EXCLUSIVE: The Badass Ranaut sisters Kangana and Rangoli give us new #FeministGoals this Women's Day

Kangana Ranaut,Women's Day,Exclusives,rangoli ranaut
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Most women have come to an arrangement with patriarchy. In return for compliments, ladies happily crush their courage and comply with the demands of the 'unfairer' sex. We can't deny that our industry is highly pretentious. Women are mostly okay with settling for lesser pay, smaller rooms and insignificant roles. However, the new brigade of fiery ladies believe that they can create superhits without a male superstar reducing them to a few thumkas in an inappropriate song. Last year, the film that recorded maximum profit had a woman playing two stark characters. Kangana Ranaut as Tanu and Datto was pitch-perfect in her dual role in Tanu Weds Manu Returns. But the Queen of Bollywood as she is fondly called has her own superhero, who inspires her. Rangoli Chandel, Kangana's sister is the only one who had faith in her when people were treating her like a B-grade actress. They celebrate good times by jiggling their tooshy in the confines of their vanity van and the bad times by grabbing a greasy grub and laughing at funny restaurant names. The siblings have withstood rain and sunshine together, shed tears for each other and have grown to love each other unconditionally. This Women's Day, the fireball women get cracking with Pinkvilla in an exclusive chat where they talk about being badass women, Rangoli's miraculous survival from acid attack and how the society glorifies women who take crap. Excerpts :

Kangana, you come across as a badass. Are you at peace with this image of yours?

Totally. I love it. I love being called badass. I cannot fit into the mould of being a larger-than-life, bechari…jo bas dukh sehti rahegi. The image of a woman taking crap from people is extremely glorified. Women are expected to fit into that image to be loved, liked or even acknowledged. Why let go off your priorities and identity just to be liked? Moreover, if you are ambitious, you are opinionated and have a mind of your own, you are considered a b***h. The male dominated society has a strategical trap to make women fit in. It is high time women stop falling for this. I feel people like you more, if you are opinionated. Men like their women to be strong, powerful with a distinct standing. They fall for ladies with smart-ass personalities but when it comes to getting a wife, they would prefer someone timid and shy, who would fit the bill as per society’s rules. They wouldn’t want their wives and sisters to be out and about. This contradictory dichotomy is a reality and I am not someone who will be embarrassed of being the person I truly am. I like being kickass and badass.

Rangoli, do you approve of this image of hers?

(Chuckles) For starters, I am not sure what badass is. When I see Kangana, I see a completely different person. She wakes up and does puja every morning! (Kangana giggles) She is honest and deeply spiritual. She has a different side of her personality that is reserved only for her family and people who are close to her. She finds it uncool, so she keeps it guarded.

(To Rangoli) As someone who manages her career closely, what is your contribution to this hurricane Bollywood calls Kangana?

People don’t even know 1% of the real Kangana Ranaut. I would rather that people spare a look to see her real side. Her spiritual, caring, dutiful side is what makes her the person she is. She is always fussing over her family. She is a sensitive person but she is happy about being a badass…so be it.

(Kangana cuts in…) But I can’t take credit for caring for my family. It is most natural thing to do. Everyone loves their family, spoils their parents and siblings. There is nothing great about it. We shouldn’t compare ourselves to people who are selfish. If I ever do something for people, other than my family, I would take credit for that.

Rangoli: For Heaven’s sake, Kangana. You go to give lectures at Ramkrishna ashrams. You are doing everything that time and work permits you to bring about a positive change. People don’t know much about Kangana and she doesn’t want them to know either.

Why don’t you want people to know about who you really are? Isn’t being an artiste comes with the demand of being exposed at all times?

I work in an industry that is completely glam oriented. Why should I go out there and put my sob story out for people to see? I don’t want to portray myself larger-than-life. I would, at some point in life, want to be that. Also, I am a smart woman. This can in no way help me in my career.

Rangoli: Given this image, would anyone believe Kangana is God-fearing? She thinks it is uncool.

Kangana: (laughs) I don’t want people to know this. I don’t feel it is uncool but people would perceive me as a kattar Hindu. I am religious, definitely, but it is my personal business. People have very limited perception. In their eyes, there are two kinds of women… the puja type and the party type. I don’t want to be stuck in a space, trying to explain to people what I believe in.

Kangana, when you told your parents you want to be an actor they weren’t happy about your career choice. How did they come around?

Rangoli: Let me take that. I was in college when she first made the decision. I was not in a position to convince my parents. I was concerned that my 16 year old baby sister didn’t want to study further and was bunking school for days at a stretch. I wanted her to at least finish her graduation. Ek time tha, usne sabke phone lene band kar diye they. Now that she is amongst the top superstars of the country, everyone is happy. But it was battle way back then. There are no theatres in Himachal. People have zero knowledge about the film industry.

