Being a mother herself, Juhi shares her experiences hosting a show which involves kids giving her unexpected reactions to her questions...
What attracted you to do a Television show about kids?
The only thing that drew me towards the show is that I would have kids around me on the set too. We have different segments in the show wherein there is an interviewing segment with the children and also another segment; one segment is where the kids are just left to play and we record the cutaways of their playful mood. We have a five year old kid who does 1500 pushups in 40 minutes. There is also a section wherein Shaurya (a child anchor) goes out on the streets and quizzes people. It's appalling to know some people don't even know who the President of India is. If you are the audience, while watching this, you start keeping a check on your general knowledge. When he asked someone what the full name of Anna Hazare is, I told myself thank God, he did not ask me this as I myself was not aware of it.
What distinguishes this show from other kid-based shows?
The show is not pre-worked on nor there a scripted format like in Jhalak Dikhla Jaa where you know who is going to get eliminated. This show is very light wherein the kids are randomly put together and are found in candid moments; we also play tricks on the.
Are you a strict mother?
Yes, sometimes I am a strict mother. But mostly, we (Jai and I) are fun, like most other parents.
How challenging was it for you to do this chat show?
When I took up the show I thought 'maine yeh kya kar diya'. To draw out amusing moments from kids is rather difficult because some are shy and some are very talkative. Everything they say might not be bratty or lovely as at times they speak like adults. When we talk to them on issues they are familiar with, they say something unusual and unexpected and that is superb.
How do you tackle the bratty and hyperactive kids on the show?
There are instances when a kid goes out of hand. If a kid starts shouting and refuses to calm down, we announce a break and continue later. Also at times there are children who say things which take you aback. There was a little girl on the show to whom I asked what her father's name was and she said a very long name. After that I asked what her mother calls him and she answered, 'Oh hero' (laughs).
Would you like to see your daughter Jhanvi in the show?
Never. I cannot think of my daughter giving answers to such questions.
Do the kids on the show treat you like a star?
Yes, they know me as Bhootnath Ki Mummy (laughs). On the sets, a kid asked me aapka naam kya hai and I was a bit taken aback as I was of the intention that people know me. I fooled around with her and said mere naam Madhuri Dixit hai. She suddenly said nahin aapka naam Juhi Chawla hai so I asked her phir tumne mujhse poocha hi kyon?
Many actresses take a break after getting married. But you were always active on television through shows and advertisements. Was it a strategy?
Frankly speaking, it was unintentional and everything just happened, but I am happy to do things that I like. Whenever any interesting film came up, I took it up. I feel I was very lucky that I kept getting interesting projects to work on.
How do you manage your personal and professional life?
Woh toh kissi tarah ho hi jaati hai.
Will you do a celebrity chat show if offered?
I was offered a few, but I can't imagine myself sitting and asking other stars about their life. There are people who do it really well but I don't think I will ever fit the bill. I can't judge contestants either. I feel who am I to judge people? I can't tell people haan acchhha tha but you could do better, it's easy to sit at one place and comment but if one day a contestant comes and says aap karke batao, toh phir kya? (laughs)
If approached, would you like to participate in 'Bigg Boss'?
No. I don't want to get locked up in a house but if you ask me to anchor the show, I would be game.
Reporter: Ranjini Nair
Author: Saranya Valsarajan