Mother, Dear Mother

- May 12, 2024
| By : Shashi Sunny |

Mother’s Day is celebrated every year on May 12 and while every mother-daughter relationship is precious, here is what daughters who chose to follow in their celebrity mother’s footsteps, and made a name for themselves

BUSINESS PARTNERS: Shahnaz Husain (seated front) and Nelofar Currimbhoy manage Shahnaz Herbals together

Businesswoman Nelofar on mother Shahnaz Husain

Nelofar Currimbhoy, whose mother Shahnaz Husain is the longest known name in the herbal beauty business, says of her mother, “The fondest memory I have of my childhood is of my mother bringing back the prettiest of frocks any girl could wish for on the first of every month. The date was important because that was when she collected her salary of 175 rupees for her job as a dress designer for children’s clothes at Nari Kala Mandir in Lucknow. It was her first job. However, such was her fondness of dressing me up that she opted to get paid in frocks for me.”

Nelofar’s father was a government officer and whatever Shahnaz got from her work would supplement his income and be of use.

“I was born to a mother who was just sixteen years older than me. So we were friends too. We went to New York to study new techniques in beauty – we sat in cafes chatting often and we shopped for similar clothes.”

Theirs is a mother-daughter relationship bonded not only on a personal level but on a professional level too.

“We work together on a daily basis carrying forward our common commitment for Shahnaz Herbals. As my mother’s career expanded, I started working alongside her and gradually became the woman I am today.”

Nelofar is someone who stands beside her mother as her support for the dreams she has for the future.

“My mother heads the company and at all times I hold her in utmost respect and reverence and am committed to see that her pioneering vision is taken forward with some of my own hopes for the future added to it. My mother and I have offices facing each other.”

The two make it a point to meet every day to handle matters of the company.

Nelofar says that her upbringing has played a key role in turning what she is today.

“Much of the delicate dynamics of working together smoothly is because of the upbringing of respect and compliance that she brought me up with. I went to college in a car with a maid! My youth was spent with family and a few highly-monitored girlfriends. Though I wouldn’t mind going back in time to catch some of the fun I missed, what I gained was a meticulous sense of right and wrong and the ability to accept duties as high priority.”

Apart from sharing a working relationship, the mother-daughter duo also have a lot of fun together.

“Coffee shops are an addiction for her and at one point she played around with the thought of starting a chain of her own, but I guess we all agree that what we do best together is keep women just as beautiful as they are.”

Dancer Yamini on mothers Radha and Kaushalya Reddy 

Mothers are an integral part of life. They love you, nurture you, mould you, guide you in so many ways. And when you have two, as in my case, double it all. It is a plethora of emotions, advice and memories,” says dancer Yamini Reddy, the elder daughter of dance maestros Raja and Radha, who also grew up with the blessing of another mother Kaushalya Reddy.

DANCING QUEENS: Dancer Yamini Reddy with mother Radha Reddy

“My mothers both – Radha ma and Kaushalya ma – have had a profound influence on me in my growing years.

“Radha ma has an old worldly stature, one that comes from endurance and fortitude. As kind and caring as she is, she is a strong woman with an iron will. It is hard to match up to her limitless energy. Watching her while growing up taught me never to shy away from hard work and to never run away from problems. To be kind and generous to people when they need it and also to be stern when necessary,” says Yamini.

Yamini praises her for her grace and insight and says that watching her perform is a lesson in itself.

“Her teaching style is quite intense (definitely not for the faint-hearted dancers), because she believes in rigorous practice. She brings out one’s originality and style and she will grill you till you drop. She has a unique sense of humour which comes out in the form or quirky quotes, which hit the mark that lengthy explanations cannot capture. Kaushalya ma on the other hand is very modern and hip. More up to date with things.”

Kaushalya, Yamini says, played a key role in her upbringing.

“When I was young, she was the one who laid down the house rules, who always knew when I was up to some mischief and was always around to correct. She was the more relatable one. She definitely understands worldly matters much better and has taught me how to balance the economics along with the art form. She also has a very keen sense of aesthetics which can be seen in everything she does.”

Yamini says that the influence of her mothers has helped shape her not just as a person but also as an artist.

“They have given me the necessary tools to carve a future of my liking and I will always deeply be indebted to them for that,” sums up Yamini.

Aromatherapist Samantha on Blossom Kochhar

Samantha Kochhar, daughter of aromatherapist Blossom Kochhar, says that although she and her mother have very different personalities, they do share a few things in common.

BEAUTY TIPS: Blossom Kochhar (seated) with daughter Samantha
Kochhar, who is a hair and beauty expert

“We both are really passionate about what we do. We both love working out, doing meditation. We are very particular about our wellness rituals. My mother taught me to stay grounded and be modest. You may have everything you want in your life but you should never forget the path you have walked to reach here. I have also learned from her that it is important that you should feel good about yourselves, only then can we strive to achieve something in life.”

She got used to working with her mother since childhood.

“Since I was a child I used to go with my mother to her workplace; I actually started working from the age of 11. Everything about the natural way of looking after skin and hair, and the use of essential oils for beauty and wellness was so fascinating for me,” she says.

“Then I found my interest in makeup and started working in ad agencies and Bollywood movies. Today, by God’s grace, I have a company which my parents have started by the name ‘Blossom Kochhar Aroma Magic’. The one thing I remember about my mother is that even during her early days when she was establishing herself, she was never too busy for me. She had her workplace just across our home and she would always come home to have lunch with me!”