Did your parents’ approval matter?

Kangana: Initially yes. I was emotionally in a vulnerable state. My mother would cry a lot and she would tell me how my father wasn’t well. I had to stop taking their calls and they didn’t know where I was. I show this kind of emotional maturity at this young age because when I was a minor, I had dealt with emotional challenges. That tested me severely. Your confidence goes higher when you trust your instincts. I never feel that I know more than my parents or Rangoli. I always turn to my older sister, especially for girly stuff. I ask her bizarre questions, with wide-eyed innocence and she is just there.

Rangoli, you’ve been happily married for many years now. Do you feel a woman like Kangana, who has too much of a mind of her will find someone who can run free with her?

I can't speak for all men but those who can approach Kangana should be intelligent, sharp, calm and composed. They should be similar and complementary. She loathes men with feudal mentality. Only men with a progressive outlook can woo her. Most men who are attracted to Kangana are mostly like her. But there are many who pretend to be like her but eventually their real colours come out.

(Kangana adds) The kind of men who show interest in me are usually attracted to my badass personality. Those who can’t handle that me stay away. I have no desire to be with someone from the 19th century.

Do you feel the quintessential idea of romance is your thing?

Kangana: Well, frankly, marriage is an outdated concept. (Rangoli laughs) My sister is a girlfriend to her husband. She doesn’t wear a mangalsutra. If you get a companion who adores you and is by your side through thick and thin, marriage is a great idea. But looking at the legal mess people are in these days, it makes me reconsider.

(Rangoli cuts in) But I know Kangana will get married. Pakka she will. Someday she will. There isn’t a deadline though.

Your comments give people the impression that you are a male basher…

I am a male-basher. Quite literally. When I was growing up, I was Rangoli’s mailman. Boys who had crush on her would send letters, flowers, notes through me. I used to deliver these packages. Only when I was older, I realized that I am just a postman. No one gives me these things. It was upsetting after 8th standard when no one had still proposed to me. One day I asked Rangoli why guys wouldn’t ask me out and her reply was, ‘They would if you stop beating them up.’ I was notorious and had beaten up every single boy in my class. I was the class monitor and hence I would bash them up to keep them in check.  I was too busy competing with the better prospects, like the smartest guy in class who was good in studies. I never got a single rose or a love letter.

Rangoli: Itna dehshat phailati thi toh aur kya hoga (giggles) Jo pasand bhi karta, who door se nihaar leta aur bolta haan achi hai.

Feminism is an inappropriately used term. What do you have to say about people who feel Feminists are male-bashers?

We women grow up in a world where domination is acceptable. A woman’s right to make her own decisions independently is questioned. To strike a balance, in a world that brings up women as a burden, something aggressive could only fix the disparity. Their centuries of oppression needs to combatted in strong words. It could be unfair because not every man out there will beat you or rape you. But, there are more men out there whose testosterone gets the better of them.

When you first came to industry, everything about you was criticized, Kangana. How did you come this far without getting your morale low?

I see the world with a certain humour. Rejection or criticism cannot bring me down. I can laugh at myself and I am easy with whom I am. Moreover, when did I sign a contract with anyone claiming that I am perfect. Why would I want that? I can be objective about criticism.

You aren’t a filmy heir, neither are you a supermodel or beauty pageant winner. What quality of yours gave you the Queen status?

I am successful because of the way I depicted my characters. My sharp sense of art helps me better my work. Talent is not everything, you need to be sensitive and have an observational understanding of life that gets fine with experience.

Is working in the family easy?

No it is not. We also have our share of fights. But we have seen each other through thick and thin. And after Rangoli’s accident, I realized she is all what I have. We have been through so much that those trivial fights hardly register in our relationship. When I am working on an emotionally draining character, I get snappy. But Rangoli is there looking at me like a lovesick mother, waiting to hug and pamper me. Our love is beyond conflicts and the minor ones cannot get the better of us.

Rangoli: Kangana has been with the biggest agencies but they never truly believed in her. I remember when I had first come to Bombay to see her and Kangana was upset with her publicists. They were trying to sell her like a B-grade actress and Kangana told them that one day she will be the number one actress.

Kangana: They would laugh at me and made fun of me. Rangoli would tell me that if a person doesn’t believe in you, how would they get you work.

Rangoli: Being her agent is difficult but I believe in her and she believes in me.  We have a deep understanding. We have clear rules, all business calls I take and all creative calls Kangana takes.  

