Geeta Basra Says Harbhajan Singh is a Hands-on Father, was So Excited When Jovan was Born
Geeta Basra and her husband Harbhajan Singh welcomed their second child earlier this month. On Monday, the couple revealed that they have named their son Jovan Veer Singh Plaha. Basra, who did a few films, married the cricketer in 2015. A year later, she gave birth to their daughter Hinaya Heer Plaha. Since then she has decided to be a stay-at-home mother, a role she enjoys the most.
In this interview with News18.com, the actor talks about Hinaya’s taking on the duties of elder sister, how Harbhajan is a hands-on father, why she is excited about his acting debut and how the film industry is more open towards married women.
You revealed your son’s name yesterday. Was it you or Harbhajan (Singh) who decided on it?
Actually I had selected this name when Hinaya was born. During my first pregnancy, I had an intuition that it would be a boy. I really liked this name. So this time around when he was born, I decided to name him Jovan. Harbhajan is really happy because if it would be a girl, I would get another companion but this time around he has got his best friend for life (laughs). He likes to call him Shera.
What is the meaning of Jovan Veer Singh Plaha?
It’s a multi language name. It has meanings in Hebrew, there’s Punjabi, and Hindi. So the actual meaning is a warrior and it is also a god of mercy.
Your daughter Hinaya Heer Plaha turns five today. Any plans for a celebration?
Yes. We are having a small gathering of close friends and family. I am in the UK (United Kingdom) and out here, the fifth birthday is like a milestone for kids to celebrate. Last year due to Covid we had a muted celebration but this time around things are a bit better so we decided to go ahead with the celebration. Harbhajan is also around with us before he gets busy again.
What’s Hinaya’s reaction?
She was elated and over the moon. She had come to the hospital to see her brother. More than anything, I was waiting for her reaction. As a mother you just wait for the moment when you see your older child to see and hold your new kid. It was a priceless moment. She has already taken the responsibility of being the elder sister. She keeps his toys ready and gets all the other things like nappies or his clothes whenever they are required. She is a mature girl and I am happy to see them bonding together.
Tell us about Harbhajan Singh as a father?
He is really a hands-on father. He was so excited when Jovan was born. He has always loved kids and he was clicking pictures even during my labour so it was just an amazing feeling to see the entire family together. We have divided our duties. He is mostly awake at night and is really hands on. Even when I am feeding the baby at night, he wakes up and makes sure that everything is fine. He even changes the nappies. During my pregnancy he had asked me to rest. He also took charge of handling Hinaya. He takes care of her bathing, waking her up for school and getting her ready for the classes. In a way it’s good, because he is usually not at home but this time around they have got to spend a lot of time together.
With Harbhajan’s hectic schedule, how difficult is it to manage two children?
It’s a bit hard because when you have two parents taking care of the baby it becomes a lot easier especially for the mother but I don’t have any complaints. He waited until he was born as he didn’t want to go out due to the Covid. I know Harbhajan’s nature of work for which he needs to travel. He is already travelling and is going to miss out on so much but that’s his loss (Laughs). But my sister-in-law is with me and she has been a great help. She keeps on checking both my children which also gives me a little break that I need. It’s been amazing to have her here.
Harbhajan is soon going to make his full-fledged acting debut with a Tamil film Friendship. How did you react when he said that he was offered a lead role in the film?
I never expected him to be a leading man in a film. Obviously my reaction was a bit shocking as I was a bit sceptical because it is not his field and doesn’t have any clue about acting and how it works. But he is a person who really is open to trying new things and making the best out of any opportunity that comes his way. So he decided to give it a go for this one too. It’s not like that he has plans to be a full time actor but this was something that he wanted to give it a shot. I have seen a few rushes of the film and I realised he is such a natural actor. He is so good in front of the camera. The film is in Tamil, a language he is completely alien too but he is so good in the film. He has taken it so well. Maybe he was born for the camera also (Laughs).
What was the idea behind a self-imposed sabbatical from acting?
Acting is my passion and that is never going to go away. It was a conscious decision to stay at home and take care of my child because she needed me. Harbhajan is mostly travelling so I can’t afford to have both the parents out of the house. It won’t be right as I feel a child needs someone constantly besides them as a pillar or foundation till a certain age. I don’t think I have compromised on anything. I wanted to be at home and be a full time mother. I didn’t want to miss a single milestone for Hinaya and it also goes for Jovan. For now, motherhood is my priority. In the future, when I have more time in my hand, I will obviously return to acting. I had offers in between but I didn’t take it up because this work requires a lot of time.
How has the lockdown been for the family?
Without sounding arrogant, it was a big blessing. Harbhajan and I had never been able to spend time together for long periods. He would be home for a couple of weeks, then go for the tournaments. This is the first time we have spent so much time together and my daughter absolutely loved having him around. Hinaya was bonding with Harbhajan so much and he also liked the idea of spending time with the family.
In a recent interview, you mentioned that you were written off because you were married. Do you see this perspective changing in the film industry?
Absolutely, the mindset has changed in the last five years. From the audience to the filmmakers and actors everyone’s perspective has changed. I had met Harbhajan just after the release of my movie The Train. At that time, people told me not to announce it in public that you’ll be dating as it would hamper my career. In fact, I lost a few projects because filmmakers thought that I wasn’t interested in working anymore. I found it so funny. Today everyone is open about their relationship. It is because society is changing. Female actors who are married and have children are also getting equal opportunities which is great to see.
Can we see you coming back to films?
It’s not that I haven’t been working. I have done a few commercials. In fact, Harbhajan and I were going to shoot for something very exciting in September but now that the Indian Premier League has been scheduled for then, it will be shifted. But yes I am open to work but at my own pace. I can’t stay away for a longer time so I will have to select something that fits in my schedule.
Read all the Latest News, Breaking News and Coronavirus News here