Suchitra Pilla of Dil Chahta Hai and Page 3 fame, talks about love, marriage, and her latest show streaming on Netflix, Eternally Confused and Eager for Love, which resonates with today’s youth and has received rave reviews.
Suchitra plays mother to Ray [Vihaan Samat] who, despite having understanding parents and a privileged home life, suffers from a crisis of confidence.
As we see in ECEL, should parents try to boost the confidence of their children?
Definitely, as parents we do have to inculcate confidence in our children. You can’t assume that in the modern age, everyone is liberated or confident. There are varied personalities. Some may be extroverts, others introverts. I feel it’s very important for parents to teach their children from their own experience, and also instil the right values in them.
How do you think the idea of Love has changed from your generation to the present one?
It has completely changed. Earlier, you held out your hand to touch another’s heart. Today, only mobile phones are held in the hand. Earlier, you wrote love letters, and you were able to gauge the intensity of the relationship by the quality of the letters, and by meeting face-to-face. Now, an SMS is sent, and that’s it. There’s no face-to-face talk.
Do you remember your early experiences in love?
My first love happened when I was 17. It was a long-distance relationship. I have kept the love letters I got then. It’s been 33 years and I still read them. My first marriage didn’t work, and my second marriage is a long-distance one.
Do you feel falling in and out of love is happening very quickly now, because the youth of today are not emotional fools, unlike the previous generation?
Breaking up or continuing in a relationship depends on individuals and their approach to love. As parents, we have to see how best to help our wards when they go through such important life experiences, we should be able to give them the right advice.
My daughter can share everything and anything with me. Unlike our generation, when we were young, we as parents build a close rapport with our children. We feared being judged when we were young, but with experience, we have understood the process of growing up, and that it is important to be accessible to our children. I don’t remember being able to sit with my parents and tell them, I have a crush on so-and-so. We had to hide things from our parents. But between us and the next generation, there’s no need to hide anything, that’s a huge difference.
What is your message to people of the present generation and older generation?
No relationship can work if there is no respect. I think no girl or a boy should stay in a relationship of disrespect. For me, love and respect are what makes a relationship strong. No one who is looking for love should settle for less. This is what the present generation as well as ours needs to learn. Don’t put anyone on a pedestal, you are no less than anyone.
Did you experience bitterness in your first marriage? Is your second marriage blissful?
There was no bitterness in my first marriage. It was a seven-year relationship. We drifted apart, as it happens in many marriages, sadly. We had no fights. We were living in two different countries, so that might have been the reason. There was no ugliness. You need to take things in your stride and start over, without regrets. I was 27 when I got divorced. Not once did I say, ‘I don’t want to get married again’ or ‘I don’t want to fall in love again.’ Whether you have a live-in relationship, or go in for marriage, even an arranged one, there should be respect.
Lastly, as far as love is concerned, I would say, “Once bitten, or twice, or thrice, continue loving.