'I never told people I am Govinda's niece'

'I never told people  I am Govinda's niece'

Her maternal grandmother was a classical singer and grandfather, an actor. She received her training in music but landed into acting and made it big with popular shows like Radha ki Betiyan and Sasural Genda Phool.

Often referred to as superstar Govinda’s niece, Ragini Khanna is now making headlines on both – the small and big screens.

In a candid chat with Metrolife, Ragini talks about her advent in acting, elaborates on her current projects and refuses to comment on an upcoming film with ace director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra.

Known for her confident presence onscreen, Ragini says, “Acting was a natural process. Whether I found it or acting found me, I have no idea. All I know is I decided and struggled to get into it and learnt a lot. I have never taken any formal training in acting. The first time I ever said dialogues in my life was when I did Radha ki Betiyan.” Which proved pivotal for her as she got noticed.

“If you think that I did decent work then I should be thankful to my directors because I don’t think that I have the potential to do any character. They saw something and got it out of me. It was their creativity not mine,” she says keeping herself grounded.

“I don’t want to fly too high and then fall flat on my face. Though adulation did get into my head when Sasural... was on an all time high. Everybody praised me which added a lot more responsibility. I didn’t want to be called a one-show wonder. I still have a lot to prove in the industry. Maybe when I have reached there, I can spoil myself and add a pastry to my diet,” she laughs.

Does the fact of being Govinda’s niece bog her down? “I am very individualistic by nature. Not that I ever ask for help from him and not that I ever went and told people that I am Govinda’s niece. People will give you work if they feel you are worthy of it and not because if I am related to Govinda.”

But the desire to feature in films like him, must have inspired her? “Beggars are not choosers. When I started acting on TV, I wanted to earn money due to a financial crunch. I wasn’t in a position to choose because I couldn’t afford to sit at home. Till one year back, I said ‘yes’ to whatever work I was offered because I needed the money. I feel blessed because I have done almost all shows that one can do on TV except for Bigg Boss and Khatron ke Khiladi. I have even done a cooking competition (Welcome) and my anchoring in an upcoming show India’s Best Dramebaaz will add a kids show to this list.”

What made her choose Welcome? “I have been a huge fan of the show’s original format, Come dine with me. So when Life Ok informed me that they are making an Indian version, I was excited.” Was her friction with Nigaar Khan real? “I don’t want to talk about it because it is not my personality to comment on anybody’s personal life. For me the show is over and done,” she retorts.

How is her character in Rakeysh Mehra’s upcoming film? “I cannot talk about it right now.” Singh Saheb: The Great? “I’m not doing that film,” she clarifies adding, “Let’s hope I can make an announcement soon about my upcoming projects. I am itching to work with all the great directors. Hope they notice me and mould me in their characters.” All the best.

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