Mother’s Day special| Ananya Panday twins with mom Bhavana for HT City Showstoppers, says ‘I would be lost without her’

Ananya Panday cannot bear to part from her new pooch, Riot, for even a moment. Meanwhile, her mother, Bhavana, is just learning to give her space as she ventures out on her own in her new residence.

Ananya Panday and Bhavana Pandey make an exclusive appearance for HT City Showstoppers.(Soujit Das for HT)

The mother-daughter duo is navigating a new dynamic, both finding themselves immersed in their individual careers in the same industry. This resulted in meticulous planning for their exclusive photo shoot with HT City Showstoppers. Exemplifying elegance in coordinated ensembles, they share a moment with us:

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How does it feel to both be engaged in bustling careers?

Ananya: (chuckles) Suddenly, it seems like the house is buzzing with activity, even my father (the actor Chunky Panday) has diversified into regional cinema and streaming platforms. My mother’s series ‘The Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives’ has taken off, and I’m pursuing my own projects. We’ve gradually shifted the focus of our home conversations from work to personal life.

Bhavana: It’s quite remarkable. I always perceived the industry from the sidelines, but now, having an insider’s view, my appreciation has grown remarkably. I used to be caught up in emotions about the acting profession, but now I recognize the hard work required. To remain personable in spite of the demands and the exhaustion from long shoots—my respect for actors has deepened.

Does Ananya offer you guidance on set, Bhavana?

Ananya: Not really; she’s a natural! Although I did try to offer some direction during the shoot, she playfully retorted that maybe I should try directing. I do believe you learn a great deal by just observing others in this craft.

Bhavana: Learning script lines is challenging for me. I don’t think I can fully immerse myself in memorization or delve into character roles as easily.

Throughout your childhood, Ananya, was Bhavana the overprotective type, or the relaxed type?

Ananya: Far from overprotective. She maintained a balance, taking an active role in my education and school projects since I was her firstborn. While she wasn’t overly indulgent, she was definitely a supportive presence in my learning journey—I learned she secretly aspired to be an actress. She was a confidante for even my smallest concerns. As my acting career commenced, her guidance was indispensable; without her, I’d be adrift.

Bhavana: Having Ananya and witnessing her navigate new responsibilities with our new puppy, Riot, is quite an experience.

How has the adjustment been since Ananya moved into her own place, and Bhavana, with your younger daughter Rysa overseas?

Bhavana: Since January, Ananya has embraced her new independence in her apartment.

Ananya: It’s been liberating! I’ve always been rather sheltered, so managing my own place is a fresh and exciting challenge. I’m learning to be self-sufficient and responsible, despite my parents being just a call or a staircase away.

Bhavana: Initially, I was hesitant about Ananya taking on her own space so soon, but eventually, I recognized it was time to let my children spread their wings and learn from life themselves.

In the spotlight, how do you both handle social media negativity and trolling?

Ananya: I’ve stopped paying attention to online comments.

Bhavana: Criticisms used to upset me, especially when directed at Ananya. But I’ve come to realize that negative voices are just a fraction of the bigger picture. The love and support we receive vastly outweigh the negativity.

Concept: Shara Ashraf Prayag

Photography: Soujit Das

Styling: Ami Patel

Style team: Sanjay Kumar Dauhaliya, Faisal Bhatti, Priyankaa Ahuja

Talent coordination: Rishabh Suri

Makeup: Riveira Lynn

Hair: Ayesha Devitre (Ananya Panday)

Makeup & Hair: Divya Shetty (Bhavna Panday)

Outfits: Retrofête (Ananya Panday), Gaurav Gupta (Bhavna Pandey)

Jewellery: CaratLane

Production: Shweta Sunny, Kayanat Zahera, Vitti Joshi

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