Kangana: Whenever something good comes along, we close the vanity door , shake our bum together and dance in celebration. The perks of working together are that I can wear polka somethings, slip into my bed and bitch with her. She thinks I am some saint. It is so comforting to have these one-sided bitching where everyone else is wrong and I am right! It is wicked fun.

Rangoli, you are an acid attack survivor. Did the trauma of it make you a stronger person?

Acid permeates into the skin if untreated. So immediate medical help can only control it. If it is stronger, it destroys your organs. I have lost one ear. I have lost 90% vision in one of my eyes. I have a dysfunctional breast. And all this is after I got the best possible treatment in the country. Acid attack is not a regular accident. When it happened, I was unable to breathe because my windpipe was shrinking. Scars were the last thing on my mind then. I didn’t have the courage to face a mirror for three months. I was shaken up. My prerogative was struggling for my life because both my food and wind pipe were severely damaged. I was in the hospital for a month and I underwent multiple surgeries during that time. Everyday I was taken to the operation theatre for something or the other.

Kangana: I wanted her to come out and speak about this. Because when she was struggling, looking for hope, I didn’t know whose example to show her. We don’t glorify the right heroes. And I want men to know how far people stoop in aggression. We need to tell our children that one who does such things is not our hero. Hero is the one who survives blame, rejection and ruthlessness. People should give my sister the credit she deserves. There is no reservation for attack victims. There are reservations for physically able people but those ostracized for no fault of theirs have no one championing for their cause. The guy who did this to my sister was out for two years before his trial started. Our society should see what criminals are capable of and set an example that no one takes this route of destroying someone’s life. Her life is not ruined but he is a scumbag and that should come across.

Rangoli: Plastic surgery is not so easy. It doesn’t give you a new face. I had to get skin from thighs and get grafting done. It took 57 surgeries. The physical pain was excruciating and at 23 the mental trauma was painful. Kangana was a struggler back then but she brought me here. My parents couldn’t bear seeing at me in that scene then.

Kangana: Every time my mother and father would see her, they would faint. Physically faint. And I couldn’t take care of so many people. So I had to send them back. Her fiancé was in the Airforce, and even he fled. The attacker was someone who was obsessing over her. When we were in school, Taal had released and the whole town kept calling her Aishwarya Rai. She had sharp features, big eyes. I would feel bad that no one ever compared me with anyone. Rangoli had that presence. A guy had obsessed over her for years but she was very emotionally attached to the man my parents had chosen for her. They were in an intense relationship for two years but after the attack he immediately washed hands off her. I was amazed at her strength when I told her that he might not marry you. She dismissively replied saying ‘whatever’. Later she fell in love with her childhood friend Ajay. They dated for four years and even his mother was against the alliance. I went home thinking she must be shattered. She was lazying on a couch, watching TV, binging on chips.  Marriage was the last thing on her mind when she was fighting for life and her fiancé fled. But when she and Ajay were planning to marry, she was past that phase. When I asked her what if it doesn’t happen and she promptly replied saying, ‘If it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen. We will go for dinner somewhere.’ She is so tough and inspirational. Later that night, we went for dinner. And over Rajma Chawal, we chatted and laughed about the restaurant’s name.

Rangoli: You don’t get this strength easily. My parents were doing their filmy drama ki iski shaadi kaise hogi, kya hoga iska. Once I came back from hospital, Kangana would personally sponge me. The grafting was freshly done and it needed care. Kangana never cried infront of me but I could sense her tears.

Kangana: She couldn’t see her full face in one go. It took her sometime to make peace with it.

Any message for women on this day…

Kangana: Everyone goes through sh*t and that’s not in anyone’s control. No one wants to talk about it. We glorify fairytale angles far too much. I don’t think mine or Rangoli’s life is any different than that of others. To give the impression that I was born a special child and over the years, I became more special is the most clichéd way of portraying a celebrity. We are real women who have worked hard, fought our battles and won! Life cannot be a joyride, it will be a rollercoaster ride. Any incident or accident can’t define you. Go beyond it and be much more.

Rangoli: People would keep staring at my scar and say arey kya durghatna ho gayi. Ab ho gayi, toh ho gayi...aage badho yaar. Even women have to stop being stuck on what happens to them. People should move on!

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Comments

Big Muaah.... pretty Bravehearts!!!

Keep smiling girls!!!

Rangoli's story left me with goosebumps and the way Kangana took care of her when she herself was very young and was struggling to make it big.

Kangana you resemble your sister so much; only she looks more "namkeen".
Love your bond ❤️❤️❤️

deepika is better anyway

Ignorance is voluntary misfortune!!!!!

