Home Hyderabad Cover Story The Art of Staying Cool

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All that Tollywood star Rakul Preet Singh wants now is not five more movies or yet another endorsement, but  a five-day  holiday… without phone connectivity, writes Manju Latha Kalanidhi

“Life is bigger than a film’s success or failure. One has to see the trajectory you life takes and not cry over one project”

FOR someone who has learnt Karate, tennis, swimming, basketball, skating, horse riding, golf and kickboxing while at school, it is not at all surprising that she mastered tough words like Dhanyavaadaalu (thank you) in chaste Telugu with the right accent in less than four years. Rakul Preet Singh, the current toast of Tollywood, is in the midst of a whole lot of things, but is completely unfazed. In fact, she comes across as a professional juggler whose is enjoying her act and her craft.
Keeping track of the trade figures of her latest movie Bruce Lee with Ram Charan, travelling around the twin states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh for film promotions, getting dolled up for television interviews, tweeting out witty answers on one-hour Twitter marathons with her fans… it’s all in a day’s game for this Punjabi kudi with an unusual name. Rakul, how cool can it get, especially when it has been lovingly derived from her dad Kulwinder and mum Rajinder’s name.
This Army brat from New Delhi swears by her upbringing which she says helps her maintain her composure even when she feels like exploding. “As a child, my mum ensured I was off to some class or the other, and never stayed idle. So being able to handle things and still smile has been part of my growing up years. You know, I can even knit and sew. I went for those classes too,” she reveals.

The showbiz formula
Rakul has a spate of awards to her name, besides ‘Miss Talented’ at the Femina Miss India beauty pageant in 2011. She got into the big league rakul8with a remake of the 2004 Tamil blockbuster, 7G Rainbow Colony. Her ability to pick up languages is admirable.She was most recently heard waxing eloquent  for an hour in Telugu on a celebrity show titled Konchem Touchlo Vunte Chepta, where she managed to better her seniors like Tamanna and Kajol with her mastery over Telugu.
It’s not learning a language or waking up for a sunrise shoot that is a task for Rakul – the most difficult part of being an actress is handling the promotional mania.Her typical day a week before the movie releases is dotted with studio hopping, audio bytes, social media updates and lots more. “In this day and age, film promotions are tougher than acting in films. Four to five changes a day, about seven TV interviews, a bunch of interviews for the print and online media, then FM radio studio visits. Then, change dress, change hair, change lip color, change nail color, change clutch…” she goes on.
She insists she is merely stating facts, not really whining. “Seriously, no complaints. Although I’ve had my share of struggles (where she shot for four days opposite actor Prabhas for ‘Mr Perfect’ and was replaced by Tapsee), I think it was not too bad. I’ve enjoyed some hits like Venkatadri Express and Loukyam and with one hit, we forgot all the bad flops.” She has wrapped up a movie Nannaki Prematho, and has signed one with Allu Arjun. Plus, there isRamesh Sippy’s Hindi movie, Shimla Mirchi opposite Rajkummar Rao.

Hard work-heart work
She says it isn’t really rejection or criticism that hurts. It’s not shooting in sub-zero temperatures or working out a sweat that is a challenge but prepping up and psyching oneself to adapt to the people around, while not getting affected by anything negative. It takes a lot of one’s mental bandwidth. That’s the toughest part of being in the movies. “Life is much bigger than a film’s success or failure. One has to see the overall trajectory your life takes, and not cry over a single project or film.”
Her positive spirit and joie de vivre about life is visible in her witty answers to her Twitter fans, even as recently as an hour ago, where one fan asked her why she visits him in his dreams at night. Her response, “Coz I am shooting in the day’! A hands-on social media star, Rakul enjoys a huge fan base of over six lakh on Facebook and Twitter. “I am on Instagram too, but that’s handled by a fan. I am amazed how meticulously and swiftly he updates it in tandem with my own account’s posts.” She says her favourite pastime is to read the comments to her posts. “I do take the advice seriously. Because who has the time to offer advice to others these days?” Does this star oblige fans when it comes to selfies? That seems to be the pet peeve of all stars! “Airport selfies always put me in a fix. I don’t want to act pricey. Nor do I want to look awful with unkempt hair and swollen eyes. But then, selfies with fans are necessary evils.”
As the year is almost coming to a close, what is on her wish list for 2016? “A big hit in Bruce Lee, more movies. Oh yes, I realised I’ve been shooting 350 days a year for three years now. So give me some sunshine,some rain and five days to holiday… at a place without phone connectivity pleaas,” she says in a school-girl’s voice.
And what would she do on such a holiday? Sleep and eat? “I barely need five hours of sleep. Actually, I am not even the eating kind. I am the ‘see food’ type. I see food, but don’t really eat. I take foodie friends along to restaurants and make them order a lot. I take a bite and then let them eat all of it and get fat. I get to taste, but not put on weight, ha, ha.” Now that’s rocking it like Rakul!

After hoursBIRYANI FIX
Rajavari kodipalav and Avakaya Biryani at Ulava Charu restaurantUNWIND
I enjoy the spa at Park Hyatt, and have explored every nook and cranny of Hyderabad; from the bylanes from Golkonda to Charminar and Hitech City. For a midnight pitstop, I would recommend the dosa bandi next to hotel Dasapalla.

PARTY SELECT
I love the private parties here as the hosts are chilled out, and you get to see their lovely homes and personality.

WEAVE CONSCIOUS
I am not much into textiles, but have heard so much about Pochampally and other weaver towns around Hyderabad

FRIENDS AT WORK
Raashi Khanna and Regina Cassandra. We entered the industry at the same time and have shot in same locations. We eat, gossip and listen to music together

WORKOUT SPOT
F 45, Jubilee Hills

PLAYLIST
90s songs. The one on loop is Main Tenu Samjhawan Ki  by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan

 

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