LIFE Cel­e­brat­ing

Ac­tor Rakul Preet Singh talks about what fes­ti­vals mean to her since her as­cent to star­dom

India Today - - COVER STORY -

Fes­ti­vals have taken an all new mean­ing for Rakul Preet Singh, 28 ever since she stepped into the world of cin­ema six years ago—she is of­ten on the sets of her film away from fam­ily, isn’t ex­cited by the thought of dress­ing up be­cause she’s “do­ing it all the time any­way” and has re­placed her favourite sweets with healthy treats. But hec­tic sched­ules have taught her to not wait for fes­ti­vals to cel­e­brate time with her fam­ily. “Why just fes­ti­vals, I think ev­ery day should be cel­e­brated,” she says. Known for her dis­ci­plined fit­ness sched­ules, Singh has her oc­ca­sional “cheat treats” but has de­vised in­no­va­tive ways of not miss­ing out on fes­tive sweets. Last year, she marked Holi fes­tiv­i­ties with spe­cial gluten-free gu­jiyas sweet­ened with cane sugar. “I used to wait all year for Holi only be­cause I could eat gu­jiyas. But now the health sec­tor is booming with healthy treats so there’s no need to deprive your­self and I could still eat my favourite treat,” she says. Like most chil­dren, Di­wali was all about crack­ers and lights but Singh’s most poignant mem­ory of the fes­ti­val is when her fa­ther gave her and her brother a Rs 100 note and a can­dle and asked them to burn it. “We were shocked but he ex­plained to us that burst­ing crack­ers is the same as burn­ing money. In­stead, we should give it to some­one who needs it,” she says. Singh was in Class 8 at that time and has cel­e­brated Di­wali with­out fire­crack­ers ever since. “Now Di­wali is more about

spread­ing light and happiness to peo­ple around,” she says. The Delhi-bred ac­tor signed her first Kan­nada film, Gilli, when she was 18 years old but the month long sched­ule of “cram­ming up di­a­logues” and act­ing kept her away from the col­lege class­room. “Back then, with no back­ground in films, I didn’t even know that a movie in­dus­try ex­isted in south In­dia but I was happy to take up the first as­sign­ment I got,” she says. With her at­ten­dance in col­lege hit­ting a low, she took a break from act­ing and went back to class to com­plete her grad­u­a­tion in Math­e­mat­ics but con­tin­ued mod­el­ling, ex­cited by the thought of aug­ment­ing her monthly pocket money of `2000. “I also wanted to earn money and be the first one among my friends to buy a car,” she says. A beauty pageant later, she made her Tel­ugu de­but with Ker­atam six years ago and then signed her first Hindi film, Yaariyan, a year later. This year, Singh is set to spend Di­wali shoot­ing for a film in Hy­der­abad but the young ac­tor isn’t com­plain­ing. She is al­ready shoot­ing for her 30th film in a span of six years which has seen her act in Hindi, Kan­nada, Tamil and Tel­ugu movies.


REACH­ING FOR THE STARS Rakul’s busy life has taught her to cel­e­brate each day in­stead of wait­ing for fes­ti­vals HAND EM­BROI­DERED SA­REE AND AARI WORK BLOUSE by Fron­tier Raas JEW­ELLERY by Irasva

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