Single parents often face difficulties — social, financial or emotional pressures —, but Indian film and television personalities are taking these challenges head-on, putting spotlights on the ‘superpowers’ behind raising a child or children single-handedly.
Some of these celebrities are unmarried, and some separated; some took the adoption route, while some settled for surrogacy. But single parenting is not something these celebs are shying away from, and now it is more a matter of choice than situation.
Producer Ekta Kapoor is the latest to jump onto this bandwagon. Recently, the 43-year-old welcomed son Ravie, born to her via surrogacy.
“Everything in life doesn’t go the way you want it to, but there are always solutions to those hiccups,” the TV tsarina had written on social media, while announcing the “path-changing” phase of her life in January.
Three years ago, her brother Tusshar Kapoor had opted for the same route to embrace fatherhood. He is a proud dad to a two-year-old, son Laksshya Kapoor. Both Laksshya and Ravie (named after his grandad Jeetendra’s original moniker) are now the apple of the Kapoors’ eyes.
On life as a single parent, Tusshar said: “Nothing is really challenging if you manage your time well. It is about being focused and not wasting time.”
“It is not about single parenting really, but yes, being involved as a parent is challenging because it takes time and energy. However, I plan my day well between work and my son. And most importantly, I enjoy both these aspects of my life thoroughly. I don’t feel pressure at all.”
Filmmaker Karan Johar is another B-town boss who is a doting single parent. He is the proud dad to twins Yash and Roohi, who were born in 2017. Ever since, Johar has managed to hand out some major ‘dad goals’ to men.
While talking of single parents in Bollywood, it won’t be fair to go without mentioning Sushmita Sen, Neena Gupta, Sarika and Pooja Bedi, who have raised their children conquering all odds, much before the current lot woke up to single mom- and dadhoods.
In an earlier interview, veteran actress Gupta, who recently made a celebratory comeback with ‘Badhaai Ho’, spoke about her struggle as a single mother to Masaba Gupta, her daughter with West Indies cricket star Vivian Richards.
“My journey was very tough. I had no money. Money is the most important thing, I have realised in this world. I did not have a husband and relatives. So, it was really tough... but the joy Masaba gave me, the joy of motherhood, was enough to go through anything,” she said.
Apart from Bollywood, celebrities from the small screen are also rocking single parenting.
Actress Dalljiet Kaur, who has son Jaydon, says she is proud to be called a “single mom” as the tag gives her “immense strength”.
“There is no shame in being called a single mom. I am proud to be called by this title. It gives me more strength and courage to fight the hurdles to give my son a good life. I don’t even remember when was the last time I sought anyone’s help,” she said.
“Divorce has helped me to grow stronger and more independent. Be it bringing a toy for my son or attending his school functions, I do everything on my own. I don’t rely upon anyone now,” Kaur added.
Actress Kamya Panjabi has a nine-year-old daughter whom she has raised alone since her divorce. Panjabi wants people to treat a single and divorced mother with dignity.
“No matter how much advanced and modern we have become, there is still backward thinking prevailing in our society. Women are still discriminated against, especially the divorced single mothers,” said Panjabi.
“On the face, they will say: ‘Oh, you are such strong lady, you are doing so good for your child’, but behind our backs they don’t even accept us.
“They would not even want a divorced single mother for their son, who might himself be also a divorcee. I agree things have changed, but acceptance is still a long mile ahead.”