Love y Kangy

hats off, salute to these brave women

Kangana, she is truthful and no drama, no hidden agenda nor is she fake like many btown queens and down to earth. Proud of both the sisters

This is one real interview not some cinderella talk. Feels like everyday people talking about their struggles in life.

What happened to the man who did that to Rangoli ? Did they punish him?

My heart goes out to Rangoli. I can only imagine how its not easy to survive an acid attack. I hope no woman (or man) ever has to go through acid attacks EVER.

Happy woman's day, its a perfect post for such a day.

very impressive and inspiring...

Rangoli u are such a brave girl and Hats off to Kangana for the way she took care of her. At that time Kangana was also struggling and didn't had money

Awesome interview! Hrithik is classic example of pretending to be progressive but feudal mentality.

Aw! They have such a nice relationship and Kangana is totally right! Family will stick by you no matter what and it's definitely a special bond between sisters! Best of luck you two!

I hope someone make movie on Kangana's life may be later on. It would be interesting.

Rangoli is So beautiful and brave! And she has the best sister Kangana. Both women are so gorgeous and inspiring! This is the kind of real stuff I want to see in the news :)

Very inspiring. Also, how hot is Kangana... Man she makes me weak in the knees...

Now i understand why Kangana is loud mouth and temperamental!! Always loved her work and i have respect too. Rangoli is a hero and she should give talks.

Wow. They've been through so much! Truly inspiring. Also, it shows how parents are not always the wise and strong ones, girls of the new generation demand more and should do what they know is right . Kangana is awesome for taking care of her sister and family. I hope she gains more success, the industry bigwigs aren't exactly propping her up like they do with each others' kids . But she needs to calm down her feisty temper.

In the beginning around puja and male bashing parts of this interview, I was like give me a break you too. But hearing her sister's story elucidate this attitude she has. And her sister, truly strong woman. From acid victim from hill town to managing kangana's career. Good for her. Inspired!

woah..........
I love that Kangana is spiritual!

BRavo...

Amazed and dazed!! This is what people don't get in the snippet gossip. Respect.

omg im in awe of these two sisters. wow im just so impressed and amazed. true heroines i wish they championed more causes.

Brought tears to my eyes. What incredible human beings. And the crazy thing is, I know so many strong women. Yet women are constantly portrayed as damsels in distress, not as hard working as men, etc. Listen, this women's day let's get one thing straight: a man and a woman may look a bit different, but our minds are the same. And that means we are equals as humans and equal in strength. This Woman's Day, be your own hero ladies.

Two small town girls doing their business in the big, bad city. Extremely inspiring!!

And proud Americans too?

I love kangana sooooo much! She is bold brave and badass but deep within fragile and emotional. I connect to her personality to the T. And just seeing the strength these two sisters have, my heart breaks and uplifts all at once. May kangana find the happiness she is deserving of. Just absolutely love her so, so, so much.

This was an inspiring read for me. Thanks for letting us in to your lives, kangana

Wow! These sisters went through a lot. Which explains Kangana's statements which sometimes sound whining, arrogant and bitchy. She and her sisters are strong girls and dealt with everything with dignity. I really admire them both. They should write a book about their lives. It will inspire so many.

A rare interview (specially the last para) where I liked Kangana. She is indeed a fighter, if only she would not show her 'spite' in all interviews, she will win million more hearts. I start to like her then she manages to ruin it with some statement. As for the sister, kudos! These stories of survivors should come out more and people should more willing to talk about them... And the attacker - hope he is serving his term in some jail :X

May be you should try to understand from her point of view. She wouldn't be so spiteful if the other party were innocent. Most of times she is not telling us the full story, only gives hints. People may assume things from what they think they know but the truth could be something else. Bollywood fans are quick to assume things.

My respect for them has up even more. Humble, open and intelligent. Talking is never to much more you talk the better aware one gets.

Somebody should make a movie on their sisterly bond.

Nice interview and strong girls!

Inspired

Wow...i mean wowwwww. Enjoyed every bit of this interview. #noPR #Realpeople #Inspirational #HappyWomenDay!

& it´s awful she was a victim of such a vile awful act. Rangoli Ranault, i salute you. That guy didn´t kill your light, you are beautiful even today. :-)

& yes, people are rude for starring & making comments.

Uncanny ressemblance! How sweet is their sisterly bond

God bless both of you

wow !!! this is the power of real women...bluntly honest !!! unlike some actress in this industry who always looks for some sympathy ...learn from her !!

I want to have a girls night out with these two !!! Just imagine the craziness :D :D

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