Aishwarya Rai Bachchan knows the world has some questions for her, and she's ready to answer the big ones. Since the birth of her daughter, Aaradhya, last November, the former Miss World and her protective family have been carefully doing out details with even the baby's name staying officially under wraps until last month. Since then, Rai Bachchan has been travelling with her baby, first to Cannes and last weekend to London, where she hit the shops with Beti B.
In an exclusive interview following her first post-pregancy Cannes appearance, Rai Bachchan talks about life with Aaradhya, getting back to work and her post pregnancy body and her advice to working mums: "Don't be too hard on yourself."
You have been voted as Best Mother alongside Angelina Jolie in an online poll. Your thoughts?
It's flattering to be voted this, however I think every mother deserves to be recognized as motherhood is the most important and fulfilling experience a woman can have in my opinion.
How has life changed after becoming mother?
Life has become quieter, which is very nice; I am spending a lot of time with her and just enjoying being a family. I have learnt to manage my time better with work so that my family time isn't compromised too much. I prefer to take her with me on travels when the commitments are not too tight. My mother accompanies me to help with Aaradhya, so I am blessed that way.
Many people have commented about your post-pregnancy body. What do you have to say?
It isn't surprising because in this industry it comes as standard when an actress becomes a mother the focus isn't on her health, it's how fast she lose her weight, I don't worry about this; to me, my wellbeing and the health of my family is more important than focusing on going back to my pre-pregnancy body in miracle time.
Did you think of embarking on a rigorous diet or exercise regime in the run-up to your Cannes appearance?
I believe in healthy weight loss and diet regimes, so I follow a programme whereby I do not exhaust my body or mind. So I always follow a healthy and steady regime when I am in preparations for such an event.
You have been hailed as a paragon of beauty and motherhood. What's your advice to women who are trying to tackle both motherhood and their work?
Don't be too hard on yourself, and take time to relax and connect with your newborn. At times this seems impossible but it's an essential part of juggling motherhood and a career successfully. And no matter what you do, don't forget about yourself. I believe that when you look good, you feel good and more confident, so caring for your hair, skin and body should not stop. If anything, you should do more of that so you are refreshed and positive when you're around your child and family.
When will we see you make a come-back to films?
I like to choose roles that are meaningful and where I can contribute to the telling of a story. When the right role arises I will be back in front of the camera.
As a celebrity mother, do you have role models?
I have always idolized my mother. She inspired me to be a wonderful mother, the advice and support I have received is truly incredible and having her next to me when I travel is blessing.
Several reports claim that you are a hand-on mother. Is this true?
Being a mother should be a hands-on experience, so this I can support as being true. I don't want to miss any moment with Aaradhya.