Subscribe and hit the bell icon and never miss another video! Skipping and doing little jumps. Heartbeat sounds. And you hear the heartbeat and all of that. You’re really, you really I mean, it sounds cliche, but you see the miracle of something coming from absolutely nothing into forming a complete person. So, I’m just looking forward to meeting this person. Hi this is Malini! And I’m here with the lovely Kalki Koechlin. Am I saying that right? Yes! And we’re on a very special episode of Malini’s Girl Tribe. So, a little bit of nostalgia because we’ve been doing this show, talking to women that I admire, about various things that we only talk about in hushed whispers and nobody really says anything about. So, thank you so much for coming in and having this conversation. Its my pleasure, I’m looking forward to it. So, you have some very exciting news! I do, I do. Let’s tell everybody what it is! It’s right here, at the belly button area. It’s a little thing baking in the oven. That is so exciting! Including you, you’re like glowing. Yeah, Thank you. Thank you so much for coming and talking to us about it first, which is amazing and I think what’s really nice is that all the girls from the Girl Tribe have so many experiences that have to do with motherhood, that have questions to do with having kids. and I think seeing you talk about it is going be very inspiring. So first, tell us, what was your reaction when you found out? I went and immediately bought another pregnancy test just to make sure but it was it was a very happy reaction. I think the last few years have been a situation where I know I’ve wanted children but I’ve also not been in a – either the time wasn’t right or I wasn’t with the right person or whatever, there was something. So, all those things seem to come in place this time. Even though, it wasn’t planned. We were thinking maybe in a year, somewhere in the future. But I think that’s the best thing about it because now we’re just diving right into it without too much, you know, pre-planning. And I think that’s what people always say and everyone’s like okay if you overthink it because there’s never a right time technically, there’s always more work, there’s always other things to deal with. Exactly! And I think the big thing that I spent, especially, I think women in India have to face is like, “Oh you have to be married!” “You have to be settled.” “You have to have this much money.” So, have you faced like any awkward reactions because they’re like, “Oh but you’re not married?” Not enough people know right now. I’m sure, I’m going to face those reactions after this. But you know it’s like, yeah. I’ve never been very good at the conventional thing anyway. When I was married I didn’t want kids at all. Yeah. I even wrote an article about why do women have to have kids and why that pressure? Because as soon as we got married there was the pressure. of having kids. And now I’m not married and I’m having a kid so, you know, it’s all a little bit upside down but yeah. So, I think one of the things that will make everyone feel good, I think you have to give two messages. One, to the women who are probably struggling with the idea that hey, they’re with somebody that they love but they can’t have kids unless they marry them. So, why don’t we give them a message to start with? Oh what can I say you know? I’m standing here and I’m alive, I’m happy and I’m having a baby with my partner and we’re not married so, if that’s a situation you find yourself in or you want to find yourself in, I say, “Go for it!” And then another one, which I think is a very important one for people who don’t understand this. The ones who are like, “Oh no but it has to be done a certain way,” and whether they’re men or women, sometimes it just comes with this either patriarchy or fear. So, what do you want them to understand? Whether it’s the moms, or the aunties, or the guys. I mean, you know, I do see where people come from. The security of marriage, especially, in a country where you still need to register your child through a father, you know and if you’re not married to and whose name when you go to a school to register your child. And so, these practical issues are very real. However, I think that you don’t necessarily guarantee a relationship through marriage, you don’t necessarily guarantee happiness through a contract. So, I think if you can look at it as finding the right community and atmosphere for your family, I think that is more important. Finding the right atmosphere, the right environment for bringing up a child, that’s more important than, you know, the right conventional paperwork, bureaucracy stuff. Yeah, absolutely! I hundred percent agree. And I think a lot of it comes from you know, the external fear that people have. Understand that the people who are making these decisions and choices. Like, if I’m choosing to adopt, I’m choosing to have a child. Trust that I know what I’m doing. and I always don’t need other peoples opinions. Also, I don’t