It is your birthday, and I remember how excited we both used to be on the occasion. We were once close. You respected me, looked up to me, sought my advice and even listened to me when I counseled you. When I was in trouble you kept a mannat for me.
Then I lost your trust and respect because of one person. Aditya Pancholi. The journalist in me began to listen and record the lurid details of your association with him. I still have the tapes where he spoke in graphic detail of his friendship with him. I didn’t use all of it. Thank God for small mercies! What I did use was damaging enough. I still remember your call after Mr Pancholi’s kiss-and-tell stories came out. You were hurt. You felt betrayed. You wept.
The cracks in our friendship never mended. They got worse. At one point you sent me a legal notice. Friends were aghast. “Kangana sent you a legal notice? But she adores you!” they said.
How was I to tell them that I had lost the right to be adored by you? Today as you turn a year older I want to tell you how proud I am of you. I still remember how stunned I was by your performance in your debut film Gangster. I couldn’t stop raving about you to every filmmaker I spoke to. Then your characters and performances as the wronged, defiant, angry and belligerent neurotic woman began to get repetitive.
Queen changed everything. Your fortune. And the way audiences looked at female heroes. Hereafter heroines were no longer looked at as epitomes of flawlessness and perfection. Broken, awkward and dithering heroines who got drunk and danced on bar-tops to raunchy Asha Bhosle numbers were also welcome in the hall of femme fatales.
My heart swelled with pride as you singlehandedly turned a plot into a celebration of fractured femininity.
I remembered my first meeting with you for lunch at the Marriott. I made the mistake of inviting you and Randeep Hooda together for a meal with me. Sparks flew, as they can only when you are around, when he tried to give you tips on how to run perform your scenes and deliver your lines. As I cringed in embarrassment and stared into the malai kofta on my plate, you snubbed Randeep’s snobbish erudition as an actor.
Later, much later, the two of you did a film together and Randeep wondered what had gone wrong between you and I. You ranted against me to anyone who was close to me. It was your way of showing how hurt you were.
A lot of people have been less than reasonable in their dealings with you. You’ve fought back unafraid to face the consequences.
Today you are at the summit of your power as an actress. Roles are being written for you. But I don’t see the same level of lucidity in your personal life. The tu-tu-main-main with Roshan Jr, the tweets trolling many of your colleagues are unsavory, unbecoming, unworthy of you. You are made for much larger struggles.
Save your energy. Happy Birthday
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