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Rani Mukerji celebrates her 40th birthday today and for her fans, she had a special surprise. Recalling her journey in Bollywood, the actress has penned a letter charting her journey and feats in the industry.

The Hichki actress thanked all the filmmakers she worked with, in the past 22 years for giving her roles that challenged the society norms.

“It feels great to be 40! It feels great to have also worked for 22 years and having been incredibly lucky to get so much love and appreciation,” Rani wrote. “Very rarely do we artists get material that can genuinely cause social change, cause change in attitude and thinking and I have been fortunate enough to get such content multiple times. I thank all the film-makers who have trusted me with their characters. Your characters, your films, became my identity.”

The actress, who started off her Bollywood journey with Raja Ki Ayegi Baraat also wrote that she realised late that she was ‘born to be an actor.’

“I realised very late that I was actually born to be an actor, that I was born to entertain. And I hope I have been able to do just that. As a woman, I must admit, it has not been an easy journey. I had to prove myself everyday. Actresses have to prove themselves everyday,” Rani penned.

Although the letter largely looked at her journey, Rani, of course, didn’t forget to plug in her film Hichki in between.

“On my birthday, I cannot skirt these massive ‘hichkis’ that my fellow actresses and I have faced/face and will face every day,” she wrote. “I have tried to take on this sexist stereotype by coming back to acting after my marriage and motherhood. And I promise you, I will continue working and battling these stereotypes with all my fellow stunning, beautiful, kind and talented actresses and hope to see our society and the film industry mature further.”

Evoking a feeling of perseverance and of fighting all odds, Rani’s letter also explored the stigma against married actresses in the industry.

“A woman has a short career span, a married woman’s equity dies, women are not bankable commodities at the box office, ‘female-centric’ (I hate this word!!) films are huge risks, a married actress who is also a mother is the final nail in the coffin of her dreams, ambitions and aspirations – these are some of the discriminatory stereotypes that we have to live with and try to overcome every single day,” she said.