Director-producer-writer and wife of Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan, Kiran Rao is one of the few women who has shattered many a myth and carved her own niche in the film industry. Born in Bangalore, Rao grew up in Kolkata and can fluently speak Bengali.
After graduating from Sophia College in Mumbai, she pursued Master's in Mass Communication from Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi. To support herself, she even worked as an RJ at All India Radio. But, Kiran always wanted to be an assistant director.
The actress shared in a TOI interview, "My ex-boyfriend from Bangalore was working in advertising and told me about Shamin Desai, the ad filmmaker who was looking for people. I sent my application to Shamin and started assisting him at 10K per month and that was big money in 1998. It was a great experience, but I quit in a year hoping to make my own film. I was idle when Reema Kagti, my senior from college, asked me if I would like to be the third AD on Lagaan in which she was the second AD. Lagaan became my film school." The rest is history.
Over the years, she scripted and directed 'Dhobi Ghat' and sang a Marathi song for Satyamev Jayate Water Cup Anthem. She even produced many films and is currently the Chairperson of the Mumbai Film Festival.
On the personal front, Kiran Rao tied the knot with Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan in 2005. The couple also have an eight-year-old son, Azad Rao Khan.
As Kiran celebrates her 46th birthday, we revisit her love story with Aamir Khan.
Kiran Rao's First Meeting With Aamir Khan
She recalled in a 2005 Times of India interview, "I first met Aamir when we were going on a recce on a bus to Bhuj and he came and met us and introduced himself. I just felt he was quite normal. During Lagaan, I was a bit nervous as he was a big star and kept my distance. Also, I was seeing someone while Lagaan was on."
How Their Friendship Blossomed Into Love!
"By 2003, he and Reena had divorced. He started seeing someone else and we again connected on the set of an ad commercial that he was doing with Ashutosh Gowariker that I was assisting on. We hung out a lot together and became 2 am friends.
We started seeing each other in 2004. Initially, I wasn't sure that I could be friends with a superstar. But in so many ways he is such a grounded person that in four minutes of speaking to him, you forget that he is a star. We like each others company and our friendship is still the basis of our relationship. I moved in with him and neither of us was hung up on marriage. After a year of living together, we decided to get married."
What Attracted Kiran To Aamir?
Speaking about it, she revealed that she was attracted to his sense of humour, his knowledge and the way he looks at things.
For Aamir Khan, This Is When He Felt That She Was The One For Him
"I met her when I was doing Lagaan, she was one of the ADs of that film. But at that time we were not in a relationship, we were not even great friends. She was one of the people on the unit. After my separation and divorce, after some time I met her again. In that moment of trauma, her phone came and I talked to her for half an hour. When I put the phone down, I said, 'My God, I am so happy when I talk to her.' It struck me in that instant," the actor revealed in an interaction with the Chinese media.