It took Bollywood's first female superstar Sridevi's death for the Kapoor family to set their differences aside and stand as one unit. Arjun Kapoor had made a point to not interact with father Boney Kapoor after he divorced his mother to tie the knot with Sridevi. However, it wasn't until the latter’s sudden demise that the two broken families eventually came together, with Arjun becoming a pillar of support for half-siblings, Janhvi and Khushi Kapoor during trying times.
Arjun decided to let bygones be bygones and since then the Kapoor clan has tried their hardest to maintain their relationship without any hurdles. But it wasn't possible without more challenges coming in the way. In a first, Janhvi and Arjun graced the cover of Harper's Bazaar India and opened up about how they overcame the emotional barrier that had caused a rift between the two families for a few years.
"We became close in such an unexpected way, but what we share is pure. Of course, we have a long way to go in truly getting to know each other better and building a stronger foundation," the Dhadak star told the publication. "But we share a weird kind of familiarity and comfort. The journey of creating memories and understanding our family dynamics never ends. I suppose, in a dysfunctional sort of way, we are functional and I like how we’re functioning."
Arjun chimed in, “What is done is done, it was not in anybody’s control. But now there are people who are trying to make things better. So, why have friction and hold back? Submit yourself to the process and see where the ride takes you." Janhvi added how she, Khushi and Arjun were always very aware of their familial situations. “I’d like to believe that because of how we have been brought up, we are very real with our circumstances and with each other," she shared, adding, "Also, we were sensitive towards our history, the situation, as well as to the pain. We came together as a united effort to be there for my father and so, we shared an agenda. The way things transpired, there wasn’t any space for awkwardness.”
Janhvi continued, “For the first couple of months, we made a few plans to keep in touch. But now, we meet for family dinners every two or three weeks. It feels organic and, like Arjun bhaiya said, while we are still getting to know each other better, a lot of the baggage that we once carried was addressed once we spent time together. It felt like, ‘Oh, I recognise this, I know this, and I get it’. The things in my head don’t seem the same way they once did.”
While it wasn't an easy task for any of the kids, their efforts gradually started to bear some fruit. "We started off by making plans over the first couple of months, but now we meet for family dinners every two or three weeks. It doesn't feel like, ‘Oh, we must make an effort or we must meet’, there is a willingness to meet as a family. It feels much more organic now and I don’t know whether we are similar in terms of our personalities [even Khushi and I are very different from each other], but a lot of the baggage that we once carried was addressed once we spent time with each other," Janhvi went on.
Arjun shared how Janhvi and Khushi really helped him to reconnect with his father. "I’ve not lived with my father as much as I would have liked to. I keep getting told that I am like him, but I don’t see it. Through meeting Janhvi and Khushi, and breaking that barrier, I have now been able to build a more authentic relationship with him. We have all confronted many of our demons."
The Ki & Ka star added, "It has to do with letting go, which is very cathartic. It is strangely therapeutic to just sit around and talk rubbish and realise that you were holding onto things, unknowingly or knowingly, because you were supposed to. But I love my father more because of both of them. It is complex. I have been able to see my father in a different light. If I didn’t share this equation with Janhvi and Khushi, I would have resented many things and never felt the need to reconnect with him at this level."
Talking about what family means to them, the duo responded in similar style. "I believe that there is not much you can count on in life. However, family is the one thing you can rely on. For me, that’s what family is. Security and consistency; it’s home," Janhvi responded. Arjun then added, "Family is comfort, you should be comfortable enough to just be with and around them. There should be comfortable even in the fights or the anger, there shouldn’t be any fear. You should be able to be your true, naked self with family. That is why your friends are also your family because you can be yourself with them. It is a true bond, which matters a lot to me."
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