DONNING YET ANOTHER HAT
Elle India|December 2021
An iconic television actor to a successful politician and now an author, Smriti Zubin Irani is full of surprises. Kamna Malik in an exclusive, unfiltered chat with her
Kamna Malik
My first memory of Smriti Irani is seeing her in a television series called Kavita, which my mother would watch regularly and by default I would as well. It didn’t matter much then, but yes, when she became the talk of the nation with her character of Tulsi Virani in Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, I started viewing her in a completely different light. It was a shock as well as a surprise when in 2003, she decided to join politics and embark on a whole new journey. It was difficult for me to imagine her as a politician and like many others, I didn’t anticipate this kind success that she has had as a union minister. However, today when I look back, I think she always had it in her. Whether it is in the kind of roles that she essayed on television or the kind of issues that she chooses to fight for, as a minister today, Smriti Irani is a rebel with a cause. To me she is someone who constantly defies the stereotype and doesn’t shy away from calling a spade a spade. And just when I thought she is deep into the world of politics, she took me by surprise all over again by announcing her debut book, Lal Salaam.

When I met her early this month in New Delhi for this interview, Smriti Irani turned out to be everything that I had imagined her to be—unfiltered, intelligent, warm and unpretentious. She is certainly one of the most charming people I have met in recent times and she has this innate quality of instantly putting others to ease (not sure if this happens in the Parliament though!). Our freewheeling conversation was everything from Lal Salaam, films, fashion to politics (of course) and her future plans. Excerpts from the interview:

Kamna Malik (KM): Actor, Union Minister and now Author—I know everyone must have asked you this question—but this is certainly a very interesting move-how and when did you decide to become an author? Do you recall that specific moment when you made up your mind about writing Lal Salaam?

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