‘It’s okay to be a badass sometimes’

‘People may frown on things like role play or the fact that the father is talking to his daughter about sex.’
‘But, slowly, shows like this will shift the conversation to our homes.’

Mini Mathur is all set to Mind The Malhotras in Amazon Prime’s latest show.

“The audience will connect to it because it is a very relatable show,” Mini feels.

Mind The Malhotras sees Mini and Cyrus Sahukar as husband and wife, going through a rough patch and seeking therapy. They also have to continue their lives as parents to three children.

While doing the show, Mini found out that “nobody is perfect” and tells Rediff.com Contributor Mohnish Singh why.

Did being a mother in real life help you play a mum on Mind The Malhotras?

It’s a fiction show based on a script, but it does help in creating filters of your own.

As a mother, I would say this but my character Shefali Malhotra would not say it like this.

Instinctively, you have a motherly instinct which I didn’t feel awkward with.

Hats off to Cyrus because he is not a parent and he still figured out how to do it.

For me, I must admit it was a lot easier.

Of course, the girls are much older than my children.

That is where the acting comes in, I suppose.

In the trailer, there is a scene where your husband asks if you are wearing your daughter’s clothes. Does that happen in real life?

Yes, multiple times.

Whenever I am getting ready to go somewhere, my husband Kabir (Khan, filmmaker) will say, ‘Are you wearing this?’

I will be like, ‘What do you mean by that? Should I only wear a sari?’

Then he will say, ‘You look beautiful in a sari.’

‘So you mean to say that I should always wear a sari even though I look nice in this dress?’

‘But you said you love saris,’ he will say.

‘Yes, but right now I want to wear this.’

Nothing he says can ever be right (laughs).

What attracted you to this show?

I watch a lot of international shows (on the web), a lot of comedy and sitcoms.

The fact that a platform like Amazon Prime was going to do something clutter-breaking was very exciting.

Also, I heard from Cyrus that Sahil Sangha is a great producer. He’s a lovely guy; the set up was very nice.

It’s very important for me to work in an environment that I resonate with, something I enjoy.

I don’t want to give up 30-40 days of my working life to something and then be unhappy about it.

Also, the fact that it would not dumb down to juvenile comedy attracted me. I don’t find forced comedy funny.

I think there is an audience for intelligent comedy or relatable comedy.

This was a slice-of-life, real comedy.

I felt instinctively that I would enjoy doing it.

How was it working with Cyrus Sahukar?

Knowing that Cyrus was going to be my co-star and playing my husband was a big deal for me because we have been friends forever.

I thought if nothing else happens, at least I have 30-40 days with my dearest friend.

That was how it started.

But as we went along and did readings, we got into it and we wanted to make something great.

We had all committed to making this a clutter-breaking show.

I think the fun that we had on set showed, and that’s why everyone is saying how good our chemistry is.

We make each other comfortable and have each other’s back.

What is your takeaway from Mind The Malhotras?

I found out that nobody is perfect.

Everyone is working on themselves and it is okay to be weird.

It’s okay to be a badass sometimes.

You can forgive yourself because we are all just trying to figure it out.

It’s okay to go for therapy.

It’s okay for somebody to be listening to you.

You want somebody who is not judging you all the time.

Was mixing the concept of therapy with comedy challenging?

This show is not a clinical study on therapy.

Therapy is a tool for them to navigate through their relationships.

But it is not a documentary on therapy.

Our characters are seeing a therapist because they don’t want to end up getting divorced like their friends.

Social standards unfortunately dictate that a woman has to have a man by her side in order to be respected. Being a woman and a mother of a girl, how do you look at it?

I have a 10-year-old daughter.

I will never tell her to marry, saying, ‘You will be left alone or you will never find anyone.’

I am teaching my son the same things that I teach my daughter.

I don’t insist that only my daughter helps me while baking cupcakes. In fact, my son cooks better than my daughter.

I don’t want such divisions in the house, which say that a boy needs to do this and a girl needs to do that.

Everybody has to do everything.

In the world that they will see, all these lines will be blurred.

As far as relationships go, she will have to go with her instinct.

I would like her to find somebody who becomes the wind beneath her wings.

The best thing about finding the right partner is that they give you space to be you and you are still together, encouraging each other in everything.

My husband and I have our own parallel careers. Irrespective of what he is doing and what I am doing, we have a life together.

That’s what I would be happy for her to have.

You could be married, single, in a live-in relationship or could be lesbian, it doesn’t matter.

You have to find your own happiness and whatever works for you is great for me.

Not everyone in society is as educated as you are. How do you think we can bring about a change there?

With shows like this.

Maybe some people are not ready for it right now.

They may frown on things like role play or the fact that the father is talking to his daughter about sex. 

But slowly, shows like this will shift the conversation to our homes.

Slowly, this change will happen.

We think a show like this will appeal only to urban India but I am sure there are progressive people in various corners of our country because the world is changing, our country is changing.

They will find resonance with something like this. 

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