Who is Kiran Rao?

joydeep@khaleejtimes.com Filed on July 3, 2021

Rao, who has separated from hubby Aamir Khan, is a cousin of actor Aditi Rao Hydari.

Kiran Rao, 47, is a cousin of Bollywood actor Aditi Rao Hydari, as they trace their lineage to Raja J Rameshwar Rao of Wanaparthy, who lorded over the former principality during the Nizam’s rule prior to India’s independence in 1947 (Wanaparthy is located in Mahabubnagar district in southern India’s Telangana state, which was carved out of Andhra Pradesh in 2014).

Though Kiran was born in Hyderabad, she spent her formative years in Kolkata and moved to Mumbai in 1992.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from Sophia College for Women in Mumbai and a postgraduate degree in mass communication and film studies from Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi.

Kiran started her career as an AD in Ashutosh Gowariker’s blockbuster Lagaan, which was released in 2001 and was also nominated for the 74th Academy Awards in the foreign language film category. Later, she assisted Gowariker in the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Swades: We, the People.

Initially, she assisted critically acclaimed director Mira Nair for Monsoon Wedding and later scripted and directed Dhobi Ghat, which was released in January 2011 under Aamir Khan Productions.

Kiran, who married actor Aamir Khan on December 28, 2005, is also the brain behind Paani Foundation, a non-profit and non-governmental organisation (NGO), which she had founded along with Aamir in 2016.

The organisation is active in drought and watershed prevention in the western Indian state of Maharashtra.

Kiran is a vegetarian and also influenced Aamir to give up non-vegetarian food.

She has a child, Azad Rao Khan, 9, with Aamir.

From a Cupid-struck couple to splitsville

2001: Met on the sets of Lagaan, where Kiran was one of the assistant directors (ADs) in the Ashutosh Gowariker directed cult classic.

2002: Aamir divorces his first wife of 16 years, Reena Dutta, the mother of his two children Ira and Junaid.

2005: Aamir ties the knot with Kiran on December 28 at his farmhouse in Panchgani, a hill station located about 250 kilometres from Mumbai.

2011: Aamir and Kiran welcome their only child, Azad Rao Khan, through in-vitro fertilisation (IVF).

2021: On July 3, the couple declares their decision to divorce, but promises to be a ‘co-parent’ to Azad, collaborate on movies, their non-governmental organisation (NGO) Paani Foundation, and other professional projects.

Joydeep Sengupta


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