object to you getting married. Yeah, yeah it’s true. Why should you object to me having a child out of wedlock. That’s a very good point. And this whole, “Out of wedlock.” The other thing that I think is interesting is that people expect that oka,y now you’re pregnant, now you’re going to have kids, your priorities have to change completely, you should stop thinking about you know, they should focus on being a mother and all those things. Right, right. So, have you felt any internal shifts that you’re going to have to change your priorities? Some things, I guess like, you know, my recommendations for me on Netflix was Serial Killers. So, I’m trying to like get off the serial killer thing but honestly it’s like, this is a going to be another thing that I juggle in my life you know? I work in Bollywood, I do theater, I write I do spoken word, I perform live, I do podcasts and now I am going to bring up a child. Of course, I want to give that child as much attention as I can. I think it’s important that you have very interactive early few years with your child. I think they say the first three years are the most formative years of a child’s life. Yeah. The years that we don’t even remember are the most formative so that is important to me. There’s certain things already you know, that I feel I’m preparing for, just a quieter environment at home, you know, connecting with family again a lot more. Yeah. Just to have the community and support of friends and family. Yeah so, those things are important to me. No, absolutely and I think one of the things, I guess now when I think about it is, I think the question people also ask is, “Okay, so what is your guarantee of security with the partner who’s not your husband?” Right? So, have you talked about it with your partner? I know that you’ve talked about him a little bit but not too much and do you have a ‘plan’? No, our guarantee of security is the love we have for each other and the respect we have for each other that even if you know, God forbid, love doesn’t last, there’s respect and you know, a wanting to collaborate with each other, treating each other like human beings. I think that’s the best guarantee. There’s no guarantee for anything. You can die tomorrow. So, you know, all these guarantees are a sort of illusion. You know, it just looks good like an Insta scam. It’s so an Insta scam! This whole perception that people because everyone’s living this curated life you know and I always tell people my life is not a series of like celebrity interviews and OOTDs, there’s a lot else going on. Yeah, yeah. So, the thing that we also talk about in The Girl Tribe a lot is the fact that you have to raise your kids differently today. You know, either you’re Helicopter
Parenting or you’re doing all these things and I think what we were talking about earlier is – What is ‘Helicopter Parenting?’ I think it’s just that you know, you’re in a whirlwind and you’re trying to balance so many things that you’re doing alongside parenting and this pressure women feel that, “I’m not a good parent,” you know this would work, like, I have my own life and I always tell people, they never ask a guy, “How are you going to balance having a kid?” They only ask women this question. Right, right. So, I think I guess because they assume, well, you’re going to be there you know, you have to feed the kid, you know but I have so many – I was talking to Neha Dhupia and Soha and they’re like, we take our breast pump along. Like, it’s it’s not that big a deal. It’s just that that word freaks everyone out like, “You said breast.” So, what are the different things, like, I was talking to a lot friends about is that there are two kinds of parents right? The ones you like, once they have a baby, that’s like all they talk about and you see baby pictures, which is cute, I get that. And then you have the other ones who are like the other extreme saying no. So, like do you have like a thought on what kind of parent you would be? No, no. We’ll see what happens. Of course, you know, in the first few
months I will have my baby with me stuck to my breast and I will you know, have to take him or her around and I do think, we live in an age where we’re able to do that and we’re lucky to be able to do that. I think it’s kind of interesting how in this age of social media like, everyone’s posting new baby pictures but I have some friends who are will never post the face. There’s two opinions on this right? Like I love watching timeless baby
