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Achieving Success on their own terms and rules – Maheep Kapoor and Seema Khan

Rendezvous with Maheep Kapoor and Seema Khan!
With gumption and unbridled passion these divas are charting new territories unabashedly and dare to be powerful for using their strength to serve their vision!

They command incredible respect and adulation in the boulevard of Bollywood and Glamour, the dazzle of glory, glitz, and gloss was always deep-seated in their system. Maheep Kapoor and Seema Khan, the bonafide Bollywood wives and entrepreneurs could conveniently lead the libertine and sybarite way of life if they desired but the fire in their belly to do something of their own, instead of basking in the glory of their consorts, propelled them to venture out into the business of fashion and jewelry designing and use their entrepreneurial air. In addition to their many accolades, they are designing dreams and introducing femininity into women’s fashion, Maheep through her exquisite fine jewelry and Seema by upping standards for chic and modern women through her beautiful ensembles. Moreover, they don’t conform to the stereotype notion of trophy wives and believe that the road to success and glory leads only through hard work and ceaseless toil. They have always been up the walls and striking the perfect balance between their personal and professional lives.

The super successful show, ‘Fabulous lives of Bollywood wives’ has further catapulted them to the zenith of fame. Camaraderie and bonhomie of their characters, personality traits, and shades which the audience was unfamiliar with have been beautifully portrayed and the show has resonated well with the audiences around the world. The show revolves around the Savoir Vivre of the bevy and how they carry themselves intelligently in society with a poise. Each character has illustrated different ethos and beliefs, where Maheep chooses to remain more vocal and assertive in her demeanor, radiating confidence with her forthright attitude. While, Seema seems headstrong and naughty, oozing a childlike simplicity, charm, and innocence.

During a candid conversation with Barkha Arora, Editor and Divya Khanna, Associate Editor, High on Persona Magazine and Highonpersona.com, they unspooled their experiences and poured their heart out on different facets from their dreams, aspirations, and the future projects they are busy dabbling with.

Q. Fabulous lives of Bollywood wives, how fabulously life is treating you now, post the success of your show, and how are you are responding to mixed reactions, applaud and trolling at the same time?

Maheep: It’s been two weeks and I guess this is the third week running. I am just absorbing that all in. I was expecting people to be curious about the show, but the amount of love that has come our way from the women is just overwhelming, so I am honestly on an adrenaline rush and as far as trollers are concerned I’ve said it before, there’s a flip side to the coin, everybody is not going to understand us and everyone is not going to get us. Frankly, I think, I don’t get them either. But I think there’s no need to be so nasty. I just ignore them, they are just some noise in the background. I am so focused on overwhelming love. That everything else is just noise. It’s better to focus on positivity, blessings, love, and the praises you’re getting. So I am overwhelmed. The adrenaline rush is constantly going in my veins and I am absorbing it all in.

Seema: Much like Maheep, I’m in shock.  But, I had that positive feeling about the show. I knew people would be curious. I knew some would like it and some would hate it of course, but this amount of love I think is outweighing the negative. The positive is outweighing the negative. Also For me, I’ll be honest, I am living in a little bubble, in la-la land and I’m very happy here. I’m concentrating on love, I am feeling so much gratitude for everything that has come my way and I am feeling so much love that I am overwhelmed. I’m floating and I am enjoying that and I am choosing to concentrate on only love and it has just been amazing and I just want to thank everyone out there for just accepting and understanding us and it has just been lovely to see this kind of positive response.

Q. You guys have already answered questions about what prompted you to do the show and about your feelings before the show hit Netflix, we rather would like to know about your plans post the success of your show as far as your work is concerned?

Maheep: Honestly, at the moment the first thing I’ve learned in 2020 is don’t make plans, just go with the flow. From the moment the show has dropped I’m still absorbing all this in. Hopefully, if Netflix gives us a green signal, season two will happen and rest, let’s go with the flow. Let’s see what happens.

