The Tight Trio - Jeevitha, Shivani and Shivathmika Rajashekar

As Susan Gale rightly said, “Mothers are like glue. Even when you can’t see them, they’re still holding the family together.” Sisters and actresses Shivani and Shivathmika couldn’t agree more. Their mother, Jeevitha Rajashekar, is not only a proud wife and mother, but also an actress, director, producer, member of the Central Censor Board, and the General Secretary of the Movie Artist Association.

Her kids believe you don’t need a special day to celebrate motherhood, but on that particular Sunday in May, she's on their minds more than ever. To celebrate this terrific trio, we went to Rajashekar’s house to learn more about them and the bond they share.

JEEVITHA RAJASHEKAR

Everyone in the house belongs to the same industry. What are your dinner conversations like?
Mostly they revolve around work; we discuss what we need to do next, or our projects. Apart from that, we discuss news around the world, and those discussions are always led by my husband. He’s a voracious reader and makes sure we’re updated with what’s happening around the world.

What was your childhood like?
My childhood was very normal. I was brought up in a middle-class family. I had a routine life, which revolved around my school and family. Until I was randomly spotted on the road by a very famous actor/director, Mr. T. Rajendar, who offered me the female lead in his movie. I said yes, and that’s how I entered the film industry. After that, I got married, and the rest is history.

What is your relationship like with your daughters?
Of late, I think they play the role of a mother while I play their daughter! The tables have turned and now they’re teaching me things the way I did when they were young. Honestly, I feel like I’m the daughter now, and it’s very nice to feel this way!

What’s the one piece of advice you’d like to give your daughters?
I want them to be strong and believe in what they want to do. Success and failure come and go. I tell them not to get affected by it, and work sincerely towards their dreams and goals.

How much of an influence are they in your life?
One hundred percent! My life revolves around them. Everything I do, I want to discuss with them, take their advice and then do it. One thing’s for sure: they’re not a bad influence at all!

What is it about them that makes you proud?
I’m extremely proud of the ladies they’ve turned into. Everything they do makes me proud.

SHIVANI RAJASHEKAR

Coming from a family that breathes movies, was becoming an actress an obvious choice?
Well, yes. Watching my parents make movies and the kind of change it brings to our society had always surprised me and made me passionate about it. Becoming an actress was never a choice for me… it was the only choice! I’m also pursuing medicine, that’s also because of my father. He’s a doctor and never left the practice. Watching him do both – acting and medicine – was an inspiration.

What are the pressures and challenges of being a star kid?
Of course, coming from a film family where both the parents are actors, one needs to live up to the expectations of the audience. And there are many challenges! People think it’s easy for star kids, but no, the struggle is the same for every actor. Everyone needs to prove themselves, and without talent, no stardom or amount of money can do anything. The only advantage we have is an easier approach. In my case, my movie hasn’t come out yet, and I’ve been trying my luck for the past six years. I started a couple of movies a few years back, but they all got stalled for different reasons. I was doing my third film (most likely will be my debut) and it’s almost done, but the coronavirus happened.

Apart from these the projects, I’ve been to many auditions, met many directors– but have had no luck. I’ve lost opportunities due to my height, and I am 5’8”! I also took a short break from medicine, to adjust my dates for a shoot, but those movies never came out. Unfortunately, all that time I spent for those unfinished projects resulted in the delay of my education. All this has disturbed me a lot mentally, but I have always been patient and positive about everything.

How would you best describe your relationship with your mother?
My mother and sister are my best friends. I keep no secrets from them; we share everything. My mom is my guardian angel. She protects me from anything and everything.

What is that one way in which you’re just like her?
I don’t accept my mistake immediately; I argue first. That’s her quality that I’ve inherited!

How do you usually celebrate Mother’s Day?
We wish her with some beautiful flowers. In our house, we celebrate Mother’s Day everyday, as she’s the light of our lives.

How would you describe your mother?
She’s an incredible woman! She’s got a beautiful, kind heart, and is very forgiving, patient and loving. All that she does 24x7 is love and take care of the three of us! We are so grateful to God for her.

SHIVATHMIKA RAJASHEKAR

What made you become an actress?
To become an actress was always the ultimate dream, the only dream I’ve ever had, to be honest! Watching our parents make movies made us mad about cinema. So the idea of getting in front of the camera came naturally to me.

Usually, elder sisters are second mothers…
Shivani is a second mum and my little child at the same time. She is very good at being both! She is my strength just like mummy, and she is my small baby who needs to be pampered as well.

Who is your bigger critic? Your mother or sister?
Shivani, because she doesn’t sugar coat anything. Mum is always honest too, but she puts it across sweetly and nicely.

How would you best describe your relationship with your mother?
We are best friends; she is the love of my life. So are Shivani and dad, but there isn’t a thing I haven’t told my mom. I’d be a mighty mess without her!

What is that one way in which you’re just like her?
We are almost the same person! We are exactly same when it comes to how we handle situations or the way we think. Same!

Is there a quality you wish you had inherited from her?
I wish I were as patient and as kind-hearted as she is.        --- as told to Anahita