New Delhi: "My CPR came in the form of Kabir Khan... He was a Khan not a Mathur; he was an atheist, which in the Mathur books is even worse than being a Muslim." Seasoned TV host Mini Mathur, who made this statement in a video, says as long as people have faith, patriotism and loyalty, their religion must not be questioned.
Mini, a popular video jockey from the 1990s and one who was loved for her anchoring on "Indian Idol", is married to ace filmmaker Kabir Khan of "Bajrangi Bhaijaan" fame. She did not tell her father about Kabir's surname for a year before they got married. Now, they have two children -- Vivaan, 14 and Sairah, 7.
Does she feel that there is still a mind-block about cross-cultural marriages?
"Well, I feel communalism is emphasised at the moment... I feel that a lot of religion talk is happening. I feel that religion and religious talk really means nothing for the next generation," Mini told IANS over phone from Mumbai.
She says people "need to live lives happily with people who are cross-cultural".
"People are marrying cross-culturally... I am product of a cross cultural marriage and we celebrate every religion.
"My best friend is Christian, my husband is Muslim. He is half Rao-Tamil Brahmin and half Pathan, and I am fully Kayasth. What are my children going to be? I have no clue... As long as they have faith, patriotism and loyalty, nobody should ask them what their religion is," she said.
Mini is currently seen in TLC's 10-part series "Mini Me", along with her daughter Sairah. The mother-daughter duo ventured out on a trip across six countries in Europe for the show, also produced by Mini.
"It is my concept and I decided to do this for personal reasons. I said that I would go out there without a channel, sponsor and any brands on board because I didn't want it to be fake or set up; I wanted it to be as organic and real in feel as possible. So I will go and shoot it and come back; we will see if it takes the form of a film, short film, documentary or series," she said.
Mini and Sairah travelled across Germany, France, Italy, Greece, Montenegro, Croatia and Spain in an attempt to strengthen the mother-daughter bond.
Asked how important is it for parents to make quality time for their children, she said: "When you have children, it is important to realise that this is a lifelong responsibility and you can't just have children to satisfy your maternal or paternal instinct.
"It's a lifelong commitment and if you are not prepared to do it well or give it everything, then you shouldn't do it."
The 41-year-old says she worked non-stop when her two children were babies.
"Now that they are seven and 14, I feel they need more of my time. They need to talk to me every single day when they come back from school; so I do much slower work than I used to earlier. Now I only do stuff which means something, which means quality to me and I am indispensable to that project.
"If somebody can replace me, I don't want to do that project."
On her own bond with her children, she said: "I like to believe that I am pretty bada** and cool... I like to be somebody that they can relate to, that they don't find outdated, somebody who speaks their language, who understands their problems over the years, and at the same time have a bond where they understand me as Mini, the person, and not relate to me only as Mini, the mother."