Seema: Right now, I have just pressed pause on my life. I’m just absorbing everything that I am experiencing. This is a once in a lifetime experience for me and it’s a memory that I’m going to keep for life. We have been in a pandemic this whole year, so everything has been on pause and I have just started working again the last 2 months. My work is touchwood keeping me very busy as I am doing very selective work, but right now I am planning to take 2 weeks off and from January I’ll press reset and I will strategize again, and hopefully, I’ll have my hands full, hopefully, we will have season two if they give us a green signal. I wanna go back to my pop-ups because that what I enjoy the most, but all that can only happen if covid situation ends so I am looking forward to that.

Q. We have seen you guys sharing a fabulous time and life together, I’m sure just like anyone else you also have your moments of gloominess and sadness, so how much do you depend on each other to share your problems and seek a solution, who gives the most practical and best advice?

Maheep: I think for a woman, it is very important to have their girlfriends, to share their sad and tough moments and we have been friends for 25-26 years, so we have really gone through a lot many milestones together whether it’s about our marriage, birth of our children and now this. This show is a massive milestone that we have all taken together, so yes it’s a great bonding that we do have and it’s going to continue like that.

Seema: I think the sad moments and lows in life bond you much more than highs and that is I believe, is the basis of our friendship. We have gone through so many lows along with the highs, but we had so many lows and we have been able to stick through them. We have actually leaned on each other for support and that has kind of made us and created the bond that we have today. It doesn’t happen in 2 or 3 years, this kind of bond takes time. It takes life experiences and rough times and tough situations where you stick through thick and thin. I think that’s the basis of our friendship. We are there for each other to lean on whenever one needs it.

Q. So who remains the most dependable when it comes to giving very practicable advice who is the most dependable among you four.

Maheep: I go to Seema, if there is something that is bothering me or I have to ask something or I need to see another point of view.

Seema: I think for me also, it’s Maheep. I don’t think it’s a hidden fact. We both lean onto each other. There are times when she needs me and there are many times when I need her and that’s where we pull through for each other and for the other two also we four are as a unit. We have our group chat and we constantly lean on each other for every little thing, so it goes both ways. But having said that, for particular advice, I would go to Maheep. There is nothing off the table between us.

Q. How has been the response at home?

Maheep: Well my son saw the trailer first and he said, “Mama, my teachers are gonna see this you know that naa”, so he was a little bit like, what’s happening? But, once the show dropped my kids and their friends, they all have just gone ballistic about the show. So I think they’re feeling proud; they’re not saying it, but I can see it especially with my son. My daughter is very vocal so she said, “Mama, well done! it’s outstanding and you guys were so good.” She was giving me tips on this and that. So, we had a conversation. I think they are very proud.

Seema: My younger kid is very little so on the first day when the trailer dropped he was very confused.  He was like  “Mama, why are you on Tv?” But, by the time when it reached number one on Netflix, he went crazy. He came running to me yelling at top of his voice, “Mama your show is at number one,”  he called all his friends to tell all about it. And my eldest son Nirvan has always been very supportive. He was so excited. When the trailer dropped, he was in America, so because of the time difference he kept on asking me,”Mama, is it 10: 30 yet can I post it?”  And when he came back to Bombay he told me that, “I don’t want to get in your head, but it’s damn good” so you know boys, they don’t say much. They are held back with their words, compliments do not come to them very easily. So you have to read between the lines and I think that is what all mothers do they read between the lines.

Q. You guys are working professionals while playing the role of housewife too so, how do you strike a balance between work and family?

Seema: Honestly, I don’t know I am still asking myself this question, and my producer Anisha, she says to me that she has discovered this thing about me that I have a method to my madness, I thrive in chaos. But to be honest, I don’t even know what that method is. I just somehow manage to do it. And frankly, I think this is the case with all women. I believe women in general wear so many different hats. They are constantly multitasking, they are working, they are playing the role of mothers, wives, and daughters-in-law. Women, in general, can do everything, they thrive in chaos. And they pull out of it like you can’t imagine. At this point in my life, I ask myself if there is anything left for me to do. So, I get the job done. How do I do it, that even I don’t know.

Maheep: I agree with Seema, that women when put in that situation, they just manage. Now how I manage I don’t know, but I somehow manage. it just happens. And I speak for all women. They can do it. It’s not a big deal for them. So, I manage quite easily and comfortably.

