#Interviews

Until you are done with a certain part of your career don’t become parents: Divya Seth

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In an interview, actor Divya Seth Shah tells SheThePeople about her journey in the entertainment industry, self-love, and the hardships of being a working mother.

The year 1984 was a year of change for Indian television as it saw the advent of tele serials. One of them was Hum Log, a televised drama series which spoke about the daily lives and aspirations of an Indian middle-class family. Divya Seth Shah, daughter of legendary actor Sushma Seth, essayed the role of Majli in it. A young girl who wanted to be an actor. Her choice of roles has never been monotonous ever since her path-breaking role in Hum Log. She essayed the role of a mother who walks out of an unhappy marriage in the film Jab We Met. Recently, we saw her in another critically acclaimed film Is Love Enough Sir. We caught up with Divya Seth Shah to know more about her journey. Some snippets from the interview.

Working hard is great fun

Divya says that she comes from a family where nobody has ever rested on their past laurels. “I find it very strange when young actors and actors who are my age sit on their laurels, or they are like we will wait for the right part. And I wonder would I rather sit at home for a few years or do something, even if it is not so significant, that allows me to be a working actor. I think it is very important to keep working, keep your ground and make your place in the industry.

Being a working mother

Society burdens working mothers with a ton of stigmas, to the extent that women themselves have internalised a lot of them. The actor who essayed the role of Priya in the popular sitcom of 1990s Dekh Bhai Dekh says, “I think most mothers think that we are indispensable and therein lies the problem. We think that everything will crumble if we are not around. The next generation of mothers must give that theory up. You have to delegate and you have to trust. And I would honestly also advice you that until you are done with a certain part of your career not to become parents.”

She further adds, “A child will not remember you by your professional achievements he/she is going to remember that my mother wasn’t home when I need her. It’s very hard to be a working mother, anybody who is telling you otherwise is not telling you the whole truth. It’s a tightrope when you are a mother and you have children.”

I think most mothers think that we are indispensable and there in lies the problem. We think that everything will crumble if we are not around. The next generation of mothers must give that theory up. -Divya Seth Shah

Speaking on the need to empower children when they have working moms, Shah says, “You have to empower your children, god forbid if you are not around, they know how to carry on in this world. They are not falling apart because you are not around. Empower the children, tell them that they have to hold the fort. They must pursue and dream and achieve and not waste time.”

Watch our Interview with Divya Seth Shah here:

Women chasing their dreams

Divya believes that like her character Majli in Hum Log women must believe in their dreams. “We must do what makes us happy. If it hard part so be it, because at the end of the day if you are not happy then nothing is worth it. Nobody has given you everything on a platter, there are going to be pitfalls you are going to fail, but that’s all part of the journey,” the actor says.

Walking out of unhappy marriages

We asked her if the way we look at women who have walked out of unhappy marriages has changed.  The actor is optimistic that “there definitely has been a change, and it boils down to economics, women have their own homes and their own careers. It is no more like ‘Oh where will she go, what will she do.’ Life is to short, so if you are deeply unhappy somewhere you must have the courage to walk out.”

Self-love

How important is self-love for women?  Divya Seth Shah says, “Self-love must never be confused with being selfish. Love your self first, do what makes you happy first. Why should my happiness depend solely on the people I live with. You can miss your children when they are not around but you can’t stop living because of that. You have to find something that makes you happy.”

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Until you are done with a certain part of your career don’t become parents: Divya Seth
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