Actor and television host Mini Mathur didn't think twice before embarking on a journey with her seven- year-old daughter Saira. And this is no ordinary journey. Mini teaches her daughter some of life's most important lessons along the way and their experiences have been captured in the latest TLC series called 'Mini Me'.
The series has the mother-daughter traipsing across Europe. It shows how Mini teaches Saira a thing or two about living on a budget, the importance of making mistakes and learning from them and finding yourself.
In an interview with Nina C George, Mini shares her experiences of travelling with her daughter and the making of series.
How did this series come about?
I am the producer of the concept and the idea struck me when I spent a whole month with my daughter. We didn't want to do the regular things that we usually do. I have always wanted to be on the same page with her and wanted to teach her what it is like to be a woman who travels alone. So I penned down a concept and we began shooting it.
We travelled to 15 cities in 25 days, covering six countries. When I put the narratives together and pitched it to TLC, they were more than happy to take it on.
Could you share some of your experiences from the trip?
For me, travel has never always been about luxury. Travel experiences are different when you do it from a backpacker's perspective. You can't do Maldives and French Colonies on a budget, so we chose Europe. We used different modes of transport and also lived in different standard budget hotels.
We stayed at youth hostels and five-star hotels as well. I wanted her to meet different people and experience the food culture of that place rather than seeing monuments that she wouldn't know much about. I wanted her to understand what is like to travel alone, with a group of girls and also with her mother.
What was the high point of your travel?
I am a strong-willed person and so is Saira. We began the journey as mother and daughter but we ended up being the best of friends. In the course of the journey, Saira and I would challenge each other to overcome our worst fears.
I am not a fan of birds, but Saira actually got me to put a wild parrot on my shoulder and walk around. This was indeed the high point. There were a lot of such small exchanges during the trip and we returned looking at each other with new eyes.
What's your advice to millennial mothers?
I realised that we can't apply the same parental laws that we were brought up with to our children because they are exposed to different facets at a young age. We have to get on board with them and stay relevant. We have to read what they are reading, watch what they are watching and understand their humour. We must allow our children to take their own path but be a friend and guide to them. I think walking the fine line between authority and relatability is the key to good parenting.