Mother's Day special: "I went into a shell, when I was pregnant the first time. My second pregnancy is a celebration," says Sameera Reddy
It was the year 1997, when the young dusky girl, who appeared in Pankaj Udhas’s music video Aur Ahista, caught the attention of the nation. At a time when cable TV was still new, the 17-year-old Sameera Reddy took the medium by storm. Her unconventional looks, long hair and naivety showcased in the video won many hearts. It’s been 22 years since then and Sameera’s attractive smile and charismatic face are still the same.
Not the yummy mummy
However, Sameera feels that this wasn’t the case about four years ago when she had just delivered her first child, Hans. In recent interviews, the actress admitted she was a ‘mess’ after the delivery and had put on 32 kilos. “I went into a shell. When I got pregnant the first time, it wasn’t as glamorous as I expected it to be. As a woman, I was lost and confused with my own body image,” confesses the actor who was diagnosed with placenta previa. She had to be on bed rest for five months during her pregnancy and was on injections daily. “I think just lying on the bed threw me off completely. After hanging out at parties and at red carpets, I was suddenly at home and feeling lonely.”
Even after the delivery, Sameera was not a happy new mother. “My father always called me the ‘strong Reddy girl’. But during this period, I wouldn’t even look in the mirror. I wouldn’t let anyone take my picture. All I did was nurse my baby and cry. It was a mortifying phase. Now, I am upset I let that happen to me,” says the actress. Instead of lying low, Sameera took charge of her life after a year and she started working on herself. She had to lose 30-plus kilos and the finish line seemed a long distance from where she was. The initial judgement and comments by people made it really difficult for the actor to lose the first 15 kilos, however once that happened, Sameera was on track.
“I got my mojo back,” she laughs, adding, “I shed all the extra kilos. I had severe anxiety and I would eat emotionally, so losing the first few kilos was tough. I consulted a homeopathy doctor and a counsellor for advice. The minute I took the anxiety out of my system, I was able to work on myself better. I didn’t have a fancy personal trainer or a dietician. I attended group workouts and this really helped me more because there was a support system. Then I controlled portions and ate only home-cooked food,” explains the actor.
Partner for life
While Sameera was trying her best to be like her earlier self, husband Akshai Varde played a key role. The actress says it was his constant support that made things easy for her. “Even when I was huge, he would say things like, I am beautiful and how I have given him the best thing in the world — our son Hans. Once I was back to being who I was, he joked if I was ready for a second child, and I was like, yes, why not, as I always wanted two children,” she says.
Today, the 38-year-old says her second pregnancy is a celebration! The actor who will be delivering in July has been swimming and leading an active lifestyle. “I am really enjoying swimming. It is the most beautiful way to relieve stress during pregnancy. I have also been practising Iyengar Yoga. I have a partial placenta previa condition and the yoga helps me with that,” says the actor.
In April this year, Sameera, who was six months pregnant then, had made another public appearance along with her husband. The couple launched the Vardenchi motorcyclesflagship store in Mumbai. Her husband, Akshai Varde’s customised motorcycle business partly keeps Sameera busy. However, it is her son, Hans, who keeps her on her toes all the time. For other moms-tobe, the actor has just one thing to say, “I have chosen to be real. My second pregnancy is a celebration and I am not worried about people’s reactions. Deep down, I will always be this fat teenager who is trying to fit in.”