While people assumed Kangana Ranaut to be a struggling wannabe actress from Himachal Pradesh when she entered B-Town, the truth is far different.
The actress comes from one of the richest and politically most influential families in the state. Hers is not a rags to riches story.
Which explains the lakhs of rupees she spends on clothes, shoes and bags every month, more than even the top actresses of B-Town and star wives.
Have money, won't talk
A source close to Kangana confirms her family affluence, "She doesn't like talking about her family wealth as she's struggled on her own to be in her position. Besides that, she believes it's in bad taste to talk about one's wealth." Her family is from the blue-blooded Rajputs from Bhambla village in Himachal Pradesh.
Kangana has a huge 25-room ancestral house or haveli in Bhambla (currently called Surajpur) belonging to her great-grandfather. "While it was originally called Bhambla, when Kangana's great-grandfather became the local MLA, the village was named Surajpur after him. " Kangana grew up in a joint family, with her brother, sister, parents, great-grandparents, grand- parents and chacha and chachi. The family owns several acres of land in Surajpur.
Adds an insider, "Kangana's father Amardeep Ranaut is in the construction business and he supplies construction material for building roads etc for the Public Works Department (PWD) in Himachal Pradesh. She has been brought up in luxury and always had five cars parked in front of her home."
But things suddenly took a turn for the worse when she decided to come to Mumbai to become an actress. Her grandfather was dead against any female from his family joining films as he felt it was demeaning.
On your own, please!
Kangana's father too supported his father, and when she insisted on acting, both of them stopped talking to her. Her father told her that he would give her no financial support and she would have to make it on her own.
Kangana left home at 16 and initially stayed with a friend in Delhi before coming to Mumbai in 2005. She went through a lot of hardship but never asked her family for help. She lived in Aasha Chandra's hostel and shared a room with three other girls. It was a miserable time for her as she was cut off from her family and struggling in a strange city. It was only after Life In A... Metro that her family relented and welcomed her once again into their fold.
There was a family reunion when her parents, sister Rangoli and brother Akshat came to Mumbai. Today, her family is very proud of her.
Kangana's friend insists, however, that the actress is not related to Preity Zinta. "Preity's maternal aunt is a resident of Surajpur and PZ often comes to meet her. Once during a family function of Preity's in the village Kangana and her siblings met Preity. Now they keep in touch. That's all.
Kangana's great-grandfather (and idol) Sarju Singh Ranaut left his job as a head clerk for the British government to become a freedom fighter with Mahatma Gandhi.
Kangs still has the letters Gandhiji wrote to her great-grandfather. He was also the only man from his village who knew English at that time and got electricity to his village.