Bollywood actress Rani Mukerji wanted to start her film promotions of the YRF product 'Mardani' from the Indian city of Jhansi.
For people who tuned in late into life, a song "Khoob Ladi mardani woh toh Jhansai wali Rani thi" (The lady who fought like a man was the Queen of Jhansi) was dedicated many years ago paying tribute to the Indian queen Rani Laxmibai who fought the British over 17 decades ago.
Hence the term ‘mardani’ (manlike) usually symbolizes a brave heart like Rani Laxmibai.
Ms Mukherji incidentally is another Rani and co-incidentally her father hails from Jhansi.
“I have heard vivid tales of Jhansi and Rani Laxmibai from my father including the song. I have been to Jhansi many times as a kid as well.
"When I entered the fort in that part of northern India, I understood what women power was all about. So when the promotions of the film started I recollected the kind of power that I would derive when I stood there in the fort long back and decided that the promotions need to start from there and I would also manage to get the late queen’s blessings,” beams the actress.
According to Rani, women are blessed with immense power.
“We all have the inner strength - I don’t think even men have that. Men might be physically more powerful, stronger than us. But then emotionally and mentally we are stronger than them.
"I don’t think there is anything a man can do without a woman. They have to depend on a woman to do everything, even if they want to have a child they have to depend upon women. Both men and women together make a powerful team and not individually,” adds the new Mrs Aditya Chopra.
As for the title of the film too, Rani feels that it was a sitting duck. “Any other title would not have been suitable enough,” says she.
“Mardani was something unanimous with the team. When we say mardani it refers to a certain spirit – it was initially phrased for Jhansi ki Rani. It meant that she fought like a warrior, so mardani in that sense,” she says.
Rani plays a cop a Lady Singham of sorts in her film releasing a week after actor Ajay Devgn’s 'Singham 2' releases on August 14.
“Ajay Devgn is a big star and his franchise of 'Singham' too is a big one. I have also seen 'Singham' and I liked it a lot.
"'Singham 2' arrives a week before my film and hence I will also go to watch it. Our film is a small one. It is a small effort which has been made for every woman. It will be unfair to compare his film with ours,” says Rani about the big ticket extravaganza hitting the silver screens soon.
Meanwhile the 'Singham 2' heroine Kareena Kapoor says that she wants to watch Rani in 'Mardani'. “Even I want to watch Kareena in 'Singham 2',” says Rani scratching her 'Mujhse Dosti Karoge' co-star’s back.
“I think she would make a fantastic cop as well. We have some great opportunities these days to do different types of characters,” says the actress.
'Mardani' is her first release after her marriage. “It is a very clear message to Adi (Aditya Chopra) that I am Mardani,” guffaws the actress and adds, “If you meet some of my school friends you will know how mardani I was,” says the actress who underwent training in Krav Maga.
“Krav Maga is a self-defense technique through martial arts so that my character looks very real,” she says.
'Mardani' will hit the UAE theatres on August 21.