Bagging a debut opposite Salman Khan, Sonakshi Sinha took the nation by storm with her ‘Thappad se darr nahi lagta sahab, Pyaar se darr lagta hai’ dialogue. She is now the new superstar on the rise in Bollywood. But then there is a lot which goes behind the making of a star. The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world, most of us agree to this, and it was Poonam Sinha who worked hard on her daughter’s career. But still the modest mother, refuses to take any credit for Sonakshi’s success in Bollywood.
Few know that Sonakshi was into fashion designing, but with some persuasion from Salman Khan and family’s support, she decided to experiment with acting. Her family did support her in taking up the right film, and she landed up with a ‘Dabangg’ entry in the industry. Mother Poonam Sinha says, “Being parents, we are very protective about her. We do guide her in her career decision and now even help her choose the right kind of movies. But then we want her to be a little more independent and grow, so she takes the final decision. She can make the decisions, make mistakes and grow. But we’re always there for her.”
At a time when the industry was gung-ho about size zero, Sonakshi had to lose oodles of weight, to fit the bill with the top actresses. “I give Sonakshi all the credit, she was the one who did all the hard work. She was as focused as Arjun, who could only see the bird’s eye. And ofcourse Salman too was a huge inspiration for her. Not to forget, all the good wishes from people all over that has made her reach where she is today,” says Poonam Sinha.
Coming from a filmy family, we ask Sonakshi’s mother how much did the family name help? “Her father and I both have been in the industry, so that indeed helps. As a mother, I definitely played an important role in her life. Not just, for being an actor, but in general the mother does have a very important part to play in a child’s life. So I have given her all the ‘sanskaar’, taught her certain values in life, which are in turn helping her career too. I have always encouraged her to do what she wants,” says Mrs. Sinha.
But for Sonakshi to make it big on the silverscreen, Poonam Sinha gave her career a backseat. She says, “Whatever sacrifices I made were as a mother, towards my children in general, and not specifically for their career. The sacrifices were just out of the unconditional love that every mother has for her child. I gave up films when I got married, because I wanted to give my husband, all my attention. And then when I became a mother, my children became my priority. I never went to kitty parties or to played cards like other women did. Also since my husband was into politics, he stayed in Delhi, but I had to stay in Mumbai because of my children. Though we somehow managed, and it wasn’t a big deal”
So when her dearest daughter was set to kick start her career in Bollywood, we asked what ‘seekh’ did Poonam give Sonakshi before she stepped into films with ‘Dabanng’? “I just told her to be a good human being and stay grounded. But, her father gave her very good advice. He said, ‘Either prove that you are the best, or prove that you are different’. Shatruji has always proved to be different, and I think Sonakshi has also taken his advice very seriously and just with her first film she proved that she is different,” says this proud mother.
Praising Sonakshi in her first film, Poonam adds, “No actress of today’s times has proved her mettle with regards to dialogue delivery. Only the male character’s dialogues got famous, but for the first time everyone was reciting a female character’s dialogue after ‘Dabanng’. So indeed she has proven to be different. I have brought up my children with a very right perception.”
Sonakshi tasted success with her first film itself, a very proud and happy moment for this mother especially when people had all good things to say about the ‘Dabangg’ girl.“Always told her that everything doesn’t happen the way you want it to happen. The right time, destiny, karma, hard work, all together play an important role. So just have patience. If you’re destined to get something, you will, no matter what! And this is the advice she gives her son Luv too, who also wants to make a career in films.” says Mrs Shotgun.
With all the glitz and glamour for an actor, one more thing that comes is being in the public eye surrounded with constant rumors and link-ups. When quizzed her as to how she deals with these rumors about her daughter, she says, “We have done it all. We have seen it all. This is a part and parcel of life if you are a public figure. We do understand that, and hence these things do not bother us, unless it is something really big. Though that hasn’t happened so far. Moreover, Sonakshi is a very calm and mature girl, and I must say that she has handled all of it, extremely well.” But how do they motivate Sonakshi if these things upset her and she is quick to react,
“Sonakshi as I said is very calm. In fact when that whole bikini incident happened, she was the one who played it cool, and she pacified us,” says Mrs Sinha referring to the whole bikini incident where Sonakshi’s picture was morphed for a magazine.
And now when the actress is bagging a lot of big banner films, where does Poonam see her darling daughter in the near future? “Nobody can predict the future. A lot of strategy is required today, and that was not the case during our times. We just went with the flow. But today, there is a lot of competition. So I tell her that your success depends a lot on how you strategise things for yourself, improve your skills, horn your abilities. And never be over confident. When you are over confident, you stagnate yourself as an actor. Most importantly, be a good human being first, and stay grounded,” concludes Poonam Sinha with her words of wisdom.