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Happy Birthday Koko (Konkona Sen Sharma)

Konkona Sen Sharma is an actress par excellence. The Bong beauty turns 29 today. We take a look at her Bollywood journey through the years.

Konkona was born into talent. Her mother is ace avant-garde filmmaker and former actress Aparna Sen and her father Mukul Sharma is a science writer and journalist.

Konkona shot to fame when she won the National Award for Best Actress for her impeccable performance of a Tam-Bram in Mr. and Mrs. Iyer in 2002. But her work in Bengali films like Titli and Ek Je Acche Kanya was brilliant too. She continued doing critically acclaimed niche cinema like Amu and Chai Pani. Bollywood and mainstream movie goers became acquainted with this powerhouse performer in Madhur Bhandarkar's obscure looking runaway hit Page 3. People couldn't stop raving about Koko's portrayal of a disillusioned journalist and she was nominated for several awards, losing out to Rani Mukherjee. After Page 3, she teamed up with her mother again for 15 Park Avenue which culminated in another touching movie and another fine, nuanced performance of a schizophrenic from the young actress.

Koko was seen in Yun Hota Toh Kya Hota and Mixed Doubles after that. She then held her own against Bollywood heavyweights like Ajay Devgan, Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor in Vishal Bhardwaj's adaptation of Othello, Omkara. She won her second National Award (in a span of four years) for the film, which was a critical and commercial success.

Koko does full justice to her character, no matter how or what the movie is. She sinks her teeth into a role with a finesse and confidence that is hardly seen in Bollywood glam dolls. And she is such a natural. You don't think about Koko, you only see and feel what the character is going through. In a career spanning six years, she has played a Tam-Bram, a journalist, a confused housewife, a prostitute, a newly wed Bengali wife, a doting sister-in-law and innocent wife, a younger sister, among many others. Some of these roles may seem unimportant but it's the layers and depth Koko has added to her character.

Needless to say, Konkona was spectacular in films like Traffic Signal, Life…in a Metro, Laaga Chunari Mein Daag and Aaja Nachle, performing better than the lead actors of the films.

Unlike most Bollywood bimbos who can't even spell, Koko comes across as educated, intelligent and bright. She has a degree in English from St. Stephen's College in Kolkata and has also hosted a show called My Brilliant Brain on NGC.

She is not someone you will find at every page 3 party as she lets her work speak for itself. She has bagged films with YRF and Dharma Productions due to the sheer power of her performances.

On the personal front, she is dating equally talented actor Ranvir Shorey for a couple of years. The reserved and private twosome got engaged earlier this year but there is no talk of marriage as yet.

Koko is definitely here to stay and has her hands full with some sparkling films. She will be seen in the laugh-out-loud comedy The President is coming, infidelity drama Dil Kabaddi, Dharma Productions' Wake up Sid opposite Ranbir Kapoor, Zoya Akhtar's Luck By Chance opposite Farhan Akhtar and Rituparno Ghosh's Sunglass among others.

We wish one of the finest contemporary actresses a very Happy Birthday and many more joyful years to come.
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