pictures. A lot of my friends, my best friend has an account called ‘Mumbai Mummy’. But do you have a perspective? I don’t have a strong perspective on it, I don’t think I want to spend my time, filming my child all the time. I just, you know, I’ll be with it. It’s like even when I go traveling, I don’t spend my time Instagramming everything because I want to see the place and experience it so it’s the same here but I’m not going to be like, “Oh I’m never gonna show my child,” or anything like that. My child is part of the new generation, this is like you know, after Millennials and after Gen Z And whatever’s next. What is next? Now the next generation, I don’t know what they’re gonna be but you know, they’re going to be part of this world. What are you most looking forward to about being a mom? Most looking forward to? I mean, already it’s like when I see the, sonography and I see this creature, which let me tell you, in the first three months it was an alien invasion. Like a virus because I was throwing up, I was so ill and I was like how does nature ensure the survival of the species when it makes it so unpleasant for us. I’ve passed that stage and now thankfully I’m very, I’m glowing as you said! And I’m peaceful and really excited. And of course, when you see your baby in the sonography and you know it’s skipping and doing little jumps. Heartbeat sounds. And you hear the heartbeat and all of that. You’re really, you really, I mean, it sounds cliche, but you see the miracle of something coming from absolutely nothing into forming a complete person. So I’m just looking forward to meeting this person. I know, It’s going to be amazing. I think what’s been a large evolution that’s also happened in Bollywood is that you see a lot more you know celebrity moms and like you know, Kareena was walking the runway pregnant and it was suddenly like this big shift from being a taboo thing. So, do you feel like there has been a big change? Do you feel that people are going to have a strange reaction at all to you being pregnant? I don’t know, I don’t know I think people are used to me surprising them. I don’t think there’s anything new there but I think definitely in terms of like, fitness and health, we’re becoming much more aware you know? Like before, it was that you don’t do any exercise while you’re pregnant. Yeah, yeah. Hide yourself in a room for nine months. Whereas, now it’s like, you know, you have to be strong and I’m personally hoping for a natural birth. I’m going for a water birth. Oh wow! So, you know for that I do need to be really fit. I need to have certain breathing techniques and all of that so and it comes also if you sit on your sofa and eat sugar and take all the cravings you want you’re not going to have to have an easy birth so, you know, it’s all so about that awareness. What you’re putting into your body. I’ve become far more aware of you know eating organically, eating healthy. Because that’s what you’re also putting in your baby’s body, you’re starting them off. And also, the habits of the baby. Apparently, if you give into your cravings at like three in the morning, you’re also going to deal with a baby who wakes up every day at three AM and asks for milk, right? So, you’re putting in those habits, you’re inculcating the habits into your child. Wow! And, so what was your partner’s reaction when you said that you’re pregnant? Was it like a major surprise for both of you? Yeah, he was thrilled! I was actually really sick because we had gone for my brother’s wedding in Japan and you know I did all the wrong things. I was drinking, I was eating raw sushi. Oh, man! I went scuba diving. Wow. And something was wrong. I was so exhausted and I remember the scuba diving, the second day I was like, “I can’t guys you go without me, I’m gonna stay in the room.” And it’s not like me at all when I’m in a new country. But yes, I was very sick from the trip and I was just like, “Oh my God, I need to check if this is real, this thing,” and he was really, he was just really thrilled immediately. I think I took more time to digest it. And I think that a lot of people say well this is like the new point of no return. Like, you can’t on un-decide to do this. Once you have kids, you’re responsible for this entire, a friend of mine described it as like, “If you were to take my heart out of my body and it’s just running around.” Which is a great description. So, are you nervous about anything or you know? For sure. Where’s my life going to go? Am I going to meet people ever again? Am I going to just you know be at home exhausted all the time? All of those worries are there. And it’s like, it’s eighteen years of commitment. It’s like the longest relationship I’ve ever had. No, that’s coming up, we’ll see, we’ll see. I was telling you, I saw this amazing documentary about single women trying to find apartments in Bombay and you were in that documentary as well and talking about how people give you a hard time unless you’re married and I think there was a Miss India, who lost her crown because she had pretended to be married for science, it’s ridiculous. So, do you feel like this is perhaps a topic that needs to be addressed with everyone as well and do you think that people can you know, can get past this or are there any things that you feel like you might have to prepare yourself to face? I mean, already my neighbouring auntie you know, she’s met Guy and she’s like, “Oh who’s that?” And I said, “That’s my boyfriend.” And she said, “Oh, okay are you planning to