Kareena Kapoor at 41: An unapologetic star who lives her life under camera glare


A generation of movie-goers have seen Kareena Kapoor essay a variety of roles in her career — from Nazneen in JP Dutta’s Refugee, the iconic Poo in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, the bubbly Geet Dhillon in Jab We Met, or the mysterious Simran in Talaash . Fans are now awaiting her film Laal Singh Chaddha, with Aamir Khan.

Through the course of her career, spanning 20 years, Kareena has shown different sides to her personality — the performer who sinks into her roles, the loving wife to Saif Ali Khan, and now the mother to her sons Taimur and Jeh Ali Khan. She didn’t choose between motherhood and films, she was set on managing both, and after the birth of her children, she returned to work with confidence and foresight.

Kareena has established herself as a living embodiment of glamour and carved herself an image of a boss lady who is determined to not miss out on opportunities. She makes her own rules, and makes no bones about letting the world know. While Kareena might come across as a diva when she picks up glamorous roles, she mixes it up by surprising the audience with her serious and impactful characters as well.

After she welcomed Taimur at the age of 36, there was much speculation on whether she would quit films altogether, just like her mother Babita and sister Karisma did after their marriages.

Kareena, who married Saif Ali Khan in 2012 is more relevant than ever in 2021. The award-winning actor has won accolades for her work and is living her life under the spotlight with elan too.

Being true to her unapologetic personality, Kareena had not shied away from flaunting her pregnancies, and had returned to work within a couple of months after her deliveries, and even managed to slip in well-earned vacations. Her book on pregnancy reflects her life. She had once opened up about how she handles the pressure of working and having a family, in an interview. “I balance my time with family. I’m particular about that time and about being around. It’s a side of me that I can’t run away from. It’s something that I want. Work is there for sure. But my family base has always been strong,” Kareena had told Hauterrfly in 2019.

Kareena made an impactful comeback with Veere Di Wedding after Taimur was born, impressing all with her performance as Kalindi, a strong and independent woman. Kareena had also revealed the secret to her smooth work-life balance, as she said that she picks projects that don’t throw the balance off. She also set strict timings for her work hours, as she made it clear that she won’t work for more than 8-9 hours as she would want to go back to Taimur after the day’s work.

Talking to Times Of India, the actress had said, “I don’t work beyond 8-9 hours because I am a working mother and I like to be at home before Taimur eats his dinner. That’s the time I want to be around him and my family.”

But that’s not all, Kareena is even more relatable today because while she strives to be the best mother as well as a thriving actor, she has also expressed her concerns on managing it all. The starry aura reduces, and she shows that she’s just the same as anyone else. She had once opened up about how she worries about Taimur. “I think the most important thing for a working mother is to believe in herself. Even when I leave in the morning, I am constantly worried about what Taimur would be doing at home. There is that looming guilt that is sometimes on your head.” Kareena had told Cosmopolitan in an interview.

She had also mentioned the importance of the well-being of a mother, in order to raise a happy child. Kareena had said, “But I think there’s nothing, and I have always said it, there’s nothing more important to your child than a happy mother — especially a working mother. I think your child will grow up realising, respecting and understanding a woman so much more that when she goes out to work and comes back home, she is still happy. Even though she could be tired, but she is still happy because she is doing what she loves the most. Be happy, believe in yourself and I think your child will automatically flourish.”

Apart from being a top actor, and a loving mother among her many laurels, Kareena is also a best-selling author. Her book — Kareena Kapoor Khan’s Pregnancy Bible, which released this year, chronicles the difficulties of her second pregnancy, and the insecurities that she faces, as well as the support she requires to bring up her children. Kareena admitted that she had her share of vulnerable moments when she feared “if she was ever going to be okay.”

“I have had those moments, especially with my second pregnancy. When I came back from the hospital and looked at myself in the mirror, I thought I don’t know if I am ever going to be okay. Being an actor, there is a part of you–it is not vanity, it is about wanting to feel, ‘Okay fine, I am fit and I can be back again on my toes’,” Kareena opened up about her insecurities at the peak of her career.

“I thought I will never be able to. There was fear of breast feeding because I wasn’t getting enough when I delivered Jeh. There was a lot of mental distress I was going through at that time. I felt my body had stretched, my feet were feeling like 100 kgs,” Kareena had said.

Referring to her work-life balance, she says, “The truth is I love being a mom. And I love acting. And I didn’t want to give up on anything, even through my pregnancy.”

Kareena has also shared on several occasions, how Saif has been the pillar of support and has always got her back. Crediting Saif to be a doting father and a supportive husband, she has written, “But Saif told me I could do it all. He and I have worked hard to build a strong foundation for our relationship, and I truly believe my kids will always have that to stand on. And, hopefully, Jeh will be as confident as Taimur, because of his parents.”

On the work front, Kareena and Aamir have wrapped up Laal Singh Chaddha and Kareena is already onto her next project. She is also a producer and is bankrolling a Hansal Mehta directorial.

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