Rani’s no recluse
Rani Mukerji, who has resurfaced after a long hiatus, says she was not in hiding but doesn’t like “intrusions” into her personal life. “I really don’t like to let the world know what I’m doing every day of my life. I was not hiding anywhere. The truth is I was shooting in New York for (Siddharth Anand’s) Tara Rum Pum,” she said.
Explaining her suddenly reclusive status, Rani said, “I was completely cut off from Mumbai in New York. It was fun to be on my own. And when I got homesick, my parents visited me. When I’m on location abroad, I generally like to remain totally cut off. “This time my absence seemed glaring because I was not present for the release of a major film like Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (KANK). Everyone wondered why I wasn’t here to promote it.” Far away in New York, Rani really bonded with choreographer Vaibhavi Merchant. “She wasn’t just my choreographer there, but also my companion,” said Rani emotionally.
Since she hasn’t really spoken about her role as the confused wife in KANK, Rani does so now. “Why is it that a wife must be happy just because her husband is seemingly perfect and happy with her? What if the woman finds love after finding this supposedly perfect husband? A man can find passion outside marriage no matter how attentive his wife is. But a woman doing the same is unacceptable. “I think we need to salute Karan Johar for dealing with the very important issue of passionless marriages in urban settings with such maturity. I’m very proud of being in KANK.”
But does anyone actually believe in this? My father-in-law in Baabul does. I think audiences got to see all all-new side of me and Amitji (Amitabh Bachchan) after Black and KANK in the film. “ The stressful situation in Varanasi while shooting for Pradeep Sarkar’s untitled film took its toll on Rani and she fell ill. This was Rani’s third film to be shot in the holy city. “And why the stress? Can you believe that they burnt my photographs in Varanasi? What have I done? I wasn’t even aware of what had transpired before I arrived for the press conference. I came to know there was some kind of a scuffle. “I came there after shooting, hot and tired and in no mood to answer personal questions. What was so wrong if I said my marriage is my parents’ concern? I really feel men get intimidated by women who assert themselves, specially if the woman happens to be Bengali.” Rani even apologised for her behaviour at the conference but it didn’t seem enough.
“I was asked to say sorry for my behaviour at the press conference, which I did. Now they’re turning it around to say I didn’t say sorry properly. They’re saying, ‘We’re going to break Rani’s bangles.’ They’ve even named the film Choodiyan, for god knows what reason. “The people who think my sorry isn’t good enough, let me tell them I’m a well brought-up girl. If
you talk decently with me I’m humble. And for their information, I’m a UP girl too. My father is from Jhansi. So there.” Amidst all this, pandemonium Rani is delighted by the fact that the local authorities love her performances in Bunty Aur Babli and Black. “They’re going on and on about my contrasting performances in the two. That feels good, especially when you’re being hammered for no reason.