For all the kids from the 1990s and early 2000s, Dia Mirza is still that ‘Zara Zara’ girl who shot to fame as soon as she made her on-screen debut, thanks to those doe eyes and dreamy tresses. The former beauty queen and actor has since added many more roles to her repertoire—producer, social worker, and now perhaps the most important role of all, a mother. We recently caught up with Dia to talk about everything from parenting to her plans for the festive season. Excerpts from an interview:
1. How is being a mom treating you so far?
It is the most humbling, the most gratifying, the most enlightening and the most joyful experience ever. I've always wanted to be a mother and I don't think I could have ever fully understood the feeling until, of course, I became a mother. It's the best thing that could have happened to me.
2. How are you balancing work and motherhood?
Well, it really is a journey of evolution and discovery despite me working through my pregnancy. Of course, I had a medical complication that led to the very early delivery of my child. But even then, I was back to work almost within two months of my son's birth, and I finished filming my feature films.
I've been doing such interesting work outside of films as well. I don't think I would have been able to do any of this if it wasn't for a really solid support system. Of course, my priority remains my child and I'm privileged that I can make choices that are centred around him, and I can say no when I have to.
People understand I'm finding the balance every day. I think it’s important to be able to continue expanding, learning and discovering the full potential of your own being. And in doing so, I think, as parents, we set an example for our children right from the start. While we are parents and the primary caregivers of our children, we are also individuals that have responsibilities and work, and we must always make time for that as well.
3. Tell us a little about your association with Greendigo.
I've been working for sustainability and I'm constantly exploring opportunities to learn, grow, evolve and of course, implement sustainable practices in my daily life. One of the critical and most important components of sustainability is sustainable consumerism. What kind of products are we using in our everyday lives? What kind of clothes are we wearing? One of the things that I discovered along the way was that while safe and natural options are few and far between, it's so important to support such businesses so that it becomes the norm and not the exception. I want to support businesses that truly walk the talk and make a difference. So, Greendigo was such a natural fit. They're so young, but they're already carbon neutral, certified, 100% natural and safe for children and babies. I hope we can grow together from strength to strength.
5. What’s your advice to new moms?
It's so important to know what you're putting on your baby's skin, what kind of products you're using to bathe them and to give them all kinds of nourishment and nutrition. I think new moms should invest the time and space to truly read the fine print on everything they purchase and choose the most natural option available.
6. Tell us about your work with environmental causes.
As an advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals and as an ambassador for the United Nations Environment Program, there are a lot of powerful campaigns and advocacy work underway. But what I am prioritizing every day is building a life that is genuinely more sustainable. So every choice that I make, whether it’s as a parent, wife, child or coworker, is to demonstrate through action how we can all live more sustainably.
That's actually one of the big reasons why I'm even investing in sustainable companies we need to support such organizations. Of course, I continue to work as an artist. I've just finished filming two amazing movies that will be released at the end of this year and the beginning of next year. I can easily say that everything that I'm doing impacts positive change. I'm grateful for the opportunities and I hope that I can continue to build on such choices.
7. What are your plans for the festive season?
It's an exciting time because my in-laws are coming down from Delhi. They are looking forward to spending time with both of their grandchildren. So, it's going to be lots of happy family time—something we always really look forward to.
8. What are your favourite holiday memories?
Well, I think the best holiday memories are the ones when we’ve gone away into nature with our trips to the forest. This year will be my son's first trip to a forest and I'm really looking forward to taking him into the wild because he loves nature. He loves animals and knows more about them than both his parents! In fact, we're learning thanks to him.
9. What are your favourite beauty rituals for the festive season?
Honestly, I don't believe in such things and think that every day is a celebration. When it comes to self-care, it's something that we should do consistently, every single day of our life. So, I nourish myself and take really good care of my nutrition. I eat lots of fruit and healthy vegetables. I try and ensure that we're eating only seasonal and local fruits and vegetables. I am mostly vegetarian and have a very simple skincare routine which is cleansing and moisturising. And of course, I use sunscreen.