Return of actress after two decades

Actress and Cause Ambassador, Rati Agnihotri in New Delhi.

Actress and Cause Ambassador, Rati Agnihotri in New Delhi.  

AT 23, after wooing much of the audience, she suddenly vanished. But after a gap of almost two decades, she's back and is here to stay, says actress Rati Agnihotri. And no, this is one actress who doesn't change the subject when you ask her age and, yes, she's comfortable with "acting her age", never mind that she had been a heart-throb when she left the industry.

"I was sixteen when I started doing films and I was 23 by the time I left. In the beginning, it had been for fun but by the end of it, films had become my career. But it had been my decision not to work in the film industry after marriage. And so, once I got married, I just left. Even though I was at the peak of my career then," recalls this pretty lady during a stopover in Delhi. "But now that my son has grown up and is in college, I feel I can come back to what I love. It is not so bad if I space out my work, family and other commitments. We are now three grown up adults in the family and can lead our individual lives as well as remain part of a family," she adds

The actress, whom Bollywood remembers - and loved - for her role in "Ek Duje Ke Liye", decided to face the camera once again "just for a lark", says Rati. "I never decide anything in life. I kept refusing offers for so many years and finally one day, I decided to step back in," she smiles.

And ironically, it was actor Rishi Kapoor who "witnessed" her exit as well as her return. Her last film before the `vanishing act' was "Tawaif", and she returned to the silver screen with "Kuch Khatti Kuch Meethi" - both co-starring Rishi Kapoor.

With a number of releases lined up for December, Rati has her hands full. There's `Pehchan" and "Kyon Ho Gaya Na Pyar" that would be hitting the silver screen soon. "I don't want to stick to any particular kind of role but diversify. For instance, I played the villain in "Chupke Se"," Rati says.

As for working for the small screen, Rati is open to it. "I am willing to work in serials. The only consideration is time constraints. Right now, I am fairly packed!" she laughs.

Besides her career commitments and family, Rati has involved herself in a number of social causes with the latest one being creating awareness on menopause. "There is need to reach out to women in the rural areas and make them aware. We need to tell them that they don't have to to suffer in silence anymore."

By Anjali Malhotra

Photo: S. Subramanium

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