One can swear by the edgy fashion sense of Kangana Ranaut. In her mustard top and black skirt, the Himachal-born film actor looked hotter that the summer afternoon of her grand appearance at her alma mater, the Sector 15 DAV Model School, here on Wednesday. But one couldn’t ignore the person beneath the fashionista and the new Queen of Bollywood.
Known for her straightforwardness, the National Award winner is a simpleton in real life. From signing autographs for young fans to shaking a leg with her former teachers and acknowledging her hostel roommates, she packed everything in 40 minutes. Be it her not-so-conventional curly hair, her peculiar accent, or her choice of films, Kangana is different, and perhaps that’s her strength.
Kangana Ranaut got her Haryanvi accent perfect in Tanu Weds Manu Returns.
In a chat with Hindustan Times, she said her school days were a turning point in her life. "My parents weren’t quite supportive of my moving out and working independently. I owe it to this place (the school) for teaching me the importance of hard work," said Kangana.
Asked about the newfound fame after all the awards she has bagged for her 2014 film Queen, she said, "It narrows down to not giving up. I didn’t lose confidence after some of my films didn’t do as well," said the actress who will receive the National Award for Best Actress for this work next month.
Girl who couldn’t speak English The school’s principal, Rakesh Sachdeva, couldn’t agree more that Kangana "is a true example of overcoming all odds". "She was a docile student, who told me on her first day at this school that she couldn’t speak English, as she came from a Hindi-medium background. We gave her extra coaching in English, but it was her simple, straightforward, hardworking attitude that brought her success," she said.
Kangana joined the young performers on stage, as she grooved to some popular tunes from her films, including the latest hit Banno from Tanu Weds Manu Returns. The actor didn’t shy away from sharing her memories of days at DAV. "It’s overwhelming to receive so much love from a place I once belonged to. I remember all my teachers, the chemistry lecturer especially, who was strict but reminded me of my mother. I thought she was a clone," said Kangana, as she hugged the chemistry teacher.
The first ‘acting class’
She also reminisced about her time at the school hostel and how her group would pack extra "rajma chawal" in their tiffin boxes for a midnight snack. Grateful to her roommates that they came all the way to Chandigarh to meet her, Kangana called her two hostel roomies up on the stage to introduce them to the gathering. "We had a great time together, and the post-dinner acting sessions are something I still remember. While Bodina and Ranita (her old roommates) imitated our teachers, I acted like a ‘sharabi’ (drunken character)," said the bold actress, who was in the medical stream in Classes 11 and 12.
Ranita, now based in Bangalore, talked about how Kangana was confused initially in choosing a career between medicine and modelling. "I’m meeting her after 12 years, but she’s still the hard worker I knew," she said.
Madhavan is all praise for Kangana
Kangana was also accompanied by her Tanu weds Manu Returns co-star R Madhavan and the film’s producer Krishika Lulla. Madhavan said, "Working with Kangana is wonderful, not only because of the experience she brings with her, but also the keenness with which she studies her character which to us is a challenge."