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‘Machar jhol bhaat makes me beautiful’

With an illustrious career spanning 16 years (1997 to now), she has ruled as the reigning queen of Bollywood many times over. By playing the quintessential Tina in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai to a determined lawyer in Veer Zara, a disabled girl in Black, to a no-nonsense journalist in No One Killed Jessica, Rani Mukerjee has essayed all her characters with elan to make a place in the audiences' hearts and create a niche in the industry.

Donning a sequinned white patiala salwar-kameez which added an extra spark to her her smile, Rani confessed she doesn't have a personal style. 'I like wearing things which, at that day and at that moment, appeals to me as something I should wear, from a sari to a western outfit, it is completely in sync with the occassion. Yash uncle used to love seeing me in Indian outfits, so this dress is dedicated to him,' she said.

Speaking about her assets while flaunting a coy smile, she quipped that her hair and skin are all inherited form her mother. 'Since my mother is a Bengali, she fed me machar jhol bhaat since childhood, from where the hair and eyes have evolved. And I have a pure bengali skin.

Being quite a name, she has never really endorsed any product, to which she reacted that cosmetics do more harm than good to your skin, For a healthy glowing skin, one just has to take care to eat right and indulge in a regular work out for almost two hours daily.

Though she kept tight lipped about her Bollywood projects and personal life, Rani shared a memory or two about working with late Yash Chopra. 'Yash uncle was very finicky when it came to his heroines. Giving an anecdote as to how he was, during
Veer Zara
, my look of a Pakistani lawyer was researched as to how they wear their clothes. But uncle butted in and improvised my entire look since I was his heroine. Hence we made a signature style by draping my dupatta differently like a shawl with chiffon. So he was quite particular in the sense that- “heroine agar hogi film mein to usse khubsoorat lagna chahiye. Wo ro rahi hai, dukhi hai, khush hai, jaise bhi, har frame mein bas khubsoorat lagni chahiye”, since he believed that women are the most wonderful creation of God and he always wanted to present them beautifully.'

'He also had an encouraging side to him, because I recall when I joined Bollywood, he assured my dad and said “
Ram tu fiqr mat kar, beti sahi hatho mein hai
”. As I was a newcomer who hardly knew the nuances of the industry, he often went out of his way to lift up my spirits with all his warm and kind words which made a lot of difference to my confidence. Believed to be the future bahu of the Yash Raj family, Rani is dating director Aditya Chopra, son of late Yash Chopra.

As she left no words unsaid for the legendary film maker, the actress talked and only talked about him. ‘I think all heroines loved him, including the ones who worked with him, those who didn’t work with him and those who aspire to work with him. He was nice to heroes but extra nice and gentle to his heroines. That made him what he is today,’ she asserted.

She mentions her fondness for some of his films including Lamhe and Chandni. Particularly the fact that all these films are women driven. She credits Yash Chopra for portraying his leading ladies in all kinds of avatars, who had a lot of dignity, were bold, pretty, courageous yet very vulnerable.

‘Today’s scenario is definitely inspired by how he embodied women in his arena’. So how about her contemporaries in Bollywood, does she follow or admire anyone in particular? 'If I have to praise someone, there are two people whom I really like, they are Sonam Kapoor and Deepika Padukone who dress up really gracefully. Amongst the men, I feel Salman Khan has his own unique style, while SRK looks dapper and Jackie Shroff has his own personal style statement, she said.
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