‘Being independent and doing what you want to, it all comes from my mom’: Kriti Sanon
Kriti Sanon is every inch the proud daughter as she steps out with her mother Geeta Sanon, a science professor in Delhi University to boot, for an episode of Family Matters.
Kriti Sanon is every inch the proud daughter as she steps out with her mother Geeta Sanon, a science professor in Delhi University to boot, for an episode of Family Matters. Fussing over her mother’s lipstick in a well-appointed apartment in Andheri, nothing about Sanon would give away that the Delhi girl is just five years old in the Hindi film industry.
Juggling multiples shoots — one with a message for the Indian army — along with, the one with yours truly Kriti is handling it all like a boss. One would hardly suspect that not too long ago, the 20- something actress was a shy student who would be nervous wreck before exams; a fact revealed by the actress and confirmed by her mother Geeta. The determination to fulfil her dreams against all odds, comes from her mother who being a girl had to struggle to realize her dreams of studying. That she holds a PhD in physics and is a professor too is absolutely inspiring admits Kriti. “Being independent and doing what you want to do in life, it all comes from her. She (Geeta) was the first girl in her family to do a PhD and start working. She has done it all by herself,” says Sanon.
In the Sanon household, a career was a must but acting in movies of course, was not on the cards despite Kriti’s modelling career and an interest in dance. It was encouragement from extended family (her maternal uncle) that lead Kriti to enter her photos in a modelling competition. As luck would have it, she won and earned a chance to get a portfolio shot by Bollywood’s ace lensman Dabboo Ratnani himself. And then there was no looking back with ramp shows and television commercials. Although it took her father a while to consent to her choice of career but her mother Geeta Sanon, went right ahead and signed a modelling contract with Elite agency despite the reservations they had about modelling.
“I never believed in her because she was a shy child. I used to tell her ki tum mein itna confidence nahin hain but it was she who believed in herself,” recalls Mrs Sanon proudly.
Explaining the reason for her mother’s apprehensions, Kriti shares, “I had stage fright, I was very nervous to do anything. During my exams, I used to stop eating the night before. I was someone who used to take a lot of stress.”
On the academic front it helped that her parents came from an academic and professional background. Kriti never attended any tuitions as her school curriculum was well covered with her mother’s home-made mock tests at home to help her overcome the nervousness and ace the exams!
A career in films though was a different matter altogether. Given the tough competition and fickle nature of business, it certainly meant a lot of stress. Besides, Bollywood being a totally unfamiliar territory, this once they insisted that she had a Plan B in case things didn’t go according to expectations. What it meant was completing her B-Tech course and landing a good GMAT score.
“That was a condition that we had put that you clear GMAT with a good score. She wanted to try in films and I always wanted that she should succeed but that was the back-up thing ki suppose it doesn’t happen then she can do an MBA or something,” admits her mom with a smile.
Kriti did better than that. She pulled off a 710 GMAT score besides bagging the lead role opposite star debutant Tiger Shroff in Heropanti! The film being a launch vehicle for Shroff generated a buzz in the media and its financial success, sealed her fate for stardom. Her on-screen confidence was noticed by the film industry, and the rest, as they say, is history. And then with the success of subsequent films like Bareilly Ki Barfi and Luka Chuppi, came the tricky stuff about on-screen lip-locks and liaisons which, with time were gamely shrugged off by the family.
In fact Kriti’s mother, despite the professional perils has never been inclined to drop in on the sets for two reasons. For starters they trust her implicitly and secondly, she would not risk her presence makes her daughter more self-conscious or nervous. It was only recently that she dropped in on the set of Ashutosh Gowariker’s film Panipat that Kriti was shooting for.
The one thing that had bothered her about the profession since the early days was the stress factor and that “Badi late karte hain shaadi…”
In a happy turn of events those fears have now receded to the background. The Sanons are over the moon for being proud parents to a confident young lady who knows her mind. “You should not let go of your dreams because you have to get married,” asserts Kriti aspiring to even greater heights. Not being an insider has only worked to her advantage and the actress can’t help but acknowledge that her family, despite being unfamiliar with the working and trappings of the movies business has been unconditionally supportive.
“When I wanted to act, my father was very scared of a lot of things and that was probably one of the reasons why he did not want to sign that contract. He was protective. After that he is equally or maybe more excited to see me on screen but she (my mother) was like, ‘There’s a lot that I wanted to learn, to do, a lot that I dreamt of but never got a chance to fulfill it. So if you dream of something you should go for it.’ That is maybe the advice that has changed my life.”
“Whatever we’ve read in our childhood, our books – storybooks, even our textbooks, literature in Hindi and English in school… it’s all about how much interest you have in studying, and those things registering themselves in your mind. All of that reflects in our art," says Encore, one half of Seedhe Maut.
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