Kishwer Merchantt and Suyyash Rai are one of the most adored real-life couples from telly land. The two fell in love on the sets of Ekta Kapoor's supernatural romantic thriller Pyaar Kii Ye Ek Kahaani (2010) and in 2016, they tied the knot. In 2021, SuKish, as their fans fondly call them, will be completing 5 years of marriage with a special little member. Suyyash and Kishwer will be welcoming their first child in August this year.
The new mommy-to-be Kishwer has been sharing some lovely pictures and videos on social media for fans. Now, as Mother's Day is around the corner, PeepingMoon.com got in touch with the actress for an insightful and fun conversation. In the exclusive interview, Kishwer spoke about getting pregnant in her 40s, how the showbiz industry is offering meaty roles to actresses with a family and the atmosphere she will be creating for the little baby.
Excerpts from the interview:
You and Suyyash Rai will be completing 5 years of marriage this year. Has the pregnancy brought you both closer?
We will be completing 5 years and of course, it has brought us closer. I think more than the pregnancy, it was the lockdown that has brought us closer. Now, the pregnancy has doubled it up. We have never been like this even after marriage because we were always working. Time nahi tha. Jab time hota tab friends ke saath rehte the ya family gatherings pe. This is the longest time we have spent together.
In India, people expect you to give birth to a child right after marriage. Did you feel any kind of pressure? Did you both consciously decide to spend time together before welcoming the child?
Suyyash and I have an age gap of 8 years. Obviously, that never bothered us. I felt he needs to do so much and his career was just starting. At that time, even I was working. We gave it a thought and knew that we don’t want to rush into it and wanted to give it time and do it when we are ready. Even when it happened, we were really not prepared for it. But now we are ready, totally prepared and eagerly waiting.
Actresses like you, Anita Hassanandani, Kareena Kapoor Khan announced their pregnancy in their 40s. Women are now breaking societal norms that forced them to conceive early. Your thoughts on this.
I never thought that at the age of 40 I’ll ever be a mother. If this (pregnancy) wouldn't have happened, I would have given it a year or two more because of the pandemic, lockdown etc. I guess it was meant to happen this way. This is God’s way of telling, "This is a blessing I am giving you." It feels amazing. Yeh sab society ki baatein hai ki aap 40 mein pregnant nahi ho sakte. I have cousins who got pregnant at 42-43 and had natural deliveries and are super in health. It is just how you are, how your lifestyle is and whether you can cope up. Earlier, 20 mein shadi, 22 mein baccha but ab things have changed and everybody should change with time. I belong to this time and I completely think iss generation ke hisaab se.
Earlier, there was a notion that married actresses, especially mothers, don’t get meaty roles in good projects. But now, things are changing. Are we finally progressing towards a better society? Do you think this change is here to stay forever?
TV is still very regressive but films and web are progressive. Besides gaali and sex, there are some good things too. People are changing. Aisa kuch nahi hai ki mothers can’t work. In fact, mothers now get more work. Kareena Kapoor Khan, Anushka Sharma and even Anita Hassanandani have worked so much during their pregnancy. It is amazing how our industry's thinking has changed. They are accepting that at this age, an actress can get pregnant and continue working.
Pregnancy during lockdown can be challenging. Being an expecting mother, how are you dealing with this?
It’s been a roller coaster ride. Two weeks after my pregnancy news broke out, my mother tested COVID-19 positive. She was in the ICU for 23 days. After her Suyyash and then my father also contracted the virus. It's overwhelming to see what's happening in the country. At this stage, I should be happy for my baby's good health but there is so much anxiety and stress. Suyyash has been helping COVID-patients, Instagram and Twitter have news of the scenario; now I have made a conscious effort to not read, think or get into all this because it was mentally disturbing me. Maybe selfish, but I don’t want that for us, the baby and I. At this time, I can't be bothered about what people think. I have to take care of my mental health and the baby that will come into the world.
There is a lot of negativity in society. What kind of atmosphere will you and Suyyash try to create for the little one?
The baby will have the freedom to practice any religion s(he) wants to. That's how Suyyash and I have been. I'm very happy that we are like this and also want the same for the baby. S(he) should grow up in a happy and friendly atmosphere. S(he) should be always smiling like the mother and parents (laughs).
Has the pregnancy changed the way you react to things and look at life?
The changes came to me since the lockdown in 2020. You realise the importance of family, friends and how they will be there for you always. The 2021 lockdown has proved that family is the utmost priority and it should always be. They are the ones who are always there for you. It has changed the way I look and react to things. It has definitely changed me as a person. I’m going through a lot of hormonal changes right now. The lockdown has made us more kind and careful about what we say to others and make a conscious effort to not hurt them. We don't know what the other person is going through.
Any pro tips on motherhood from your mother?
Well, she is looking forward to taking care of the child on her own (laughs). She isn’t giving me any tips as of now. But whenever I shout at my dog or get angry at small things, she says, "Mat chilla itna. Baby pe asar hota hai." I am happy that my mother is staying with us and is of great help. Suyyash’s parents will mostly be here in August if the situation is fine. I’ll have both my mothers to help me with the baby so I don’t think I’ll need any tips. Under their guidance, I’ll do everything.
Have you shortlisted names for the baby?
We have shortlisted names for our baby but I don’t want to reveal them. When the baby comes, we’ll break the news then.