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Sunday June 15, 2008

Close ties

Kavita Kaur’s father is one proud dad.

THE question was simple enough: Do you love your father? The answer that came from Kavita Kaur Sidhu’s lips was a simple “yes”.

Kavita Kaur plans to attend a yoga and meditation course in India at the end of the year.

But that simple reply, and the inflection behind that husky voice, spoke volumes of Kavita’s relationship with her father.

It spoke of all the times her father, Datuk Dr. Joginder Singh Sidhu, now 72, held her hand when she was sick.

It brought back memories of the family holidaying in Port Dickson and how the elder Sidhu had taken one look at a snapshot of a nine-year-old Kavita and predicted that one day she will be an actress.

In that simple “yes”, Kavita conveyed the deep affection she has for her father.

So one cannot help but be surprised by the revelation that Dr Joginder does not celebrate Father’s Day.

“He doesn’t like to be fussed over,” revealed the 38-year-old model, actress and TV host and film producer.

Kavita recalled how the elder Sidhu would chastise her for spending so much money on birthday presents.

One particular gift was a Rolex watch that Dr Joginder promptly put away for safekeeping in a safe deposit box.

“Of course, I appreciate it when the children want to show their gratitude. But this can be done on any other day, not just Father’s Day,” said the elder Sidhu pragmatically.

But there is no doubt that he is one proud daddy.

Kavita Kaur with her father Datuk Dr. Joginder Singh Sidhu and mother Datin Dr. Prabha Sidhu.

A giant wall-sized portrait of Kavita takes a place of pride in the living room.

“My daughter is self made,” declared Dr. Joginder of his celebrity daughter.

And it is no secret where Kavita got her drive from.

Both her parents are doctors. Her mother, Datin Dr. Prabha Sidhu, 72, is a retired maternal and childcare specialist who still keeps her mind active with Scrabble sessions that can last as long as six hours.

Dr. Joginder is still a practising radiologist. The need to work hard and the importance of education was always a top priority for him. Obviously, this rubbed off on Kavita.

“In the entertainment field it is important to let people know that you are interested and available to work.

“There is no such thing as refusing to wake up for anything less than RM10,000,” said Kavita.

At present, Kavita and her partner, film director Shuhaimi Baba, are working on another film project.

Kavita also hopes to launch her own line of swimwear, which she promises will be affordable and wearable.

Another trait that Kavita has inherited from her parents would no doubt be her impeccable manners and sense of empathy.

Yet, believe it or not, the star used to be shy at red carpet parties. It was not until five years ago did Kavita, who was 1990 Miss Charm International, finally got the hang of making small talk with a roomful of strangers.

“In the first place, no one is really comfortable in those situations. So, I am always very forgiving with the other party. I don’t judge them from first impressions,” she said.

And here is some time-tested advice from this seasoned social bee.

Apologise immediately when you make a faux pas. Remember that these are just small things in life and at the end of the day, what’s really important is health, family, friends and happiness.

“Sometimes it is good to reflect on what you have said and done during a round of socialising. I think it is a healthy practice because it means that you still care about other people’s feelings,” said Kavita.

So how will Kavita spend Father’s Day? Will it be a lunch treat for Dad and Mum at her favourite Bangsar hangout at the Telawi Street Bistro, which serves the foie gras that she is so fond of? Or perhaps a heart warming chapatti and dhall lunch? As it is, she has lunch at her parents’ three to four times a week.

Whatever her plan is, one thing for certain – Kavita will not miss her yoga sessions. Meditation, she reveals, has kept her attuned to the realities of life. As it is, she has plans to attend a yoga and meditation course in India at the end of the year.

“I have recently taken to investigating about spirituality and beyond. Questions like, ‘Where do I go when I die?’ and ‘Why am I here?’ have been playing in my mind for some time. I believe that when our spirit leaves our physical bodies, they will go to a different place,” she said with conviction.

But this Punjabi beauty believes there is still much journeying to be made. So as she tries to unravel the mystery of life, here is a mantra that she has chosen to share with us:

“Be yourself, believe in your abilities, tell your mind to be still and believe in God”.

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