Q. Any mantra or any tips you would like to share with working women who happen to be housewives also?

Maheep: Honestly, I don’t think I am anybody to give women any mantra or tips. I have seen my mom, also I have seen my sister-in-law. Every woman manages. I think it’s a woman’s power. They just manage it very smoothly. You know it is no big deal to manage children, husband, housework and socializing plus this show. It just happens when you are put in that situation.

Seema: I would like to add to it, that women should not neglect themselves, they should make themselves a priority. Now of course it has started happening, but when I see my mom’s life, at that time in that generation, this did not happen. They often used to neglect themselves for somebody else’s happiness. They couldn’t work. They were mostly housewives. Today, you see a lot more women working than at that time. I believe women need to concentrate on themselves first. It is important for women to be happier and content themselves first before they try keeping everybody around them happy.

Q. How much of the show was real and fictional?

Maheep: It was all real, nothing was fictional. I mean the situations were given to us, of course, but, then we just let loose. And the camera just rolled.

Seema: All conversations were organic everything was reality if we shot for 2 hours then you have seen 4 min out of those 2 hours. So if you have seen 8 episodes they must be having content worth multiplied by I don’t know how many episodes. Because It was just us, There were no scripts. There was no action or cut.

Q. Were you also shown the part that was going to be selected and kept in the show?

Maheep: No, we got to see the show just before it was going to be dropped. And I was just looking at myself. I was quite mortified seeing myself. I had to look at the show again to understand. I was just absorbing it all in. We weren’t shown that this is going to be there or that part would be selected, that’s all production they decide what they wanna pick and choose.

Q. Any side of personality that was left untouched in the show which you would like to express now in the 2nd season if that is happening, and anything you wanted to say which you could not say at that time, Maybe you can express through this platform?

Seema: yeah obviously you have seen just the tip of the icebergs. How much can you know about our lives In just 8 episodes? There is a lot more to us. I think you just got the general idea of our personalities and what kind of people we are, but you can’t know everything about us in only 8 episodes. It’s impossible.

Maheep: As Seema said, you have just scratched the surface. If season 2 happens there will be a lot of us with a lot more madness.

Q. Was there something that you later realized on watching the show and thought “Oh, I should have said this instead of that”, you can use this platform to say that now?

Maheep: Not really!

Seema: Not really, we always feel that we should have said something more or something less but to be honest, we said what we could. And there is not really anything left  for us to say. We always say to each other what we feel.

Q. Seema, you look like a person who is childlike, from face and eyes only you look very naughty Seema, so how were you as a child?

Seema: I have been told that I am childlike, but, isn’t it nice to be childlike? I take it as a compliment because life is so stressful in general and it’s difficult to stay serious all the time and when you look at your childhood, don’t you miss that? So I feel the childish part of me is me because it just helps me unwind and it helps me distress and I think that’s what my friends even like about me the most that they know that’s my personality, I am crazy and spontaneous. They never know what’s gonna come out of my mouth next and as a child also I have been like this only. My brother is always like “please Seema don’t say that aloud” and now with Maheep, I hear the same lines, she is always like “Seema please don’t say this in public”, so I have no filter. I was not naughty but I was always looking for fun in everything and at the end of the day, I love a good laugh and I like to make people happy around me.

Q. Maheep, you look very upfront and vocal, Did you have second thoughts during the show to have avoided saying certain things or undo a certain part, also would like to know if being forthright has helped you on the work front, or had any kind of adverse effect on a few things?

Maheep: If I was not myself in the show and I had to pretend to be someone else it would have never worked. I had to be me and this is the way I am. Quite frankly, I am constantly like this with all the girls. And has it benefited me being like this? Well, I don’t know, it’s been only 3 weeks. I have not felt that benefit and neither have I felt the adverse effect.

And honestly, I hope women take something from this and are forthright and are a little more assertive and black and white. I think women need to learn that so, I hope they are picking up on this other than that what should I say, I have always been like that. I have always been black and white as far as my work is concerned. I don’t like to be gray or talk in the middle. I have never pretended to be anything else. I am just very very grateful because I was expecting to be very misunderstood, but that didn’t happen. I was on a fine line. I could have been very very misunderstood, but women are getting me and I’m very grateful for that.

Q. Maheep, what makes you the best planner, and if given an opportunity which location you would pick for the 2nd season of Bollywood wives and why?

