Dark tale: Actor Ragini Khanna plays sociopath in scary new film

Ragini Khanna, TV actor, has transformed into a sociopath for her role in a spine-chilling digital film Posham Pa. In an interview with YSWeekender, she talks about her journey in showbiz, ever since her debut 11 years ago…

Catch the movie magic: Actor Ragini Khanna plays sociopath in scary new film

Ragini Khanna, TV actor, has transformed into a sociopath for her role in a spine-chilling film Posham Pa. In an interview with YSWeekender, she confides that she wishes she was never from a filmi family sometimes. Read on to know more about this actor who has held us under her spell, ever since her debut 11 years ago…

Here’s one woman in the TV and film industry we must all sit up and listen to. She minces no words about who she is and what she’s doing, and is proud of being a self-made actor. After her recent thriller movie, “Gurgaon”, she’s back with a very intense role in the film “Posham Pa” that released in August on Zee5.

Ragini Khanna has been one of the lead actors in TV serials like “Bhaskar Bharti”, “Sasural Genda Phool” and more. Her debut as an actor was in the serial “Radha Ki Betiyan Kuch Kar Dikhayengi”, when she was barely 22 years old.

Over the years, she has taken on a gamut of experiences. She participated in a number of TV talent hunts, reality and comedy shows – including “India’s Best Dramebaaz”, the Dance reality show “Jhalak Dikhla Jaa” (where she was initially a participant, and then hosted the show in a later season), comedy live acts like “Gangs of Haseepur” and multiple roles in “Comedy Nights with Kapil”. She’s also a trained musician and dancer.

Ragini plays the role of a sociopath in her new film

Her new film, Posham Pa, is a dark tale of a mother who pushes her daughters into pursuing a life of crime. Ragini plays the role of one of the sociopathic daughters. The film is directed by noted filmmaker Suman Mukhopadhyay and the psychological thriller is inspired by true events.

Written by Nimisha Misra and based on the research done by veteran journalist Praful Shah, Posham Pa, also stars Mahie Gill, Sayani Gupta, Shivani Raghuvanshi and Imaad Shah in pivotal roles.

A test of the imagination

“During my 11-year acting career, I discovered myself through the characters I played, and have seen more clarity in myself,” Ragini says. “But till date, I hadn’t done any role that can be viewed as a ‘negative role’. I feel I have bared myself more in this role than any other. I have channelised my toxicity and negativity through my role Shikha in Posham Pa. I cried a lot during the filming of this role, but felt much lighter after I completed this film.”

The role put her imagination to test and included the sum of her experiences, like watching crime news and reading books on criminal psychology.

“As an artist you are waiting for such a role,” she says, adding that constant discussions with the director helped her take the role head on and deal with its complexities. One look at the hair-raising trailer and one can easily understand what she means.

A bouquet of roles

Diverse roles for actresses are now opening up in Hindi cinema and online streaming platforms.

“I started my career on TV, which is a woman’s domain and where I get paid more than my male counterparts! I have never felt any disparity there. Every story had a different kind of lead. In Radha Ki Betiyan… I played an aspirational role, in ‘Bhaskar Bharti’ I played the role of a man trapped in a woman’s body, In ‘Sasural…’ I played a bahu with a hot temper. I have always played strong parts and roles of consequence. I don’t think being an artist has anything to do with gender,” she says “There is a feminist angst in urban India but I think women in rural India are much stronger”.

She also makes a case for actors like herself who have refused regressive roles on TV.

“I agree TV has become regressive on a large scale. But mind you, it was only reflecting the regressiveness in society. But I chose not to do this. Nobody can force you to do anything; you always have a choice. Even in matters of the casting couch – don’t do it!” she says.

Filmi family woes

Ragini has taken up a number of unusual roles

“I come from a filmi family but I chose TV because I got strong women-centric roles and I made a choice,” she continues. This “filmi family” that she so casually mentions is quite well known in Bollywood. Her mother’s brother is actor Govinda, and her mother, Kaamini Khanna is a writer, music director, classical singer, RJ and anchor. “My parents have seen a tough life,” she says.

Ragini is also the granddaughter of classical singer Nirmala Devi of the Patiala Gharana who sang in Hindi films through most of the 1940s and 50s and also became an actress while her grandfather Arun Ahuja was a popular 1940s Hindi film actor.

“Sometimes I wish I were an outsider” she says. “I have to suffer the baggage of being from a film family. I seem to constantly carry the baggage of an important lineage, and of being a relative of someone who is extremely successful. Despite this, I have gone through auditions. You don’t really need a name to make it big, but if you come from an important family, people always say there’s nepotism there! In that case, ideally, I should have got a Rs. 4 crore budget song-and-dance film for my debut!” she says.

Ragini says she would love to sit down with a writer and create a woman-centric mainstream Bollywood flick. “Let’s listen to human stories and write about what women go through,” she says and adds that she is looking forward to collaborate and produce a film if she finds the right script.

Ragini comes from a famous filmi family

The right choice

During the initial phase of her career Ragini acted in many commercials for iconic brands such as Maggi, Rooh Afza and Tanishq. “My first ever ad was with award-winning director Gyan Correa. I like to believe I was always chosen by the right people,” she says.

With the rise in popularity of digital and web streaming platforms, she finds that there are many more opportunities available, all over the country. “I enjoy all my work and all kinds of roles and I love the fact that I am self-made,” she says.