As  the  nation  celebrates Saif  and  Kareena’s  second child ,my mind goes back to  the  time when Kareena , much younger  far more impulsive told me she told me  she  would never get married. As for children, are you joking?!

As with much of what she would say  during those days of impulsive youth I’d  just smile at her  headstrong  declarations knowing she would change her mind sooner rather than later.

From saying  no to Kaho Na…Pyar Hai to  saying  yes and then no  to  Devdas to  saying no to Bajirao Mastani….Kareena was always impulsive and also  very moody. In fact she warned me about her moods when I  got to know her. “You  better get used to it.”

 When  Kareena started her career with my dear friend J P Dutta’s Refugee she didn’t want to be the glamour queen at all.

“Looking hot and sexy is  my sister’s domain. I am a very  simple girl at heart. I love my salwar and kameez and  I want to spend my life in them(the salwaar and  kameez). I want to  play real women. My role models  are  Madhubala, Nutan and Waheeda Rehman. I want to  do the kind of roles they did,” she  told me in her first  interview  .

A few weeks later she  called nervously to say she had just signed  a film with Abbas-Mastan  where she had  to be  the archetypal glam diva, “Chiffon sarees, backless blouses. I don’t know how I can carry them off.”

I told her she would be  just fine. And she was. She wanted to play Nutan’s role Kalyani  in Bandini. When  my friend Deepa Mehta  offered  her  the widow Kalyani’s role in Water through me,  she  jumped at it and then  chickened  out saying she was too inexperienced for something so complex.

I don’t know how  she is  now. But back then Kareena(never ‘Bebo’ for me,thank you) flourished in extremities. She either  ‘hated’ or ‘loved’  her colleagues. The  female  co-stars  were specially  annoying to her.One of them who is today  a global star complained to me about Kareena’s behavior during a concert abroad.  Kareena  couldn’t help laughing over how  ‘tacky’ this particular actress  was. Her blood  would boil when I  wrote  praises for another actress. Sometimes she would actually call and read out what I had written about others to embarrass me.

 I was supposed to  praise only Kareena. Yes, she  is  very possessive about the people  close to her.She got along  very well with her male  co-stars,Salman being a favourite with both the sisters. But her favourites kept changing. Karan  Johar  who she once told me  was  the only male  allowed into her home where  she lived with her mom(I had to wait for her in the car when I visited)  at one point became  hostile  territory.

When she  was seeing someone long ago she couldn’t stop raving about his mother.The  next thing I knew I was being told that the mother did kala jadoo on her to get rid of her.

This is  not the Kareena that we all see today.  After Saif, she changed drastically became  far less impetuous and far  more family-oriented. Most important of all she learnt to be gregarious and  social. She at one point hated  the social media and  didn’t even have en email ID(yes, believe  it or not!). Today she is all over posting pictures, hosting talk shows, etc.

Kareena is constantly evolving.From salwar kameez to gowns,  from Refugee to Ajnabee  , from  footloose to  Saif. From never-want-to-be-a-mother to how-could-I-live-without-Taimur. Now  from mother of one to the  mother of two.Keep changing.It suits  you.

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