get married?” And I was like, “I’m not sure.” You know, so it’s right in your neighbourhood, it’s everywhere. But it’s not also, it’s just, I don’t think she even meant it, It was just I mean – Automatic. It’s an automatic response of growing up in a different generation and the only way that will change is exposure to more of people like us. The more people are exposed to a generation, which, you know, doesn’t give an F and does what they want to do, I think the more people will be like, “Okay, well let’s see if you’re responsible enough to deal with it.” That’s also something we need to you know, like sort of stand up and show like, you know, just because I’m not married doesn’t mean I can’t be a responsible mother or partner and I think part of it is like people assume that if you’re not married then something was a huge mistake and you know, I think that’s part of it. It’s like oh but you probably just made a mistake and now because that’s the whole trauma that people have like, oh what if my daughter has a boyfriend and she gets pregnant then no one will marry her. So how do you get people to wrap their heads around that? I don’t know if I can, I don’t know if it’s even my job to try and convince other people of how to live their life or convince them how I’m living my life except by example. You know, except by doing it and managing to do it successfully. I think the other thing is like, this always happens to me if someone makes me uncomfortable I always like two hours later come up with the best like, funniest reply. Dammit, dammit I wish I thought of that. So like, often even especially maybe will be helpful to a lot of women who face something similar is there something you’ve thought of if someone says, “But you’re not married!” that you’re gonna be like, this is what I can say? Yeah, I don’t know. I mean I’ve had a lot of people come up to me and say like, “Your bra strap is showing,” or things like, commenting on me and I’m like, “Okay so, don’t look. Look the other way. I’m not asking you to be in my life.” You know you don’t need that and I’m not in your life so, it’s you know. It’s so true like, sometimes I post things and someone’s like, “Oh another OOTD!” and I’m like, “Who told you? You follow me. Like, feel free. You’re just helping my engagement frankly. So, the one thing I think you have to prepare for is how much advice you’re going to get from your whole family. Yeah I’ve heard about this, it’s supposed to be terrible. Right now I haven’t had too much exposure to that but friends who have had kids are like, “I have to send family members back. I can’t deal with all the advice they’re giving me.” “Don’t eat this, cover your head, do this, don’t do that.” Especially when they say and ‘they’re like okay’ the kid but I’ve heard the funniest ones like, “Make sure that there’s a picture of a fair baby that you keep looking at so your baby is fair.” Wow! Which is amazing. So, what is your strategy, how are you going to deal with that? Because you’re going to hear a lot of advice. You know, Okay ‘I’ll take it.’ Yeah I guess I’ll just smile at them and be like, “Thanks. You know, I’m glad you care.” But I really don’t know how I’m going to deal with it. I already feel like, you know, I don’t even want to start thinking about postpartum. I don’t want to start thinking about breastfeeding and all those things because I’m like let’s deal with this phase, okay? This phase is like getting over the vomiting, the next phase is like, starting to get back aches and you know, cravings. The next phase will be I’m a whale. I mean, let’s just deal with it step by step so, I think it’s going to be the same with the advice. Just be like, “Okay guys I can’t take too much, just deal with today.” So, when are you due, by the way? End of January. How exciting! Oh my God! So, I know the messages keep changing but I’d love for you to give a message to your unborn child, boy or a girl, something that you would like them to know for the future. Hey kid, it’s going to be tough but it can’t be tougher than what you’re going through right now, in the womb. Because forming and existing is already probably one of the toughest jobs. And yeah, I got your back. Actually you got mine right now so, that’s why I’m gonna get your back, once you’re born. Amazing. Thank you so much for chatting with me. It was so much fun. And I think you’re gonna inspire a lot of women to feel a lot more comfortable about themselves and their decisions and choices and have an amazing pregnancy. I’m super excited for you. I hope you’re gonna come back after you have the baby so we can have another chat. Yes, yes, yes, definitely. With a little extra weight, at least it will be on the side. You can attach breastfeeding. Yeah. All of that would be great. Thanks so much for watching! And remember you can leave a comment. This is Malini’s Girl Tribe. Tell us your experiences and if you have any follow-up questions. Thanks Bye Bye! Just thinking, if I have a kid I’ll just take it and enough!