The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Her moment

Sheís being praised to the skies for her second Ďscarí-turn as the traumatised, schizophrenic actress. But for Kangana playing Parveen Babi in Woh Lamhe... hasnít been easy. In fact the role has left her so emotionally drained that she now intends to take a month off from work to regain emotional strength.

ďIím going back home to my village in Himachal, just to be near my dear ones, just to feel what Sana, my character in Woh Lamhe..., never did. I had become so close to her that I had begun to feel her desolation and loneliness. I know what she went through. In this ruthless industry you are all alone. And intense love always brings intense suffering. There may be happy love stories. Parveen didnít have one. Some day I hope to have a happy love story.Ē

Kangana admits she was sacred to approach Babi. ďThe one thing I could connect with was her mood swings. I have them too... As one woman I can connect to the pain of another. Like Sana I do get angry. But only once in six months. And then all hell breaks loose. I donít throw things around only because I live alone and I know Iíll have to clean up the mess. More than moody Iím practical. I withdraw in myself.

ďI can understand Parveenís pain. For a single girl with no godfather this industry is a terrible place to be inÖ.

ďOther girls my age are going on blind dates and joining salsa classes. Iím here playing a woman who lost her mind to a world where the only reality is unreality. Not that Iím complaining. I think Iíve been very lucky. Iíve seen life from the highest mountain. Iím on my own since the age of 16, though my parents were always there to support me. I took off to chase my dreams and here I am.Ē

She realises she needed no qualification to pursue acting. ďI came to Mumbai and was doing modelling and theatre. Cinema just happened. Itís a myth that Aditya Pancholiji took me to producers. He isnít even doing that for his daughterÖ But Adityaji, his wife Zarinaji and their daughter Sana were the only family I knew when I came to Mumbai. Today although Iíve done two very daring roles people compare me with Smita Patil. Shabanaji whom I so admire, says sheís watching me.Ē

Talk veers to her audacious scenes in Woh Lamhe... such as the one where she flings off her under-garment. ďIím new. Iím raw and Iím totally open to ideas and roles that strike me as authentic. As a child I didnít watch films. I donít have a favourite actress. All I know is from my experiences in life. I was aware of those scenes. That wasnít me doing it. That was Sana. Kangana has her limits. Sana didnít.

When I play a character Iíve to do everything a character asks me to do. A role comes in a package. I was so taken up by my character that I actually began to hallucinate. I could feel a ghost hovering near me. I could feel people trying to kill me. It doesnít take much to psyche yourself into believing in your characterís beliefs. All this was very harmful for my mindÖLet me tell you Woh Lamhe... was far more traumatic than Gangster. Earlier I saw Parveen Babi as just another actress. But now when I see her face anywhere I feel Iím part of her. And sheís part of my being. Because Iíve lived her life.Ē To Kanganaís relief she gets to play a far less traumatised character in her next film Suneel Darshanís Shaka Laka Boom Boom and a light romantic role in Anurag Basuís Metro.

ďBut first a break, in February to recuperate and also to attend my sisterís wedding. Sheís my only sister. After seeing what Parveen Babi went through Iím so happy to be blessed with a family.Ē

On Thursday Kanganaís world was shaken and stirred, when she was shooting for Suneel Darshanís Shaka Laka Boom Boom. ďWhen I got a call about my sister I was wondering if they had got the wrong person. Fortunately her eye has been spared and her face will heal. My sister told me when the boy threw a liquid on her and her friend(who escaped with minor burns) the two girls thought it was water. The burning sensation started later. Thatís when Rangoliís friend suggested, ĎKahin yeh acid to nahin phek gaya'í

When Kangana Ranautís sister Rangoliís world came crashing down on Thursday she was waiting for a bank draft that her fiancé Vikram had sent for her to buy a salwar suit. The first thing after being singed with acid that Rangoli did was to call up her fiance. ďIíve just been burnt with acid. Will you still marry me'Ē Rangoli asked in indescribable pain.

The worst of the trauma is over. Kangana is touched by the support she has received from everyone around her. ďMukesh Bhatt-ji called up and told me to let him know if I need anything. My Woh Lamhe... director Mohit Suri offered to help. Iím so glad Iím in a position today to take care of my sisterís treatment. Imagine if I was just a small-town girl studying in college! Whatever money I had saved for my sisterís wedding is now being used for her treatment.Ē

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