By Durga Chakravarty
Versatile actress Vidya Balan, who will complete fourth year of marriage with producer Siddharth Roy Kapur on Wednesday, says she finds balancing life between home and work an "overrated" concept, and that she is no longer trying to be "superwoman".
Asked how does she juggle work and home, Vidya told IANS: "I don't juggle. I'm no longer trying to be superwoman. I am a woman who when I'm working, I'm working; when I'm home, I'm home. When I'm chilling, I'm chilling. Sometimes, when I don't feel like doing anything, I don't do anything.â€ť
She also said that the expectation that women should â€śbalanceâ€ť work and home both is unfair. â€śThis balancing is really overrated because women are constantly asked to balance home and work and it's unfair," she said.
However, the "Kahaani 2" actress also said that when she is away from home during special occasions, she does feel guilty.
"Maybe I feel guilty because I am a girl. Maybe a man wouldn't feel the same way because you take it for granted that a man sometimes can't make it to certain special occasions because they are working. But we (women) still feel that we should work and be there (for occasions too). But I think these unrealistic expectations are slowly shedding," she added.
Vidya also turns a year older next month. But as much as she loves her work, she believes that occasions like birthdays and anniversaries are sacrosanct and to be spend with families.
"I'll be home for my anniversary, birthday and new year. That is sacrosanct," added the actress.
Vidya has carved a niche in Bollywood with path-breaking roles in films like "The Dirty Picture", "Ishqiya", "Kahaani", "Paa" and "No One Killed Jessica". But does she get tired of people associating her with women-centric themes?
"No, because I'm enjoying the kind of work I am doing. People ask me 'Why call it women-centric films, why can't you just call it film?' I say 'because all these years and decades you've had men at the centre of the plot'," she said. She added that she was drawn to stories with women in pivotal roles.
"Someday, when there are equal number of films of men and women at the centre of the plot, then people will stop saying 'women-centric films'. So far it isn't a norm," she added.
The actress has been part of the industry for 11 years and says her journey in Bollywood has been "full of ups and downs".
"It's been dramatic. That's because I think I'm an intense person and I don't think I take anything lightly in that sense. But I wouldnâ€™t have it another way," she said.
"I have learnt so much, I have enjoyed myself. I have lived every moment like I have given it my all. It's been very fulfilling and been a beautiful journey," she added.
(Durga Chakravarty can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)