Mother's Day special| Ananya Panday twins with mom Bhavana for HT City Showstoppers, says ‘I would be lost without her’ - Hindustan Times
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Mother's Day special| Ananya Panday twins with mom Bhavana for HT City Showstoppers, says ‘I would be lost without her’

May 11, 2024 11:42 PM IST

Posing for our lens in a special shoot, actor Ananya Panday and her mother, reality TV star Bhavana Pandey get talking about their bond on Mother's Day.

Ananya Panday doesn't want to leave her baby- her new dog Riot- even for a minute. And Bhavana Panday has only now learnt to let her baby- Ananya- go solo as she has begun to live in her new apartment.

Ananya Panday and Bhavana Pandey pose exclusively for HT City Showstoppers.(Soujit Das for HT)
Ananya Panday and Bhavana Pandey pose exclusively for HT City Showstoppers.(Soujit Das for HT)

It is also a unique situation in their lives- they are, for the first time, busy with their own commitments in the same field! You can imagine then the planning we had to do for this exclusive shoot by HT City Showstoppers. Looking drop dead gorgeous in their matching outfits, they sit for a tete a tete with us:

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What's the dynamic like between the two of you busy professionals?

Ananya: (laughs) Everyone at home is suddenly super busy, even my dad (actor Chunky Panday) is doing films in Gujarati, Tamil, OTT shows. Mom's show The Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives has taken off. I am also working. When we are at home, we have started discussing work a lot less now. We talk about our lives more often.

Bhavana: It's amazing, all of us are busy. What is nice is that I always saw it from an outside perspective. I understand Ananya and Chunky's profession a bit better. I cam from an emotional perspective before. I have more respect for actors now, it is a tough job because not only do you have to look good, you have to be nice to everyone you meet. Your own personal moods cannot come out when in this line. I remember Chunky would come back from work after a 12 hour shoot, and I would expect him to be chirpy and tell me how the shoot was. Today, I know when you are in front of the camera you are so exhausted by the time you come home, you need solo time.

Ananya, are you giving tips to your mom?

Ananya: I don't think she needs the tips! I was just telling her what to do in the shoot, and she was telling me sarcastically 'oh, why don't you become a director!' I think you learn so much by observing people as an actor, she's quite a pro at it already.

Bhavana: I am terrible at learning lines. I don't think I have the bandwidth to sit and learn lines or get into characters.

What sort of a mom was Bhavana while you were growing up, Ananya-- a helicopter mom or a cool one?

Ananya: Not helicopter. In school, she was strict, involved in all my school work. I was the first child, she would do all my projects. I wouldn't say I was pampered, but she would help me revise everything. My mom secretly wanted to become an actor, someone in the family told me, that's why she would get into my learning of poems and elocution. Also, I used to tell her everything, even the smallest of things. She was one of the more chill moms. She was involved when I started my career as an actor, I needed her. I would be lost if my mom was not there to help me. Now I think she has realised I am hopefully able to handle things myself.

Maybe Ananya realises what it's like to be a mom with the new baby in her life...

Ananya: It's been a few days since Riot came home! I messaged her on the third night saying 'it's tough to be a mother' (laughs)

Bhavana: Ananya's a lot like her father... Riot has only come now, we have to see her journey. I used to be the one who would shower love on her when she was born, Chunky did too but he was paranoid about her. Chunky and I got married when I was 23, he was 35. We had Ananya immediately, she was a honeymoon baby. All his friends already had teen kids by then. I remember at night, Ananya would be sleeping in her cot, and he would go to check if she is breathing, in the middle of the night.

Ananya: I do the same thing with Riot.

How's it been for the two of you, ever since Ananya moved out? Bhavana, your younger daughter Rysa is also studying abroad.

Bhavana: Ananya moved to her new apartment in January this year.

Ananya: I am loving it! I never went abroad to study, never lived outside my house. I was very protected in a bubble, shell. I am living alone but still close to parents. This is a healthy space, forcing me to take responsibility and not depend on my parents. They are still a phone call and staircases away, but I am trying to take on as much responsibility as I can. It is teaching me a lot. It won't seem like a big deal to people, but it is something I have not done before. I started working right after school. Mom was dramatic about it initially though, she was like 'you are breaking up the family'!

Bhavana: In the beginning, Ananya wanted to ger her own space as soon as she entered films. I felt she should not take added responsibility right now. How many people are fortunate that they live in Mumbai, and have people looking after everything? I have seen people who have to figure where the next meal is coming from. She is fortunate she had those things. I felt she should take advantage of it and concentrate on just work. I was nervous in the beginning, but when Rysa went to the US, I realised I should let them fly, they will learn. We as parents want to protect them as much. The minute we let the younger one go, she was doing fine.

You both are in showbiz and social media is inseparable. How do the two of you react when you see the other person being trolled or facing negativity?

Ananya: I don't read comments anymore.

Bhavana: It used to bother me what they wrote about her. I have realised that even if 100 people talk badly about you, it's just a small speck in the universe. There are so many people that love you! They are not faceless or nameless. I don't think there is much bad written about me. At the most they will say 'buddhi' or 'why are these women doing this show, they are not star wives'- first, you are going to be at that age also one day, and secondly, we never said star wives, we said Bollywood wives. We are not claiming to be anything. It actually doesn't matter.

Concept: Shara Ashraf Prayag

Photography: Soujit Das

Styling: Ami Patel

Style team: Sanjay Kumar Dauhaliya, Faisal Bhatti, Priyankaa Ahuja

Talent coordination: Rishabh Suri

Makeup: Riveira Lynn

Hair: Ayesha Devitre

(Ananya Panday)

Makeup & Hair: Divya Shetty

(Bhavna Panday)

Outfits: Retrofête (Ananya Panday), Gaurav Gupta (Bhavna Pandey)

Jewellery: CaratLane

Production: Shweta Sunny, Kayanat Zahera, Vitti Joshi

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