By Subhash K. Jha, Indo-Asian News Service
Jan 22 (IANS) Rani Mukerji, who has resurfaced after a long hiatus,
says she was not in hiding but doesn't like "intrusions" into her
"I really don't like to let the world know what I'm doing every day
of my life. I was not hiding anywhere. The truth is I was shooting in
New York for (Siddharth Anand's) 'Tara Rum Pum'," Rani told IANS.
"Do you know, Siddharth was with me in school? He had earlier
assisted Kunal Kohli on 'Mujhse Dosti Karoge'. And now he was directing
me! As for Saif Ali Khan, how he has evolved since 'Hum Tum'! He's such
a focussed and committed actor!"
Explaining her suddenly reclusive status, Rani said: "I was
completely cut off from Mumbai in New York. It was fun to be on my own.
And when I got homesick, my parents visited me. When I'm on location
abroad, I generally like to remain totally cut off.
"This time my absence seemed glaring because I was not present for
the release of a major film like 'Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna' (KANK).
Everyone wondered why I wasn't here to promote it."
Far away in New York, Rani really bonded with choreographer Vaibhavi
"She wasn't just my choreographer there, but also my companion,"
said Rani emotionally.
Since she hasn't really spoken about her role as the confused wife
in KANK, Rani does so now.
"Why is it that a wife must be happy just because her husband is
seemingly perfect and happy with her? What if the woman finds love
after finding this supposedly perfect husband? A man can find passion
outside marriage no matter how attentive his wife is. But a woman doing
the same is unacceptable.
"I think we need to salute Karan Johar for dealing with the very
important issue of passionless marriages in urban settings with such
maturity. I'm very proud of being in KANK."
And she's equally proud of "Baabul".
"You know, people often talk about the daughter-in-law being equal
in status to the daughter. But does anyone actually believe in this? My
father-in-law in 'Baabul' does. I think audiences got to see all all-
new side of me and Amitji (Amitabh Bachchan) after 'Black' and KANK in
The stressful situation in Varanasi while shooting for Pradeep
Sarkar's untitled film took its toll on Rani and she fell ill.
This was Rani's third film to be shot in the holy city.
"And why the stress? Can you believe that they burnt my photographs
in Varanasi? What have I done? I wasn't even aware of what had
transpired before I arrived for the press conference. I came to know
there was some kind of a scuffle.
"I came there after shooting, hot and tired and in no mood to answer
personal questions. What was so wrong if I said my marriage is my
parents' concern? I really feel men get intimidated by women who assert
themselves, specially if the woman happens to be Bengali."
Rani even apologised for her behaviour at the conference but it
didn't seem enough.
"I was asked to say sorry for my behaviour at the press conference,
which I did. Now they're turning it around to say I didn't say sorry
properly. They're saying, 'We're going to break Rani's bangles.'
They've even named the film 'Choodiyan', for god knows what reason.
"The people who think my sorry isn't good enough, let me tell them
I'm a well brought-up girl. If you talk decently with me I'm humble.
And for their information, I'm a UP girl too. My father is from Jhansi.
Amidst all this, pandemonium Rani is delighted by the fact that the
local authorities love her performances in "Bunty Aur Babli" and
"They're going on and on about my contrasting performances in the
two. That feels good, specially when you're being hammered for no
Speaking of "Black", talk veers to Sanjay Bhansali's "Saawariya",
for which Rani has completed a schedule with her favourite
"Since I've been keeping a low-profile, people have been making up
stories about how I play a courtesan in 'Saawariya'. No such thing! Let
the film be released and everyone will see what we have done
Talking about her friendship with Bhansali, Rani said: "There're
very few relationships in the industry that go way beyond work. I'm
there for Bhansali and his mother even if we don't work together again.
But what I'd really like as a greedy actress is for him to make another
film with me and Amit uncle (Amitabh Bachchan)."
Amit uncle brings Rani to Jaya aunty.
"I've always admired Jaya aunty's work. I looked forward to work
with her, and now it's happened," she said.