If it weren't for a failed exam, Kangna Ranaut wouldn't be breaking a million hearts; she'd be medically treating them
If only, the Himachali belle's first film was called Doctor, not Gangster, it would have been oddly autobiographical, for in real life the actress wished to practise medicine. An out-and-out geek, Kangna was a student of Science in thick glasses, swamped with laws of physics and happily so. Not even remotely interested in a sport or an extra curricular activity, she would mostly be seen lost in her books.
"I was brought up being told that medicine was a noble choice of career, that I should grow up and be a doctor so I could treat the poor for free. I believed in that, wholeheartedly because that's how kids in those days were trained to 'be good and do good'" says Kangna. And luck too was on her side as she aced all her exams in school. Until she failed one Chemistry unit test in 12th standard. "I was made to stand outside my class and that's where I started thinking differently."
Though Kangna sailed through her Higher Secondary final exams with an easy 85 percent, her scientific bent of mind wavered. "I had switched off. Unlike earlier, my name was nowhere in the toppers' list this time. I prepared for the pre-medical MBBS exam, filled up the form and never appeared for the test," says Kangna. As for academics, this was the end of the road for her. "I'm not even a graduate; almost an illiterate actually," she quips.
Kangna's analytical mind was simultaneously veering towards the arts, especially poetry. In a Hindi medium school then, she would often borrow books on Harivanshrai Bachchan's and Munshi Premchand's poetry and would wonder why her classmates couldn't understand or appreciate them. "Honestly, I didn't even try reading any English authors at the time, I was drawn to Hindi literature. Luckily, my rich friends in the hostel wouldn't think twice before parting with these books," smiles Kangna.
Her shift to Delhi at this point thus happened at a crucial crossroad. An enthusiast of the arts now, she found her calling in theatre, which eventually landed her in Bollywood.
Pursuit of happiness
The ride wasn't easy at all though, Kangna declares, who had started her journey at the nubile age of 16. And convincing her parents was a tough hurdle to cross. "You see, mountain people are mostly content leading simple lives," admits Kangna, "Despite their lack of exposure to what's happening in the rest of the world.
So convincing my parents to let me go away for a year was difficult, more so, because I myself didn't know where I was headed. I was too young. I would pick up bad words, habits so easily."
But Kangna dived into her newfound passion nevertheless. Guess that's what life in a metro is about.