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She is best remembered as Aarchi from Sairat. But do you know Rinku Rajguru's birth name is Prerana? Born on June 3, 2001, Prerana alias Rinku hails from Akluj, a district in Solapur, Maharashtra. (All pictures/mid-day archives and Rinku Rajguru's official Instagram account)
Rinku Rajguru had harboured dreams of becoming a doctor someday but ended up being perhaps the youngest superstar at the age of 14. Thanks to her early stardom, she quit school and appeared for both her SSC and HSC exams as an external student.
In 2017, Rinku Rajguru cleared her Class X (SSC) exams with 66.40 per cent marks, two years after she became famous for her role in the romantic tragedy, Sairat.
An external Arts faculty student, Rinku Rajguru appeared for her HSC exams in February 2019. Interestingly, Rinku scored better in the Class 12 board exams - securing an impressive 533/650, or 82 per cent, in all her seven subjects. Her mark sheet showed that she scored 54 in English, 86 each in Marathi and History, 98 in Geography, 83 in Political Science and 77 in Economics (all out of 100) and 49 out of 50 in Environment Education.
It was at a chance meeting with Mumbai-based two-time National Award-winning director Nagraj Manjule, that the then 13-year old Prerana was selected for the role of Aarchi/Archana Patil in the blockbuster Sairat in 2016.
Sairat, in which a wealthy Rinku Rajguru was seen driving a tractor, zooming on a motorcycle with her pauper boyfriend Akash Thosar, was about how they elope but get caught, survive various tragedies in their love life, later get married and have children, but it ends in a tragedy as both are hacked to death.
Sairat collected a large number of awards and honours, and became a rare local (Marathi) film to cross the Rs 5 crore mark, then broke the Rs 10 crore mark and set a new benchmark for regional films, breaching the Rs 110 crore club. The film was later made in other Indian languages like Hindi - Dhadak starring Janhvi Kapoor and Ishaan Khatter, Bengali - Noor Jahaan, Odiya - Laila O Laila, Kannada - Manasu Mallige and Punjabi - Channa Mereya, besides being dubbed in several languages.
After Sairat, Rinku Rajguru made her Kannada debut with Manasu Mallige, which was a remake of her Marathi film. She reprised her role from the original. Two years later, Rinku starred in the Marathi film Kaagar, however, the movie was received with a lukewarm response at the Box Office.
While education was put on the back burner for a brief period, she later decided to complete her graduation and post-graduation.
A series of regional offerings followed her 2016 hit, Rinku Rajguru is now back in Nagraj Manjule's fold with Jhund, which has her share screen space with Amitabh Bachchan. But, even an outing with the megastar won't dissuade the daughter of two teachers from completing her education.
"My parents insist that I complete my studies. So, I can't pursue acting at the cost of academics," said Rinku Rajguru, in an interview with mid-day.
More recently, Rinku Rajguru made her debut in the web world as she featured in the Lara Dutta-starrer web series, Hundred. She was seen in a role that director Ruchi Narain tailor-made for her. Shot across Mumbai, the series also gave her a chance to discover the city.
Hundred is about a terminally-ill girl looking for thrills, who is hired to be an undercover agent by an ambitious female cop looking for a promotion. It tells their story as they get together to accomplish their own goal in 100 days. In the series, Lara is seen as ACP Saumya Shukla, and Rinku is seen as the terminally ill girl. The show chronicles the misadventures of two women with opposite personalities and is set against the backdrop of Mumbai, its chawls and gangs.
The Disney+ Hotstar VIP show is co-directed by Ruchi Narain, Ashutosh Shah and Taher Shabbir. Hundred also stars Karan Wahi, Sudhanshu Pandey, Parmeet Sethi, Rohini Hattangidi, and Arun Nalawde.
Rinku Rajguru teamed up with Nagraj Manjule again for Amitabh Bachchan's 'Jhund' that released on March 4 this year. The actress has come a long way and her journey, so far, truly can be applauded. Keep going, girl!