The first thing you notice about Juhi Chawla is her beautiful smile. The actress who stepped into Bollywood with Sultanate (1986) became the heartthrob that she is with Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak. After getting married to industrialist Jay Mehta in 1998, she took a break from movies. The couple has a daughter, Jhanvi and son Arjun, who are studying abroad. On her 50th birthday, which falls on November 13, we decide to catch up with this ’90s icon.
On turning 50
“I do not like to celebrate my birthday with parties. Like last year, I will wake up in the morning and cook lots of delicious food and offer this food to the less fortunate on the streets.
After I come back home, I would love to sit down and watch some of the songs and scenes from my old movies, which are shown on the many TV channels.
I will also switch on the radio and hear the songs from my old films. Not that I will turn nostalgic, but I do recollect those wonderful moments which I cherish. These are memorable moments of my life which are unforgetful and this day reminds me of all those.”
About childhood birthdays
“We would have small parties with friends at home. We would hang streamers and fill the balloons with air. As soon as we’d hang the balloons on the wall, my brother (the late Sanjeev Chawla) would burst them and I would start crying.
When I was younger, and the door bell rang on my birthday, I would run to open the door and first look at the wrapped gift and ponder if it was a book or something else. I preferred dolls as gifts. I didn’t like books.”
Gifts from husband Jay and the kids
“My children did give me lovely cards on my birthday when they were younger. But now they have no time to give me anything (laughs).
But this time I have made a pact with my family. I told my husband and my children, every year we will visit one temple. So this year, as my birthday gift, all four of us will visit the Golden Temple.
My Bollywood friends wish me on Twitter and send flowers!”
“I am happy as God has already bestowed upon me so many wonderful things in life. I have become a board member in my husband’s company. We have an all girls’ school in Porbandar, where nearly 2,000 girls begin their day in the mornings by doing havana and end their day with havan.”
Relationship with Aamir Khan and Shah rukh Khan
“Aamir and Shah Rukh played a lot of pranks with me on the sets. We had our share of fights, reconciliations and fun. These are undying memories for all of us.”