She may have ruled many hearts and won several awards, but Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut was an unwanted girl child who grew up constantly being reminded about her 'unwanted existence'.
Kangana Ranaut. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
On the occasion of the International Women's Day, the 28-year-old actress demanded that portrayal of women as "selfless" Indian ladies who only care about the happiness of the men in their lives should be stopped as it is regressive.
"My parents had a child before Rangoli, who died within 10 days of his birth. He was called Hero. My parents couldn't emerge from the loss of that baby boy. But then Rangoli happened and she was taken care of, there was a huge celebration," the 'Katti Batti' actress told reporters.
Kangana, who has an elder sister Rangoli and a younger brother Akshat, said that her parents could not come to terms with the fact that they had another girl child.
"But when I was born, my parents, my mother especially, couldn't come to terms with that fact that they had another baby girl. I know these stories in detail because every time a guest visited, or there was a gathering, they repeated this story in front of me that how I was the unwanted child," Kangana added.
The actress, who has acted in women-oriented films like 'Queen' and 'Tanu Weds Manu Returns', said it was very hard to be constantly reminded that she was someone who was not "meant" to be in this world.
"It's very hard to live in an environment where you're reminded, constantly told that your existence just happens to be here...that you are not meant to be here," she said.
Kangana said she never accepted the stereotype that boys are more important than girls, which often led to certain "discomfort" while growing up.
"From my side, there was no acceptance to this fact that I am any less than anyone around me. So there was a certain discomfort that I felt growing up that I am not seen as I want to be seen as," she said.
The 'Queen' actress said the glorification of women as "selfless" Indian ladies who only care about the happiness of the men in their lives should be stopped as it is regressive.
"The glorification of sisters, mothers as the selfless Indian women who will do 'agni pariksha' and the one who sees her own betterment only in the betterment of their husbands and fathers, that has to stop. It's very regressive," Kangana said.
Quoting a line from her contemporary actress Kalki Koechlin, she said that people should not expect "holier than thou" attitude from women, who are just as equal to men in the society.
"I read Kalki's quote that we women feel as human as a man, we are no different, we have the same flesh and blood, our challenges are just the same.
"So to expect this larger-than-life, holier-than-thou sort of existence from us is not possible. We as much want to make our own mistake as a man does," Kangana said while the launch of new cover of Femina magazine.