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Thursday, September 23, 2021

‘One life lesson Shah Rukh Khan taught me’: Chitrashi Rawat speaks up as Chak De India turns 14

As Chak De! India turns 14, Chitrashi Rawat aka Komal Chautala talks about the film, working with Shah Rukh Khan and how the film's title song has became sports anthem of the country.

Written by Sana Farzeen | Mumbai |
Updated: August 11, 2021 8:18:03 am
chak de india, chitrashi rawatChak De! India released on August 10, 2007.

Playing hockey since childhood, Chitrashi Rawat’s only dream while growing up was to represent her country one day. Little did the national-level sportstar know that her life will take a completely different turn, all thanks to her talent on the field. Chitrashi was picked up by the makers of Chak De! India from Jabalpur to play one of the players, Komal Chautala in the film. And today, the Shah Rukh Khan shouldered sports drama turns 14, and for that young girl with the hockey stick, life couldn’t have been any better.

“Chak De! changed the course of my life completely. The movie became a blockbuster, which honestly, was unexpected. And overnight, everything changed. Since all I wanted was to play hockey, I did try to compete at the university level in Mumbai but soon offers started coming in. The film put me on the map and changed my life drastically. It’s unbelievable that it’s already 14 years. All of us girls do keep talking and will take time out today to have a chat and reminisce our old times,” Chitrashi Rawat told indianexpress.com.

The Shimit Amin directorial had Shah Rukh Khan play coach Kabir Khan to a team of firebrands at loggerheads, who eventually come together to win India the world championship trophy. Besides Chitrashi, Chak De! India also starred Vidya Malavade, Shilpa Shukla, Sagarika Ghatge, Tanya Abrol, Shubhi Mehta, Anaitha Nair, and Seema Azmi among others.

 

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A post shared by Chitrashi Rawat (@chitrashi)

 

Chitrashi remembers how the shoot was “filled with fond memories”. Talking about King Khan, the actor said that while working with him is always a learning experience, she did take back a life lesson from him.

“The way Shah Rukh sir makes everyone around him feel is so special. I remember from the time he met us during the reading, and even on the hockey field, he never made us feel like a newcomer. It was so comfortable to be around him as he treated us like an equal. He would also appreciate our work. I think it was a very important lesson I have learn from him. And I carry it with me even today,” she shared.

 

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A post shared by Chitrashi Rawat (@chitrashi)

 

In the last couple of weeks, the world got to see India’s skills in the sport at the Tokyo Olympics. While the men’s team won a bronze, the women lost by a whisker. For Chitrashi, while the sport has always been famous, Chak De! did give it exposure since back then. “It wasn’t given the required importance. However, post the film, everyone started talking about it. It took us many years but now in the current situation, finally every layman also knows the team and its players.”

With pride in her voice, the actor further said, “But what Chak De! did, and not just with hockey, it gave us an anthem. Today, every time we win a match, a medal, any kind of victory and you hear the title song being played. That feeling is priceless.”

On a final note, on behalf of her entire girl gang, Chitrashi Rawat said that she feels proud and privileged to have been part of a film that resonated with so many. You can watch Chak De! India on Amazon Prime Video.

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