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Friday, October 30, 2020

Rani Ki Aagayi Baraat

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Rani made it into a family that did everything to keep her out

Her’s is the classic rags to riches story. Rani Mukherjee is now the mistress of the very movie studio where she once aspired to be part of its hall of fame. Rani Mukherjee’s and the reclusive once married producer director Aditya Chopra’s wedding this April finally made the showbiz prince and the showgirl’s relationship official.

At 18 years of age Rani Mukherjee made her debut in the much forgotten social drama ‘Raja Ki Ayegi Barat’. Her father a movie producer and mother an one time aspiring play back singer. Though Rani claims that a film career was nowhere in her scheme of things, but according to sources it wasn’t her choice to make. Her family had fallen into hard times and a career in showbiz was the only option. Rani claims she took on the film at her mother’s insistence labelling her entry as “An experiment, to find out if I enjoyed the medium”.

The launch was a non starter for Rani, but the year after in 1998 she managed to bag Ghulam opposite Aamir Khan and a supporting role opposite cousin Kajol and Shahrukh Khan in Kuch Kuch hota hai. This was her big ticket.

But the green eyed actress was just one of the many new comers in Bollywood. Unlike cousin Kajol who had the best banners and actors wooing her, Rani on the other hand had movies like ‘Hello Brother’, ‘Mehandi’, ‘Badal’ in her kitty followed by a ‘Hadh Kardi Apne’ in 2000. During that phase she made headlines for her close relationship with actor Govinda rather than her films which continued to flop despite sharing screen space opposite the likes of Anil Kapoor, Salman Khan and Abhishek Bachchan.

FROM STRUGGLEVILLE TO STARDOM

According to sources Rani’s ambitious mother made sure her “star beti” was noticed and cast by producers, whatever be the price that had to be paid. An extra at a film shoot had even claimed that she had seen cigarette butt marks on Rani’s body made by some sadistic producer. But the senior Mrs. Mukherjee was so blinded by ambition she felt that this was just a small price to pay for success.

In 2002 it was with Yash Raj production’s ‘SAATHIYA’, Rani’s fortunes finally changed. Rani was now in the big leagues. Then she bagged ‘Chalte Chalte’ and became Yash Raj studio’s lucky mascot. This was followed by hits such as ‘Hum Tum’, ‘Bunty aur Bublee’ and ‘Veer Zara’. The heady fumes of super-stardom started working its effect on Rani’s attitide.

Foul mouthed and highly abusive, Rani’s starry tantrums, crass talk and spewing expletives at whosoever she felt like lashing at were well known in the filmy circle. But so taken was Rani by the flames of fame that the actress set her sights on even bigger trophies.

Boyfriend Govinda was dropped like a hot Pakoda. Instead it was the then most eligible bachelor Abhishek Bachchan who caught Rani’s eye. The actor who had a broken engagement behind him became the object of Rani’s affections and she startegically set out to impress the actor’s mother. Jaya Bachchan always had her doubts and question marks regarding Rani but she was softening towards her and the ideaof her son and Rani being together.

AND EVERTHING CRUMBLED AWAY

But Rani’s best laid plans went off the rails as ex-boyfriend Govinda spilt the beans on his past with her. Meanwhile it was another fair eyed maiden who had caught Abhishek’s eye; Aishwarya Rai. And guess what, Rani did not feature on the guest list for the Bachchan-Rai wedding.
While her ambitius love life took a tumble, the sheen on Rani’s career was wearing off.

The year was 2007 and it seemed everything Rani touched turned to dust. The once busy star barely had producers kncoking her door. The actress tried an image makeover for films like ‘Dil Bole Hadippa’ but it seemed she was no longer the public’s Queen of Hearts.

Learning a tough lesson in humility the actress tried to woo her way back into the hearts of the very people she had erred. But the errant list, rangingfrom members of the press to the film fraternity, was quite long for her to gain redemption this decade.

Jobless and struggling once again, the actress became just another face at various film do’s between 2009-2011. But along came ‘No One Killed Jessica’ and gave Rani some limelight. She won Filmfare’s Best Supporting Actress Award and managed to get some eye balls moving. But more than the film or her acting prowess it was her growing closeness with Aditya Chopra that was capturing people’s imagination.

PATI PATNI AND RANI

Aditya’s wife Payal stormed out of the family home as Rani waited patiently in the sidewings. No sooner was the Aditya Payal divorce announced, Rani Mukherjee dug in her stilettoes and made herself comfortable with the senior Chopras.

Often sighted with Aditya at various holidays Rani Mukherjee’s presence at Yash Raj could not be missed as she merged with the family at every private and public occasion. It was now that Rani decided – It was time to settle old scores.

Her rivalry with cousin Kajol was well known in the film circle. Kajol who was a close friend of Aditya but now found herself side-lined, as husband Ajay Devgn questioned the might of Yash Raj over screen rights and issues. Rani made sure Kajol was no longer part of Aditya’s inner circle.

But she was not all about ripping relationships and hanging them by the masthead. Rani did good as well by showering favours. No sooner did she marry Aditya Chopra, Rani’s brother Raja, a struggling TV producer was made head of Yash Raj’s TV production division.

Offers from the wider industry still remian elusive with barely any non Yash Raj production in her hands. But Rani’s soon to be released ‘Mardaani’ defintely confirms one thing about this talented seductress, it’s she who wears the pants in the production house.

Indeed Rani kee baarat land kar chuki hai.
(Indeed Rani’s wedding procession has arrived•
A few films in which Rani acted • Raja ki Aayegi Baraat •Ghulam •Kuch Kuch Hota Hai •Saathiya •Bunty aur Bubbly •Veer Zaara •Dil Bole Haddipa •Aiyaa •Mardaani

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