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Kriti Kharbanda, the imperfect bride in ‘Shaadi’

The star of the Bollywood romantic comedy is at flight risk, but we pin her down to glean her thoughts

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If life were to imitate art, what would actress Kriti Kharbanda do?

In her latest romantic drama, Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana, releasing in the UAE this Thursday, Kharbanda plays the runaway bride, Aarti Shukla, who bolts soon after her wedding to Raj Kumar Rao’s character Satyendra. But in real life, if she were left at the altar, she would just try to remain calm and rationalise it.

“You should never be somebody’s second option, always be their first,” said Kharbanda, adding that a partner going missing during a wedding is a sign that things weren’t right in the first place.

“It could be a blessing in disguise. You don’t want to spend your life with someone who doesn’t want to spend it with you. The love that you give is the love you deserve. It needs to come back to you, sooner or later. You should be glad that you didn’t end up with someone who has second thoughts about you.”

Plus, divorces can be messy, painful and more cumbersome.

In the trailer of Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana, directed by Ratnaa Sinha, we are introduced to a cute couple who meet in an arranged marriage scenario and hurtle towards a whirlwind courtship. But the romance morphs into a tale of revenge, betrayal and deceit. Rao plays the bitter beau who meets Aarti a few years down the line and declares that he loathes her.

But will the woman be painted in a negative light, as is the norm in Bollywood films? In the past, ambitious women aren’t always given a fair hand in Hindi films.

“We are not trying to paint anyone in a certain light. When a woman runs away from her wedding, there are multiple reasons why she runs away. Our film talks about two sides of the coin — the movie is narrated from the point of view of a boy and a girl,” said Kharbanda. The romantic drama hopes to drive home the point that it’s OK for a woman to take a stand and find a voice for themselves.

“So the whole idea is to show that sometimes putting yourselves first isn’t the most awful thing in the world... But we don’t try to sugar-coat it either. It is what it is,” said Kharbanda.

Just like the adage, everything is fair in love and war, this romantic comedy extols the virtues of self-preservation.

 I have never been through the whole casting couch scenario. I give out that strong vibe — ‘you act fresh with me and I will slap you’. I scare people off sometimes and it works for me. But I know people who have gone through it. I know people who have complained about it. There’s evil everywhere. There are no good or bad industries — just good and bad people,”

 - Kharbanda, when asked if she ever faced sexual harassment at work

 

“This is how life is. We are selfish as human beings. But there’s a difference between being selfish and choosing your own happiness and self.”

Kharbanda, who has acted in several South Indian language films including the Kannada blockbuster Super Ranga, claims her latest film is one of the most entertaining films with a strong social message strain.

“It’s not just entertaining but has strong content too.” She isn’t worried about her box-office clash with Irrfan Khan’s romantic comedy Qarib Qarib Singlle either.

“It’s hard to get a solo release and there are millions of Indians who love movies worldwide. So both our films can run side by side and maybe we can throw a success party together. That would be the best”

Don’t miss it

Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana releases in the UAE on November 9.

Did you know?

Kriti Kharbanda is a huge fan of romantic comedies. Her top two favourites include director Imtiaz Ali’s Socha Na Tha and Jab We Met.

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