From The Editor's Desk: Janhvi Kapoor – not to the manor born

Among all of today’s young Bollywood actresses, I particularly like Janhvi Kapoor. Of the five films she’s acted in since her debut in 2018, I have seen only two. I am no film critic to pass judgement on Janhvi’s acting skills, but I liked what I saw on the screen. I think she oozes smoldering sensuality in abundance in a raw, lazy and earthy manner. Large chocolate-brown smoky eyes giving expression to what the dialogue could not. That’s half the job done. Her perfect dusky features, and the statuesque figure she works over for hours every day in the gym, make her a photographer’s delight. You have to see Janhvi on Instagram to know what I mean. Particularly those pictures of when she’s holidaying in the Maldives. Yes, some in a swimsuit, naturally! They are candid pictures. Of a beauty innocently reveling in the sun and the sea. Celebrating life. Unlike the professional pictures of a bikini model posing at some exotic location for Vijay Mallya’s Kingfisher calendar. And Janhvi comes across as a healthy young adult making the most of what life has blessed her with. Carefree but confident. And not shy to share her joy with whoever wants to be a part of it.

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I also like it that unlike many of today’s star kids, who get the nepotism brigade’s attention, Janhvi does not behave as though to the manor born. Meaning, she was born into a life of wealth and privilege, but does not act like she is entitled just because she is the late and great Sridevi’s daughter. She’s unconventional. That’s one of the first things about her that appealed to me. I interviewed Janhvi in 2018 before the release of her debut film ‘Dhadak’. And Karan Johar, who produced the film, told me that she most certainly had Sridevi’s genes. She was a director’s actress. The camera loved her. But Janhvi surprised me by revealing that she had studied acting at the famous Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute in New York. “Why?” I asked. “You’ve got Sridevi’s genes!” And she replied, “How can I take that for granted? I have Sridevi’s genes doesn’t mean that I’m anything like her. I think there are similarities in us. But that’s pure genetics. I don’t think talent gets transferred like that.” I silently applauded her reply. And today, as Janhvi turns 26, I wish the young actress a career that’s as entertaining, rich and rewarding as her mother’s. Happy Birthday, girl. Go kill a few!