It has been a long journey since the year 2000. There has been critical acclaim as well as 'critical criticism', but like a juggernaut, you continue to roll, keeping your market index intact. And that is what matters most in this 'commercial circle,' where the shelf life of an actress is limited. But you have changed the rule.
Coming from a small town, you captured the industry. No mean feat this from someone with no filmi connections. You have made it to the top, and have stayed there!
In the 14-year journey so far, starting as a teenager, you have managed to weather the storms in your life, both professional and personal. You have maintained a fine balance amidst it all. There have been more flops than hits to your credit, but through it all you have maintained a steady rhythm. And that is what is most striking about you.
Not many can handle 'extreme stress' the way you have in your career and still be at the top. Obviously, you have your mind over matter. And, in the long run, that is what matters most. Not what others think of you, but of what you believe what you can achieve.
''I believe we become better people when bad things happen to us. Both, the good and bad have happened to me. But I think a balance has been maintained and that's totally because of my family,'' you once told me. You also told me about the biggest sacrifice your parents made, leaving their hospital in Bareilly and coming here to help you pursue your dream. You have justified the faith they had in you.
I have never been a great fan of your acting, although I have known you since your Miss India days. I was quite impressed with your debut, ANDAAZ. But films that followed were disappointing. For me AITRAAZ, KAMINEY and now GUNDAY rank amongst your better performances. Yes, you may have got the National Award for FASHION, too, but somehow I believe your character lacked sting.
In AITRAAZ, your negative role was superbly essayed. Sweety Bhope from KAMINEY was fantastic. As the kid sister of a goon with politician aspirations, you surprised me with your maturity and body language. And now, GUNDAY. Oh yes, did I forget Jhilmil from BARFI?
I'm sure much of GUNDAY's shooting would have been through the loss of your father. A trying time for any child who has lost a parent; especially for 'Daddy's Li'l girl'!
Most see only the gloss, but there is a lot of hard work that goes to keep the sheen intact.
Your journey is not over; I believe your best is yet to come.
God Bless You
(This weekly column tries to be as honest as honest can be…)