“In retrospect, motherhood has possibly made me a better multi-tasker. There’s a content piece I need to send out by tomorrow morning. I have this sense of calmness that I can do it within the stipulated time. But if this was a few years back, then I would have been stressed out about the whole thing,” says a calm Tara Sharma Saluja at a terrace restaurant in Hyderabad. She is a model, actor and now an entrepreneur who runs her own TV show.
Being a big believer in ‘each to their own’ philosophy, Tara believes that the rules are different for different people.
“‘Mompreneurs’ and entrepreneurs are different. For me, scaling up isn’t the only answer. Right now I am happy balancing being a mompreneur and a hands-on mother. Maybe in a few years that would change, but personally its good space to be in,” says Tara.
She calls herself a nerd, who has always been academically oriented. One of the highest scorers in high school, Tara went on to do a scholarship at UWC, Adriatic, Italy. She says that at that point in time while she felt homesick, the experience was great. “There were people from 75 different countries and I was able to get a great cultural exchange and understanding from the whole experience, “she recalls.
Being half English and half Indian, Tara believes that going out into the world and doing her own thing helped her understand what it truly meant to be an international individual. She then went on to finish her B.SC in Management from the London School of Economics.
After her education, Tara interned at Citibank and worked at Accenture. “I had always seen myself wearing a suit and doing a corporate job. I guess I didn’t think it through at that point in time,” she adds. It was after her internship at Citibank that Tara decided to spread her wings and travels the world.
While she was purely academic and a corporate, Tara’s father Pratap Sharma is an author and a playwright so she was exposed to the world of modelling, acting and the creative side of things. “In hindsight, I think I chose the academic and corporate path to gain a sense of security. My father was freelancing and doing different things, and I thought that the corporate job would give me security,” adds Tara.
But she believes that her heart was always in acting and the creative side of life. However, the chartered plan helped her later when she would pitch to advertisers for her show. After two years in Accenture, Tara decided to take the plunge into modelling and acting.
Her modelling assignments helped Tara get movie offers. But the film world is a different beast, from a more structured world, Tara now had ventured into a world where there were no fixed timings. It was different, but she enjoyed it. “There were some films that did well, some that did okay and some others that did bad. But I am fine with that,” she says.
But the fact was that after her first child, Tara didn’t get any offers.
“My dad used to always tell me, ‘if something you want to do doesn’t exist, create it.’ It’s important to reinvent yourself,” says Tara. It’s then that she realised she loved talking and being a mother. “Till you become a mom you will never know what kind of a mom you will actually be. I wanted to be a hands-on mom. I then decided to build my own show,” adds Tara.
While she had seen several talk shows, cookery shows and other such shows, she was yet to come across a TV show that spoke about motherhood and parenting. People, she says, frighten you when you become a mom, but that’s not essentially based in truth. Taking advice from the friends in the industry, Tara decided to make her show an advertiser-sponsored one.
She made a presentation to FisherPrice and was able to rope them in. Her husband Roopak Saluja advised her to make it a multi-platform show and not just restrict it to TV. So the show scripts come out of her blog, and it is across different platforms.
“It’s been very organic. The second season, we got in Johnson’s and the show went on Colours. By season three, it went into English and spoke about topical parenting issues,” adds Tara. The format is now on celebrity and non-celebrity and feature segment. All issues on children care and the special needs for children are dealt with in the show.
“When I first asked celebrities about coming on the show, people didn’t want to talk about kids. But now I have had the likes of Kajol, Mary Kom, Shilpa Shetty and many others. I am happy this is happening. I think being a mother has changed in ways I never thought and imagined. I celebrate it and contrary to popular belief my career has flourished with motherhood,” says Tara.
Quoting Konkana Sen Sharma’s answer in her show, Tara says that motherhood hasn’t changed her but heightened aspects of her personality in a stronger and deeper sense. “It’s made me clear of my priorities and has given me a strong sense of purpose and security,” says Tara.