Finally the reins are back in her hand. Kangna Ranaut is buzzing with energy and back with the focus she seemed to have lost, writes Shubarna Mukerji Shu.
variety of films coming up…
Yes, some really different and challenging. Each has its own charm. I am glad I have been offered such variety, tells me the producers are willing to put faith in my craft. It’s good, I am happy.
Were you worried you were losing the plot somewhere with the numerous half-baked films you featured in over the past?
You lose yourself only when you lose perspective of why you doing what you doing. Yes, initially perhaps I signed up for the first of the lot merely because all other actresses were doing that kind of work and I simply did not want to lose out or look unapproachable for any sort of work. Eventually I realised that it’s just not me, but a girl has to live, I thought I might as well make some money in the bargain.
And how wise was that decision?
Well, I am desperately trying to undo the damage it did. And it’s taking really long, so I’m guessing it was far removed from wise!
And the damage was certainly two-fold… despite the many odd films you agreed to do, you seemed to have rubbed some producers and actors the wrong way; some did not even let you promote your own films…
Hahahaha, frankly, I will be in shock if someone now asks me to promote a film I have featured in, after so many politely leaving me out! Now on a serious note, yes, I might have rubbed people the wrong way. I can’t seem to control my temper around the absurd; I bite and claw – figuratively of course. I need to voice my discomfort, if that answers your question.
But you might not always have the privilege to speak your mind out…
Believe me, I have, even when I don’t have the liberty to do so. However, that is not here nor there. Firstly, because I have sworn not to do that anymore. I will just have to keep quiet and bear it. These people just don’t understand how tough it gets for actors, and most probably they never will understand. So I am no longer keen on setting the record straight.
Fine! I am sure that’s wise but for yourself, do you have a sounding board? Or rather a punching bag that will take the brunt of your wrath for you?
None whatsoever. I don’t know who to talk to and if experience has taught me anything at all, it is to be wary of urges to have a heart-to-heart with so-called friends.
Gossip is a national pastime and things often snowball out of control and certainly out of the vicinity of what you originally said. It’s best to not involve others; just do your work.
But now that you have your family around, there is obviously that support…
Yes, family is here but, as you know, they don’t understand this industry and its requirements. So I stay separately and value that space we give each other. We meet for dinners and stuff. I don’t want to get them involved in my work space; they simply don’t have the aptitude for it. Earlier it used to bother me, but now I have matured and realise it’s simply beyond them. So we leave interactions to food alone – but that too often leads to some argument and the illusion of peace is lost… but half an hour later we are back to ‘kheer bana do mere liye’ and all is back to normal.
Ah! The great Indian family divide. But all said and done, it must be tough not speaking things out. Does it make you bitter?
No, it just makes me work harder. It’s better to immerse yourself in your craft rather than analyse things too much. When I am working I tend not to think of the friend who so enthusiastically called me over for dinner but actually just wanted to parade me in front of some relatives.
But there are many people out there who want to make hay while you shine with success, isn’t it?
Well, I like the way you put it, but I hate to say it’s true. Yes, that happens and you let it happen till it doesn’t get dangerously out of hand. The thing is, most don’t mean harm but they don’t realise how they make you feel. I guess it happens with most successful people… We have to work doubly hard on our relationships. Half of the energy goes in convincing people that all is well, that we are not being snobs but are genuinely busy etc.
Did you say dangerous? Annoying perhaps would be more apt…
It doesn’t remain merely annoying when a gay friend starts using your friendship and the ‘Kangna connect’ to impose himself on aspirants saying he can get them a film with me. It’s scary and what’s worse is that you will never really learn of it, unless it has happened too frequently. Dangerous, isn’t it?
What’s worse is that you keep it all bottled up. You may not think so, but I really do think you need that special someone whose shoulder you can
Oh believe me, I do. But I don’t have the strength nor the inclination to work towards it right now. It’s so difficult. I want someone who has a strong persona, who takes command over his life and guides me. At the same time, I am someone who is pretty head-strong; I can be pretty stubborn too. I think I need to stand up for things I believe in, I have been doing that from a very young age. I come from a patriarchal family – my father holds the reins very tight – yet when I needed to I showed I could stand my own even against him. That is me – I don’t mind a guiding hand but I refuse to be smothered. It’s a thin line and who is to say a strong person would like someone like me? He might prefer someone more malleable. Complicated, na? That’s why I don’t have the strength to deal with it. That is not to say I won’t date and I will be celibate all my life – I am just buying time.
Sensible, but it has never really been easy for actresses to find love, has it?
There could be many reasons for that. It’s difficult for people to keep a casual outlook towards the profession, plus the work hours and outdoors, and I am not even talking about the rumour mills. It all attributes to the challenge.
Also the unsaid need to be close to your costars and always in the good books of those with power, can make it difficult…
It’s the only thing I find difficult doing here. Seriously, I wouldn’t be a lone ranger had I known what it takes to butter people up. It’s simply beyond me. I know my lack of ties in and around this industry makes me an easy target but I really can’t do anything to stop that from happening.
Is it tough being a girl, in this big bad industry?
It has become tough being a girl in this country; the industry is too small a part of it. I would mostly blame the administration and the population. There is such diversity in this city; imagine the country. Here one half of the citizens are dieting, the other half is starving – this divide has come due to lack of administrative directives.
We have poor families breeding 10 kids; they simply don’t know better. They are not educated. They think more the people in the family, more the hands to work etc; it’s a warped ideology. The crime rates have increased, crime against women more so. Because the second you walk out of your building, you are walking straight into the slums. And the two worlds are too diverse.
They say rapists are mentally ill, that they have at some point suffered some trauma or something. Tell me, when parents are busy keeping their brood alive will they notice any affliction that has caused the trauma? The teens you see carrying kids at traffic signals, what do they know about parenting? It’s too deep in the muck, that’s where we are. And I don’t think the cops or anyone is really bothered about the welfare any longer. They have their own agendas in life.
What do you do to just unwind and forget everything else?
I go to sleep. My mom says I act like a patient when I am home. I sleep my days off, wake up only to grab a bite and then back to the bed.
A young girl like you must not confess to this, you should claim your date diary is full!
And scare off Mr. I-have-shoulders-you-can-lean-on further away? But seriously, that’s how I am at home, at least the first day of a break in schedule. The second day onwards, you will find me fleeing the house. After all, a young girl my age would need to get away from the mad-house from time to time. Seriously, how I would love a strong shoulder and the rest of the person too, of course.
Love and acceptance are so important in life…
…As are respect and trust; these are the fundamentals in a relationship. Unfortunately, having lived life on my terms for so long, I am really not willing to compromise on any of them. I want it all and I need it all. And I am certain I am not the only one with this ‘all or nothing’ take towards relationships. It might take time but it will happen. I have seen glimpses of the bliss that awaits in love in my previous relationship, but it had to get over. Now I know what I want, which is half the battle won!