Ahead of Women’s Day, writer Shweta Bachchan and her entrepreneur daughter Navya Naveli Nanda chatted about creating their own identity, away from Amitabh Bachchan and the Nanda family. Big B shared the video on social media captioning it ‘the pride of a father and grandfather’. In the interview, with journal Barkha Dutt, the mother-daughter duo discussed women’s issues in today’s time, and how Navya has been using her privilege and platform to help multiple causes. While talking about embarking on their own journey, Navya shared that she always knew she wanted to get into business, however, her mother did reveal that there was a brief phase when she wanted to enter cinema, like her maternal family side.
Answering Dutt on whether she ever wanted to get into acting, Navya Naveli said, “I think I enjoy dancing but it was never something that I took seriously, as a career prospective. I have always been inclined towards business and have grown up around working women. My dadi and bua were involved in the family business, and I always saw how my father and grandfather would even take their suggestions. I think that world excited me more. Also, I am the fourth generation of the Nanda family and I wanted to carry that legacy. I wanted to support my dad, it’s something of great pride for me. I never considered acting as a career choice.”
As Shweta interrupted saying she was interested in films for a brief moment, Navya added how it was before college. When she moved abroad for her studies, she saw the world and realised she wants to do so much more.
On being asked if she would have supported her daughter’s aspiration to be an actor, Shweta replied with a long pause, “I would be apprehensive, for both my children. At the end of it, we know it’s very difficult. Never for a day, I forget that for all the privilege we have, my father, who will turn 80 this year works hard every day. I have seen what goes behind everything. He wakes up at 5 and is on the set, which is a tough world. Also, you have a film, it doesn’t work, it’s all very heart-breaking. Then you are picked on for every single thing, be it personal or professional. It’s not an easy life and to be in the constant public eye, it’s tough. You are trading a fishbowl to be in an aquarium. But if they decide they want to be in films, I will definitely support them.”
Navya Naveli Nanda assured she has no plans to enter showbiz now having made her entrepreneur dreams come true. However, she did delve into the subject of peer pressure and how social media makes one question their physical aspects. Sharing how there was a time when she tried hard to fit in and dressed and posed in a certain way. “That’s how everything was around me, other girls were doing it. I have faced self-esteem issues and have been not confident. But I realised that it wasn’t me. Now, my work gives me a lot of confidence. I use social media today not typically but to suit myself and make it a lot more about my work, and issues I want to address.”
Her mother echoed the thought saying how young people face crippling anxiety seeing others’ ‘perfect world’. Shweta Bachchan mentioned how as a parent it’s important to guide kids to know that life or anyone is never perfect. “It’s important to have something that anchors you, makes you good. That shouldn’t be just physical but beyond that. I think today a lot of kids do know that what you see on social media is not real.”