What is common to Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta? Both are actors, both are IPL Cricket team owners and the best part about both is that they are bubbly, lively, vivacious, effervescent, zestful and energetic.

Today, 31st January is the Birthday of Preity Zinta. Let us reminiscence a few rare trivia about her and her career on her birthday.

Preity is from Shimla and from an army background. Her schooling was initially at Convent of Jesus and Mary at Shimla and later from the famous Sanawar Boarding school (the Lawrence School). Then she did her English Literature from St Bede’s college as she loved Shakespeare and poetry.

Happy Birthday Preity Zinta
Happy Birthday Preity Zinta: Dil Se Dil Tak!

Preity came to Mumbai as she had heard that there was a possible break as an actor in a Shekhar Kapur movie which however did not take off. Her 1st brush with fame was as a model for Perk Chocolates which came by chance. Ad Maker Kunal met her at a friends birthday party and asked her to come for audition. To her surprise there were 50 persons at the audition but Preity outshone them and got the assignment.

She also was very popular for her Liril Ad and was as popular as her predecessors Karen Lunel and Pooja Batra and her successor Deepika Padukone. Created by Alyque Padamshee the ad ran for 35 years and Preity was the perfect Liril girl, meant to be bubbly, vivacious with an infectious smile.

Preity debuted with Dil Se which she got with Shekhar Kapur’s recommendation. Later she did Soldier in the same year, Sangharsh a bit later and Kya Kehna, two years later. The song “Soldier soldier meethi baaten bol kar” sung by Alka yagnik and kumar Sanu and picturised on Preity and Bobby Deol took the nation by storm and Preity was immediately marked out to be a superstar for the future.

While shooting for Kya Kehna, Preity suddenly decided she wanted to quit and go home as she thought movies were not her cup of tea. However the director Kundan Shah told her strictly that she had signed a contract and walking out was not done and not allowed. Preity says she went to the balcony and cried for hours. Kundan Shah came back and gave her a pep talk saying she was doing a good job and should not give it up soon. The pep talk did help. Kya Kehna was both critically acclaimed and a huge box office hit and Preity got several awards as well. Her career in Bollywood was assured and she never had any second thoughts about it as a career as well.

Preity has done several noteworthy movies such as Chori Chori Chuke Chupke, Koi Mil Gaya, Kal Ho Na Ho, Veer Zaara, Salaam Namaste and Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna. She is well known for her humanitarian work. For the last several years she is a popular face of the super hit T20 Cricket league of India, the IPL.

Happy birthday Preity.

Ritesh Misra is an IRS officer currently based in Mumbai. He blogs & tweets @riteshmisra.

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