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When Kajol was almost named Mercedes, spoke about mom Tanuja being a disciplinarian: ‘Was beaten with dishes, rackets’

Kajol had opened up about her relationship with her parents, Tanuja and Shomu Mukherjee, and explained the effect their split had on her. She also spoke about how her mother believed in the axiom, 'spare the rod, spoil the child'.

KajolKajol opened up about her relationship with Tanuja (Photo: Instagram/ Kajol)

Actor Kajol is known to not mince words, be it about her career or personal life. From the 90’s when her journey into showbiz again, till today, apart from establishing herself as one of the leading actors in the country, she is also famous for being forthright and overtly blunt to a fault, which has landed her in trouble, on several occasions.

In an old 1999 interview with Karan Thapar, Kajol remained thoroughly unapologetic and unabashed about her frank self, saying that she knows her own mind, and independent. When told that the male audience doesn’t fantasize about a married woman, she laughed, saying, “I am very happy about that. I have never, and will never, go according to what anyone else says what I should do. I wanted to get married, and I did. I am independent, if it means knowing my own mind.”

She revealed that her mother Tanuja told her on her 13th birthday, “I will never raise a hand on you again, but if I have to correct you, I will. But I will never make you feel like a child, today you are a teen and an adult. And from that day onwards, I took responsibility for my own actions.”

During the course of the conversation, Kajol opened up about her childhood, and her parents separation and how that affected her. She also made the revelation that her father wanted to name her Mercedes, because he loved cars, and she was grateful that he was not the one who finally named her.

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“I was loved, but I wasn’t spoilt. My mother didn’t believe in the saying, spare the rod, spoil the child. She was pretty strict, so I got beaten by badminton rackets, dishes. I’ve had quite a few things thrown at me.” Speaking about her parents split, “If I had a conscious memory, they had already split. They were two different people.  I could never play one up against the other. They had taken the very firm stance, my mother was the disciplinarian, and my father never interfered with that. He always stood by my mom and said, whatever she says, is the right thing for you to do, and I’m not going to argue.”

(Photo: Instagram/ Kajol)

She added that coming from a broken home didn’t have a traumatic effect on her. “It just made me realise that parents are individuals, also. They are personalities in their own right. You can’t expect them to be just mom and dad for the rest of their lives. Those two people, you have to get to know them all over again.”

Asked if this experience would have made her grow up faster emotionally, she said, “I don’t think the break-up made me grow up much faster than joining films did. When I joined films, I seem to mature at a pace…it was an extremely rapid growth. In eight years, I feel today, at the age of 24, I feel much elder than a 24-year-old.”

(Photo: Instagram/ Tanishaa Mukerji)

Before films, speaking about whether boarding school helped her grow up, she said that she was entirely homesick for the first year. In fact, in the second year, she tried to run away as well. “I insisted on going to boarding school, thanks to Enid Blyton books—thought it would be midnight snacks, raids. But reality was far from my expectations. In my first year I was so homesick, I couldn’t just to being in a boarding school. In my second year, I tried running away, packed all my bags, with my tape recorder, went off on a bus and tried to escape, but they caught me and brought me back.”

After ruling the 90’s with Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol has been rather sporadic with her films, but her fans are kept well up-to-date with her life, owing to her engaging social media posts.

First published on: 20-09-2021 at 15:02 IST
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