“The real reason why Rani cannot and won’t marry is her brother Raja Mukerji. We are not surprised by what happened. He has always been an embarrassment for the family.”
This startling revelation came from a friend of Rani Mukerji’s. Rani is hurting badly over her weekend humiliation brought on by her brother’s alleged misconduct with an aspiring filmmaker.
This is not the first time that Raja Mukerji has used Rani’s name and the power that it entails, to try and get his way with individuals desirous of approaching Rani for work.
Nor is Raja the first celebrity kin to bring discredit and disrepute to the star of the family. Just a week ago super-iconic singer Asha Bhosle suffered the worst blow possible for a parent when her only daughter shot herself, shattering the entire family’s equilibrium.
Raja Mukerji is a direct descendent of exploit-a-celebrity syndrome. It was rumoured that the legendary Nutan’s husband naval officer Rajnish Behl held the reins of his star-wife’s finances and emotions so tightly that she was not allowed to move a step without his consent.
Rani, a close friend tells us, is paying for her stardom. Her brother, unable and unwilling to shoulder his familial obligations, leaves Rani with no choice but to set aside her own life and marriage to focus on looking after her parents.
Says the friend, “It’s not just her parents. But also her Bhabhi and niece now. Rani is the sole bread-earner of the family. All her efforts to make Raja financially self-dependent have failed. Forget looking after his wife and little baby (whom Rani dotes on) Raja can’t even look after himself.”
The entire onus of supporting the family falls on Rani.
Says the friend, “It’s quite like that film Jeevan Dhara where Rekha cannot marry the man she loves because of her family responsibilities. Rani has been building a life for her family while building her career. Three years back when Rani moved into her own bungalow with her parents, brother and Bhabhi, just to see that look of joy in her ailing father’s eyes was a blessing for Rani.”
Rani’s father is of precarious health.
Says Rani’s friend, “He suffers from a serious heart condition and needs constant care. Rani hoped that one day her brother would be a responsible son and take over the duty of looking after their parents. Recent development (read: the molestation charges) prove that is not to be. For Rani her parents are the most important people in her life. Looking after them is her top priority and at the moment, the only priority. Marriage which she was vaguely contemplating has now been completely sidetracked. Rani feels she can’t afford the luxury of thinking about herself.”
There is also the responsibility of looking after her Bhabhi and niece.
Says the friend, “Rani had hoped her brother would become a more responsible human being after marriage. Raja’s wife Jyoti is a lovely girl, bearing a striking resemblance to Rani’s best friend choreographer Vaibhavi Merchant. Jyoti and Rani are very close. Her sister-in-law tells Rani exactly what’s going on in her marriage. And it’s not a pretty picture. Jyoti tried to make a career for herself in the hope that her sister-in-law’s burdens would be lessened. Jyoti acted in a serial that Rani produced with Raja. Rani has tried everything possible to motivate Raja into getting a job. She first got him to work as her official costume designer in some of her early films. Then she set up Raja has a television producer. When that too didn’t work out Rani spoke to Ekta Kapoor and for a while he worked in Balaji Telefilms.”
Apparently Raja was relieved of his job at Balaji and it was back to Square One.
In recent months Rani’s friends heard of no work assignments for Raja.
“She kept imploring her brother. ‘Raja, do something’. But he doesn’t seem to possess the attention-span needed to hold on to a job. I think he was just happy letting Rani take care of the family duties,” says Rani’s friend.
As Rani Mukerji rightly told a friend, the past weekend has been one of the worst times of her life. Three crises rolled out one after another, plunging into Rani’s life, bringing her outwardly ordered life to a standstill.
The manic weekened began with the crashing of Rani’s dream project Aiyyaa. Then came Yash Chopra’s hospitalization. And finally the molestation charge against her brother.
This is one weekend Rani won’t forget in a hurry.
Scarily enough, Raja Mukerji is not being given the benefit of the doubt by any one in the film fraternity. All of them seem to think he must have done it.
“Wohto aisa hi hai. Raja has always been a problem child. We feel sorry for Rani. She deserves much better than this. But like they say, you can choose your friends not your family,” says her friend.
Sadly this, the latest misadventure of her brother has pushed Rani’s prospects of marriage into the background.
The friend says pensively, “Rani really wants to be married, and start a family. Bebo (Kareena)’s marriage made her re-think her priorities. She was just about reconsidering her marriage plans when this new bomb was dropped on the family. It’s unlikely that Rani would consider marriage for a long time.”