Picture of confidence

Actress Khushboo on multi-tasking, women's empowerment and her political outlook

Updated - April 07, 2016 02:40 am IST

Published - December 03, 2014 06:25 pm IST - Thiruvananathapuram

Actress-politician Khushboo

Actress-politician Khushboo

A ctor Khushboo is a versatile actor, film producer and politician who dons all her avatars with in her signature style.

Khushboo was in the city to attend the valedictory function of the National Conference on Women Police. Later in the day, she interacted with members of CII’s Indian Women Network (IWN).

Khushboo confesses that she is a self-taught person. She jokes about how on the sets of Raja Nanna Raja , her first film in South India, actors Venkatesh and Nagarjuna, who at that time had just returned from the United States after completing their studies, with American degrees had helped her polish her English accent.

The mother of two daughters, Avanthika and Anandita, 44-year-old Khushboo shares her insights on women power. Excerpts:

Your jewellery, hairstyle and saris make a fashion statement. The secret behind your style…

(Smiles) No secrets! As you grow older, after many fashion flops, make-up flaws…,you realise what are the problems and evolve. This maturity over the years has helped me realise what suits me the best.

Your recipe for a harmonious work-life balance…

Priority is the key factor for a woman to balance home and career. A career is important, however, when children come into the picture, its important to give them time and care. My day starts at 5 a.m., right from cooking and packing lunch for the children and seeing them off to school. They are different, like chalk and cheese, and that means making two varieties of lunch for the two of them.

I don’t work on Sundays and ensure not to take work home or have official meetings there when kids are at home.

As a star wife (her husband is filmmaker Sundar C.) and mom, how do you handle this fame with your daughters?

Until last year, I used to drop and pick them up from school. Sundar and I make it a point to be around for their birthdays, school founder’s day and like to see them perform and encourage their interests. They know that although appa and amma are celebrities they always have quality time for us. All awards and citations remain in the office and home space is for family bonding!

Since Sundar travels for shoots, I don’t travel much and try to take holidays only during the kids’ school holidays. And sometimes when Sundar can’t make it, then the girls and I go for getaways and have a great time (laughs).

Role of women in transforming social and economic landscape of the State…

To begin with, it is important for women to start economic planning at an early age. This would help in curbing dowry abuse and so on, which are, many a time, an outcome of lack of economic independence. Education is must for a girl and her family. When she’s financially stable, she can take life’s lows and highs in her stride.

Being very versatile in playing different roles in their families, women can make transformational changes in society and economy and in understanding scenarios and its impact on people.

The power of cinema and stardom on the mindset of the people and its role in empowering women

Films are fictional and for entertainment. I think an artiste’s image off screen is equally important in the perception of women empowerment.

Being an entrepreneur, what do you think are the hurdles new women entrepreneurs are facing today?

First of all, they need to swim against the tide. It is important to face failures to be strong. One needs to enjoy one’s downs and ups to be confident. Above all, family support and a good family support system are essential for women entrepreneurs.

In what ways can an empowered woman like you pass on your strengths in adding value to other people’s lives, especially women…

I think its difficult to quantify this but I suppose I am able to make a difference by voicing my opinion. I recently tweeted about the sadistic act of speeding behind ambulances while it makes way through the traffic. Many bikers wrote back for having given them food for thought.

You have acted in many Malayalam films with some of the superstars in the industry and have visited Kerala for different functions. What is your connect with Kerala?

Kerala. The word itself makes me smile! It’s truly God’s own country. Pristine and beautiful! The wonderful soil and the lush green here after the monsoons make it out the world! And I love appams and mutton stew.

You have been revered like a deity…

(Laughs) I don’t understand that. Each time I hear this I look into the mirror and ask, why?

Having joined a political party recently, your thoughts on women’s role in redefining the idea of nationalism in today’s times…

Women can redraw the political landscape with dynamism. In every spectrum of work, be it technology, police force or legislature, women should be involved. With their hard work and determination, they can certainly make a mark by serving the nation. They should pursue their dreams with a vision. More women have to come forward and be willing to take up the challenge of governance.

(Maithri Anand is an office-bearer of the local chapter of IWN)

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