Early Life and BackgroundSee also: Kapoor family
Born in Mumbai, India, on 21 September 1980 into the Kapoor film family, Kapoor is the younger daughter of actors Randhir Kapoor and Babita (née Shivdasani); her elder sister Karisma is also an actress. Often informally referred to as Bebo, she is the granddaughter of actor and filmmaker Raj Kapoor and niece of actor Rishi Kapoor. According to Kapoor, the name "Kareena" was derived from the book Anna Karenina, which her mother read while she was pregnant with her. She is of Punjabi descent on her father's side, and on her mother's side she is Sindhi.
As a child she had strong aspirations to become an actress, and was particularly inspired by the films of Bollywood actresses Nargis and Meena Kumari. Kapoor, who describes herself as a "very naughty spoilt child", would regularly dress up in her mother's clothes and perform in front of the mirror. Despite her family background, her father disapproved of women entering the acting profession because he believed it conflicted with the traditional maternal duties and responsibility of women in the family. This led to a conflict between her parents, and resulted in Kapoor's mother leaving with her daughters. After her parents' separation she was raised in Lokhandwala by her mother, who worked at several jobs to support her daughters until Karisma debuted as an actress in 1991. In an interview with Vir Sanghvi, Kapoor said that growing up in a household filled with women helped her become strong and independent. Following her parents' reconciliation in October 2007, Kapoor explained that they "were never officially divorced ... ... liv separately." Asked about her relationship with her father, Kapoor remarked "My father is ... an important factor in my life. though we did not see him often in our initial years, we are a family now".
Kapoor attended Jamnabai Narsee School in Mumbai, followed by Welham Girls School (a boarding school) in Dehradun. She later recalled, "I learnt so much from being at Welham" and described her experience there as "one of the finest parts of my life". According to Kapoor, she was a good student and received first-class honours in all subjects except mathematics. After graduating from Welham she studied commerce for two years at Mithibai College in Vile Parle (Mumbai), but later confessed that she only studied there because it was close to her family. Kapoor then registered for a three-month summer course in microcomputers at Harvard University in the United States. She later developed an interest in law, and enrolled at the Government Law College in Churchgate; during this period, she became immersed in law books and developed a long-lasting passion for reading. However, after completing one year at Churchgate Kapoor decided to return to her initial plan to become an actress. She began training at an acting institute in Andheri mentored by Kishore Namit Kapoor, a member of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII).
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