Ekta Kapoor currently has eight TV soaps on air, four upcoming films that she’s produced and 107 ALT Balaji shows in development. She’s also a new mother. She took us through what a typical day for her is like and told us how many scripts she hears a day, what role religion plays in her life and how life has changed since the birth of her daughter:

“When I had decided to have the baby – it was a long time ago – but when I knew that the surrogate had conceived, it was on June 7, on my birthday last year. I was a bit overwhelmed. I’d just written a show, which is going to be shot with an A-list Bollywood actress, called Mental Hood. It’s about motherhood. And every time we did the scripting about the momzillas and the mother pressure that you go through, the amount of guilt you go through, the tiger moms and the helicopter moms, I was just constantly feeling overwhelmed. I have a lot of guilt even now, it just comes. I’m at work, I’m feeling guilty. When I’m at home, there’s a lot of guilt that I’m not completing a lot of things I normally used to do. Then it’s responsibility and a feeling of someone there that you want to see grow. It’s a bit confusing at the moment.”

“What has changed is that I’ve hired more staff and I have shifted my work home. So luckily for me, I can do that. My teams have been gracious enough. (I work) from 8 now every day till 12.30. Earlier, I used to leave at 11 but now I take two hours in the evening and I don’t want my work to suffer so my social life has gone for a toss. From 8 PM till about 12.30, I do meetings at home at night. The mornings, I try to do a little bit of baby time, a little work out, even if it’s a walk. That ‘me time’ has become compromised. I’ve put on a little weight, so that’s another issue in my head. Because you’re supposed to be more responsible about your health also when you have a child.”

“There is no superpower. I just feel now because I do a lot of scripting, I’m almost like a computer. Like you’ve done so much of it, by the end, it’s almost like you narrate a script to me and I can find out what’s wrong with it in three minutes. Not because I’m good at my job but because I’m doing so much of it. I have so many touchpoints with the audience. I have an instinct with them because of 24 years of doing the same thing. I watch the episodes but I’m not doing the fun part of the job. That I gave up 15 years ago. There’s no sitting on the set, no hanging. It’s only scripting and edit… In a day, I listen to eight scripts normally. That’s been my normal day for many years now. Earlier, I used to do four scripts and I used to do detailed scripting of TV but it used to be more episodes. Now, I may not do the detailing of television episodes but I’ll do the detailing of the web episodes.”

“We (the family and I) just do a matha teko and then we go up. There’s always a naariyal there which is later served as prasad. A small thing we’ve been doing for years… My parents are more religious – they do the havans and the pujas, but they’re not intrinsically believers. Till four years ago, my dad had started getting angry with me, seeing my religious side. He used to get a little upset, saying, ‘What is all this?’ I was not able to explain to him that this is my calling. He was like, ‘Why are you going to temples so much?’ I’m not really going to temples all the time. But this is my road, let me go by my road.”

Ronit Roy: “At one point Balaji Telefilms was doing 22 shows, out of which 9 were among the top 10 at the time. Ekta used to be in every show. She used to perpetually live here. I used to come for a meeting or two and I used to be sitting outside and watch a team of seven-eight people going in, coming out, other people going in. I used to tell my co-actors, whenever they used to lose it – because it’s very easy to lose it on television, you’re there day in, day out – ‘Look at your boss. She’s there 24X7. You’re just doing one show. She’s doing 22. Imagine the pressure on her.’

Catch the full episode with Ekta Kapoor on our YouTube channel on Monday, 25th February


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