At a time when Bollywood actresses are being vocal about the existing disparity in payment between male and female actors in the industry, Kajol explains a possible reason behind this.

The actress, who has been a part of the industry for over 25 years, holds box office performance accountable. She told My Nation, “This has to do with box office collections to a big extent and of course there is a gender issue for sure. If a Salman Khan film makes 500 crores, which Hindi film heroine’s picture does that? There are two aspects to it. I think it has to do with our audiences as well.”

She added, “I am very grateful that today’s audiences are going to watch films like Kahaani or Raazi. I am grateful that such films are being made but they are being made now because it is financially okay to make them. Because our audience is watching such films and hence they are doing good business. It is not that nobody thought about it earlier, or nobody wanted to make such films. At the end of the day, we are a business and things which sell the most, which have the highest demand are even kept in shops.”

She reminded, “I am not saying that there is no gender discrimination, it definitely exists and I also feel that the pay structure has to change. But even the audience has to change in order to make the pay structure amenable.”

The actress also spoke about her upcoming film Helicopter Eela, which deals with the journey of a protective single mother and her teenager son. Why the title Helicopter? Kajol revealed, “I will happily award Mr Ajay Devgn for the title.” She explained, “Helicopter is also a way of saying that you always keep an eye on your kids. The hashtag #helicoptermom has become very famous in social media. There are mothers who interfere a lot in their kids’ life. At times it is necessary but sometimes it becomes a habit which mothers can't get out of. When kids grow up, even they realise that they don’t need to be fed by their mothers any more.” The actress revealed that she is also helicopter mom in a way that she still feeds her 15-year-old daughter at times. Kajol said, “I want to tell you that I still feed my daughter Nysa occasionally and she happily eats sitting at the table.” She defended, “But helicopter moms are not always bad, after all, they do this because they love their children.”

The 44-year-old actress is a mother of two, Nysa (15) and Yug (8). How much of Eela is Kajol in real life? “I would say I am 50 per cent of Eela,” said Kajol, adding, “Usse zyaada hona shayad sehat ke liye haanikarak hai.” The actress explained, “What is important is the way you look at your kids, sometimes you need to change it. When kids reach 12 or 13, they want people to treat them as adults, they want to grow up fast. They want you to discuss with them before taking any decision about their life and I have tried to do that with my kids. For instance, Yug wanted to learn gymnastics. I never imposed anything on them. Rather I wanted him to come and tell me that he wants to learn something. As parents, the only thing we ensure is that if you have started something, then you should also finish it.”

What’s her definition of a perfect mom? Kajol responded, “Every mom is perfect in the eyes of their kids. If you ask any child, who is the best mother in the world? The obvious answer will be ‘my mom’. If you have never cooked food for your child or never packed his tiffin it doesn’t imply that you don’t love your kids. So, there is no need to feel guilty about it. Every child shares a different relationship with both the parents.”

When asked whether the actress would like to offer any advice on parenting, since her film deals with the subject, the actress said, “I would tell parents that please don’t take any advice from anyone. Do what you feel is the right for your child and what makes you feel safe. That’s the most important thing. If you are in a good space mentally, your child can feel that and feels assured. That has a positive influence on the child.”

Helicopter Eela directed by Pradeep Sarkar, also stars National Award-winning young Bengali actor Riddhi Sen, Tota Roy Chowdhury and Neha Dhupia in key roles. The film is slated to hit theatres on October 12.