Star rat­ings for a block­buster bud­get

The Economic Times - - Front Page - AL­LOWANCES & STARTING OUT

on what money and a bud­get mean to her

Money­is­li­keev­ery­thing else in life. Ex­tremely sig­nif­i­cant, yet in­signif­i­cant. We feel like we own it, but just like time and space, it moves. You have to be very stupid to hold on to money. Cir­cu­late it, en­joy it… do some­thing with it. Money shouldn’t be ly­ing dead some­where, while you keep hoard­ing it. My mother used to say, ‘You’ll only get 100 for your san­i­tary pads.’ Well, that’s not pocket money. I have strict par­ents, but my great grand­fa­ther, Sarju Singh Ra­naut, spoilt all of us kids rot­ten. He was a re­tired army man, free­dom fighter and min­is­ter, so he got a lot of pen­sion. He gave me 20-30 every day. For a Class 5 stu­dent, that was a lot of money. When I moved out and lived as a pay­ing guest, I got 5,000. There were five of us liv­ing in a house and I paid 2,000 as rent.

I never saved any money. I had ex- penses like rick­shaws, junk food, cof­fee, so I felt like I was al­ways run­ning out of cash. Be­fore the month ended, I needed more money.

WAST­ING FI­NANCES

What seems ir­rel­e­vant to my par­ents, isn’t to me. They think the money I spend on clothes is ob­scene. But I find their gen­er­a­tion bizarre on many lev­els. They may have fi­nan­cial prob­lems but they spend so much on wed­dings. They take loans to project a cer­tain life­style. So to each his own and I’m not judg­men­tal. We have to co-ex­ist in our con­tra­dic­tions.

But I can’t tol­er­ate a waste of r e s ou r c e s l i ke fo o d a nd wat e r. L e av i n g t he t ap on or throw­ing away a lot of food in the trash — that’s dis­heart­en­ing.

NOT EQUAL PAY

I’m un­der­paid. The male stars do four-five shifts and act like they’re work­ing in a fac­tory. They give six hours a day to a film, I give 18 hours. I give bet­ter re­sults, but when you don’t get that ap­pre­ci­a­tion, it’s dis­heart­en­ing.

It’s not easy to main­tain the life­style of a top ac­tress. The car they ex­pect you to drive, the house you live in. I’m in show busi­ness and can’t live like a yogi. These are the ex­pec­ta­tions from an ac­tress, but they un­der­pay you and how can you af­ford that life­style? Now I can sup­port my­self, my fam­ily and fund my small dreams. I don’t have to do things that make me seriously un­happy like dance at wed­dings, do item songs or rep­re­sent stupid brands like fair­ness creams.

IN­VEST­ING FOR THE FU­TURE

I didn’t start out to be the high­est paid ac­tress with this huge house and flashy cars. I can do with­out all this. What’s im­por­tant is that I’m the artiste that I am to­day. I do have a house and cer­tain in­vest­ments, but I’m not stock­ing up for the fu­ture or anx­ious about it. I’ve done it all my­self with­out any­body’s help. I prob­a­bly have one of the most fas­ci­nat­ing rags-to-riches story you’ll come across. So it’s not fright­en­ing to start from scratch. I’m work­ing on dreams, not sav­ing up for them. I don’t dream of buy­ing a jet. My farm, the TV room in my house – these are dreams, but I have the re­sources for them. — As told to Shradha. Suku­maran@ times­group.com

Kan­gana Ra­naut says it’s not easy to main­tain the life­style of a top ac­tress, from the car that you drive to the house you live in

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