The girls outshouted the boys as Rani Mukerji took the St. Xavier’s College auditorium stage on Tuesday afternoon. But that was only to be expected as the Bengali star in Bollywood was here to promote her Friday film Mardaani. “I am feeling wonderful to be amongst so many mardaanis. Are you all mardaanis or no?” demanded Rani, opening the 20-minute-long interactive session organised by the St. Xavier’s College Alumni Association and the St. Xavier’s College Students’ Union.
“In this day and age the women need to empower themselves and I want to urge schools and colleges to introduce martial arts and self-defence and make it a compulsory subject,” said the Yash Raj bahu, urging the girl students to watch the film “to bring out the mardaani in you and the shakti in you”.
From why she chose to do Mardaani to issues of violence against women and societal conditioning, students peppered her with questions. The Raniism that drew the loudest cheer? “Why should the men protect us? Why can’t we protect the men?” After the Q&A, the actress gave away Mardaani T-shirts to some girls, asking the crowd, “don’t they look bold, brave and fearless?” (picture top), and then got busy mingling with the students for selfies and autographs (picture below).