A VINTAGE DRESSER IN THE BEDROOM AND A LARGE MIRROR IN THE LIVING ROOM FIND PLACES OF PRIDE IN ACTOR PATRALEKHAA'S HOME IN ANDHERI.It is while standing in front of the LED-set vanity that Patralekhaa practices lines for her movies, and the living room is where she rehearses her dance moves. It’s a routine she follows every day when filming, and it was here that she prepared for CityLights, her 2014 breakout film. As Rakhi, a young wife who must survive the challenges of a new city, she had to work hard on her character since it wasn’t one she identified with. But she laboured over it, preparing for it in the privacy of her home. When the film released, the 28 year old received critical acclaim for her acting. “I love films and acting, and my home personifies that,” she says.
A known face in TV commercials, and last seen in Nanu Ki Jaanu with Abhay Deol, Patralekhaa says she always wanted to be an actor. “I came to Mumbai for my graduation, and for the first two years, I tried to follow the path my father had chosen for me—chartered accountancy. But that did not go well. I did a lot of commercials and kept auditioning for films, while simultaneously doing a three-month acting workshop with Barry John. And then, CityLights happened.” She was 24. “As an urban girl, I had no connect with the character. I come from Shillong, which is a matriarchal society, and suddenly, I was in the middle of Rajasthan, a very different culture. The role was tough—playing a mother to a six year old, the long veil, everything was difficult. But I think the role defined me as an a