Kangana Ranaut’s mother, Asha, is an epitome of strength. She stood up for the actor when she left home to pursue her dreams, even while the rest of her family was left enraged. A few years later, her older daughter, Rangoli, was the victim of a shocking acid attack.
We caught up with her on Mother’s Day to discuss the bond she shares with her kids and her concerns about their safety.
Your family was upset when Kangana became an actor. Have things changed now?
Yes, they were seething. There was a lot of angst and criticism against my daughter when she left home to pursue a career
in acting without any idea how to go about it. Now, things have changed. I feel proud to be addressed as Kangana’s mother.
Kangana faced a lot of criticism when she entered the industry. Did it hurt you?
Yes, initially it did. See, we belong to a small town (Manali) and usually people around there have a narrow view of things thanks to their limited exposure. So when Kangana joined the industry, there was criticism, loose talk and over exaggerations by certain
section of people. But we’re very proud of Kangana. She remained focussed and worked hard to get where she is. She didn’t have
support or a guide in Mumbai, but she cemented her position here and I’m sure she has a long way ahead.
Living away, you must be concerned about her safety.
Yes, that’s a concern that every mother has. Of late, it has increased. My older daughter is married, so I fear lesser for her. Fortunately, Kangana has her bodyguards and friends with her.
On Mother’s Day, what is your message to other moms?
Mothers should fight for stringent laws against rampant crimes, especially against women. If the government can’t do anything about criminals, they should hand them over to the public. Else, they should be hanged within a week if convicted for heinous crimes.
What are the characteristics of your mother that you have imbibed in you?
Every girl learns something or the other from her mom. And as you grow older, you tend to become more and more like your mother. Besides, it’s biological that by the time you turn 30, you tend to become a carbon copy of her. I am like my mother in many ways. She has a lot of self-respect. I can’t draw inspiration from her directly, because our lives are very different. She meticulously handles a huge joint family in Manali. Besides that, she has to deal with me — a stubborn, disobedient kid who has turned into a bandit and never goes home. In fact, there was a time when people accused her of not being a good mother and not inculcating proper values in her daughters.
Do your parents have any unfulfilled dreams for you?
I don’t think I can ever be as good as my parents. They are very simple, like the rest of the people who live in the mountains. So I don’t have the pressure of carrying on their legacy in the industry like some actors (whose parents were film stars too). But, yes, they have one dream for me which has yet to be fulfilled — they still think I should complete my graduation.