Actress and Pink Lips singer Khushboo Grewal is proof that marriage is not the death of a woman’s individualitySharika Nair
While she is able to pursue a demanding career in the entertainment industry, thanks to an excellent support system, Khushboo rightly points out that a “supportive husband” should be the norm, not the anomaly.
Working women are the norm today, and nobody bats an eyelid anymore when a woman chooses to either continue working, or opts to be a stay-at-home mother. But there is often a catch here. Women who are attempting to balance home and career often choose the 9-to-6 type of desk jobs, and avoid demanding careers that require travel and late nights. Hence, entertainer Khushboo Grewal’s story stands out since her husband left behind his stable career to relocate to a new city so she could pursue her dreams. The icing on the cake -- it was Khushboo’s mother-in-law who suggested it!
After moving to Mumbai, Khushboo was able to see her dreams fructifying, thanks to her perseverance and confidence. Khushboo began her career as a VJ on B4U before moving to Punjabi and Hindi films. She has acted in films such as Raaz: The Mystery Continues and hit Punjabi films like Carry on Jatta. She has also appeared on various television shows like Rang Badalti Odhani on Star One, Comedy Circus Ke Mahabali on Sony Entertainment, and Dil Dosti Dance on Channel V.
Trained in singing, Khushboo, however, found fame with hit Bollywood songs like Pink Lips and Girl I Need You. She also collaborates with the very popular Meet Brothers. Recently, when there was a wardrobe issue, she was sportive enough to borrow a waistcoat from the brothers to cobble together an Indo-western look, so she could get on stage and sing into the night.
What you see is what you learn
Originally from Chandigarh, today Khushboo is a versatile entertainer. She is also married to entrepreneur Bipin Grewal and is mother of a charming toddler, Shanaya. Work-life balance is something Khushboo absorbed from her parents, who are both doctors. Since her mother is a gynaecologist, she had odd working hours and had to be available for emergencies. There were many occasions when the family had to skip movie plans or leave a party or wedding early. “My father was always very understanding,” Khushboo says with a smile, adding, “I saw how they lived in harmony, co-existed as a true team of equals and always had respect for each other. And though I am stressing on the point that my father supported my mother, it is not because it is something that should be commended. I feel that as partners this is something that should happen naturally, but unfortunately a lot of women don’t get to have it.”
Khushboo also credits her parents for inculcating in her a sense of individuality and independent thought. She explains,
I think my foundation towards becoming a confident, independent woman was laid right from the start. My parents always wanted me to take my own decisions. Though they were little choices, but at a time when girls were not even given a say in the clothes they wanted to wear, it was a very big victory. Twenty years back things were very different and we lived in a more conservative society. At such a time, I was given the freedom to speak my mind and the confidence to voice my opinions about anything and everything.
Why is a supportive husband like winning a lottery?
Khushboo has no patience with the old school of thought, that having a “supportive husband” is like winning a jackpot. She is often approached by people who are genuinely surprised by the fact that her spouse and parents-in-law encourage her line of work. In a society where people believe that marriage results in the demise of a woman’s individuality, it was difficult for them to imagine a career after it.
So, does life remain the same after marriage? Khushboo very practically says,
Obviously, life changes. How can it not, when your life is connected with someone else’s life and all your actions are intertwined with theirs! But why does that have to be a bad thing? My life has just gotten better after I met my husband, fell in love and married him. He is my pillar. He has always been ready to take a back seat if he feels that it will help me pursue my dreams. He is ready to pitch in and help with our child, our home on days that I have to be out there working. That is the beauty of our relationship; we do not define our roles by society standards. Instead, we have created a plan that works for us.
The couple that ‘thinks’ together, stays together
Khushboo met her husband Bipin when they were quite young and she was still pursuing her graduation. Her in-laws encouraged her to follow her passions, but insisted that she complete her post-graduation first. Khushboo says, “I consider myself blessed to get married into a family whose progressive thinking reflects my own values.” Talking about an incident involving them Khushboo recalls, “When I was pursuing my post-graduation in marketing, my mother-in-law told Bipin, ‘I can’t imagine Khushboo sitting behind a desk and doing a 9-to-5 job; she is made for better and bigger things. I want you to fulfil all her dreams.” It is this unwavering faith and support that she gives credit to for her success in life.
With Khushboo’s success, the couple is living their combined dream.