (Sharmila Tagore) gives me all the space. We respect each other, there are no questions asked. It’s just understood — the kind of love and bond that we have. In fact she’s encouraging each of us to work – whether it’s Soha or me…all of us. That’s what I love about her.”