Maheep: I would pick New York or Vegas somewhere really insane where we can party and we can shop and be a little more extra. for the 2nd season of Bollywood wives.

Q. And if you have to pick a location in Europe, where would you go?

Maheep: Spain.

Seema: Yes, Spain is beautiful!

Q. Who is the biggest foodie among the group?

Seema: Neelam and having said that, I think all four of us enjoy food. This is one of the things we actually bond on. We enjoy good food. I mean I am always watching my calories of course which is not a hidden fact, but that doesn’t stop me from eating. On Sunday when I have to eat then you have to see me. You know, I can eat everything. I eat non stop till 12 o’clock, then I stop as soon as Monday starts.

Q. Who is the most picky one, when it comes to food, restaurants, and delicacies?

Maheep and Seema: Bhavana is the one who got allergies and issues. She can’t eat many many things.

Q. Who loves to shop the most, who can’t resist shopping?

Maheep: Seema

Seema: That would be me guilty as charged.

Q. Seema, how picky you are with brands? Are you a brand kind of a person or would you pick anything depending on your personality and the style, and comfort quotient?

Seema: So I don’t follow any trends and I don’t do like, this was last season and this is this season, Nothing of that sort. For me, a shop is a shop you take me anywhere. I love a good buy and I specifically like to buy things that you don’t constantly see. I feel like I have really struck gold when I find that one outfit that I know is an unknown brand and no one has it, and it fits amazingly, and it is an amazing fabric. For me, that is like a high. I don’t follow any trends and I am not partial towards any brands. I am constantly wearing everyone’s brand because I like to celebrate fashion as a whole. It doesn’t matter who has made it, if it looks good on me I am wearing it.

Q. Are you a beach or a mountain person? What are your vacations like?

Seema: For me and my family we all are beach lovers from children to adults. We all are beach lovers. So, once or twice a year we have to take time out and visit the beach and spend quality time with each other. Not being distracted by the shops and the malls. Just eating good food and having a good time. Beach holidays are our priority.

Maheep: All of the above, but I do like to explore a new city. I do like to see every nook and corner, try different food. My kids are very fond of that. They like to go and try every restaurant. Sanjay is a massive foodie. We do all of that, Trying new restaurants, exploring the place, meeting people. All of the above.

Q. So who’s advice are you guys follow when it comes to a skincare regime, Bhawna’s way of manifesting beauty, or Neelam’s way of corrective beauty therapy?

Maheep: For me, it is very clear from the start. I didn’t buy Bhavana’s idea at all. That’s completely out of the question for me. Beauty regime is another story, but I would follow Neelam.

Seema: My reaction was very clear for the Reiki thing, for me, it’s no hidden fact I did not buy Bhavana’s idea at all. So, if and when the time requires, modern methods are available to us, then why not?

Q. Who loses their cool easily (among the lot)?

Maheep and Seema: We all are equal on that.

Q. Who is Karan Johar’s favorite?

Seema: He is closest to Maheep among all four of us.

Maheep: Yes, why should I lie, I am closest to Karan.

Q. Who is the gossipmonger?

Seema: Not gossip but if you need information then Maheep is your go-to person. Maheep is the good person to go for ‘Khabar’

Q. Who likes to get papped?

Maheep: I don’t think anyone of us because we are always not happy with our pictures and angles.

Seema: We always feel like we can do better.

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She has been there and done that. After graduating from Delhi University, she completed her diploma in Journalism from Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan, Delhi. Down the line, she completed her internship with National Herald Newspaper successfully,, and went on to Join Mainline Business daily, Business Standard. She also dabbled in image management and brand consultancy. She is a prolific writer on lifestyle entertainment, branding, lifestyle, travel, and politics.
Contact her at hopdesign07@gmail.com

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Divya Khanna is the youngest member of the team, with a background in political science. She has joined High on persona print magazine in order to gain hands-on experience in various aspects of editorial coordination as associate editor of the magazine and news site. She has a penchant for writing and enjoys meeting new people and interviewing celebrities. She has a passion for writing, she has an eye for details, loves traveling, and a quick learner. She comes from the Mecca of Indian Journalism, Delhi.
Email: divyakhanna3197@gmail.com

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