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Character Profiles > Rani Kapoor Coco Cherian

Rani Kapoor 2012-2013
Lived: 24 Ramsay Street, Kapoor house
Born: c. 1997/1998
Parents: Ajay and Priya Kapoor
Occupation: Student

The bright and enthusiastic daughter of councillor Ajay Kapoor and his school teacher wife Priya, Rani came to Erinsborough High from Eden Hills Grammar, at the beginning of year nine, when her mum took over as principal. Already friends with fellow student Sophie Ramsay, as they'd played soccer together, Rani found it more difficult to win over Sophie's friend Callum Jones, who saw her as the principal's pet and a nerd. But when Priya arrived to sit in on the year nine English lesson and observe teacher Michael Williams, Rani was the only one to speak up and make Michael look like a good teacher, and Callum was impressed with her actions. But when he told her this later on in the day, she showed him that she wasn't about to forget about the names he'd called her, and he'd have to try a lot harder to win her friendship.

A few weeks later, Sophie was facing a future in foster care and ran away from home, hiding out in Rani's bedroom. With Sophie's Uncle Paul looking for her, Rani kept quiet but it wasn't long before Callum came looking and sprung Sophie hiding under Rani's bed. Though Rani wanted to be loyal to her friend, she agreed with Callum that Sophie was only making things worse for herself by pushing people away, and he eventually told Paul where Sophie was. Although the incident almost cost Sophie and Callum their friendship, it also succeeded in bringing Callum and Rani closer.

The following week, Rani and Callum were forced to spend time together once again, when paired up for an art assignment; a photography task documenting where they’d like to be in ten years. Callum immediately decided that he’d be sitting on a couch playing video games, but Rani struggled to make her mind up. She mentioned that she liked spending time with children and helping people, and Callum had the idea that she could be a princess. As they spent more time together, Sophie, who had just started at Eden Hills Grammar – after being expelled from Erinsborough High – grew jealous of the blossoming friendship between her two best mates.

Sophie set about sabotaging their friendship, leading Rani to believe that Callum had a crush on her, whilst telling Callum that Rani was quite moody and her distant behaviour was normal. When Callum invited the two girls over to watch DVDs, Sophie continued to manipulate them, telling Callum to talk to Rani about Bollywood and Indian food, knowing that the attention was making Rani uncomfortable. When Rani and Callum were finally alone, they started chatting and realised what Sophie had been doing, so they got their revenge by pretending to be a couple. Sophie fell for their act and complained to her Uncle Paul, who was feuding with Ajay and took great pleasure in calling him to let him know that his precious daughter was alone with Callum. Ajay burst in on them and, believing it was Sophie, they quickly snuggled up together on the sofa, only to be caught by her dad, who banned them from seeing each other. The charade continued for Sophie's benefit, however, until she caught them out in a lie and realised that they'd been stringing her along. Though Rani was relieved to end the lies, she failed to realise that Callum was falling for her for real, and was confused when he took her out for coffee, believing it to be a date. Callum was starting to give up, when another opportunity presented itself, as Rani was offered an after-school job at the nursery run by Callum's mum Sonya. With Callum also helping it, it gave the teenagers a chance to spend some time together, and soon their relationship was blossoming.

When Callum started to turn on Rani, she realised it because her dad was representing Callum's natural father, Troy Miller in a custody case. Troy had badly hurt Sonya and Callum in the past, but had returned and bought 32 Ramsay Street, insisting that he's changed and wanted joint custody of his son. When Troy suddenly dropped the case, Rani realised that something wasn't right, and she found out that Callum had been secretly visiting his dad, in return for him ending the legal action. Knowing that Troy could be dangerous, Rani sat on this knowledge until she realised that she would have to say something - just as Callum went to his dad and told him that he wanted nothing more to do with him, leaving Troy furious and refusing to let his son leave his house. It all ended with Troy unconscious and rushed to hospital with a head injury, and, when he awoke he was determined to see Callum and went to the school but his injuries caused him to die in his car. Rani and Sophie supported Callum as he dealt with his father's death and moved on with his life, and Callum's spirits were soon lifted when he found out that Rani's parents had bought 24 Ramsay Street and he was her new neighbour.

Happy to be moving into Ramsay Street, closer to her friends, Rani was annoyed when her mum started hassling her about her new glasses, which she'd been told to wear whilst looking at television and computer screens. After getting some new glasses from her mum, Rani reluctantly agreed to wear them, and Callum did his best to reassure her that they looked fine. Rani was still oblivious to Callum's feelings toward her and his attempts to win her over kept failing as Ajay always got in the way. After receiving some advice to get Ajay's approval first, Callum helped him out, manning the barbecue at the Kapoor family's housewarming party, but Callum ended up spending so much time cooking the food for Ajay, that he missed spending any time with Rani. However, Rani's feelings for Callum began to change after Sophie was involved in a car accident that left her seriously ill in hospital. Having never experienced a friend being hurt like that, Rani was unsure what to do, but Callum helped her to put together a play list for Sophie to listen to in hospital, and told her not to dwell on the negative things in life, but to focus on the happier memories.

Unfortunately for Callum, Kyle's younger cousin, tearaway Harley Canning was about to hit town and catch Rani's eye. Desperate to get Harley's attention, Rani got contact lenses to avoid wearing her glasses and spent plenty of time hanging around him, but he was already developing feelings for her and, after a night at the movies with Callum, the pair shared their first kiss. The next morning, Rani was pleased when Harley agreed that they were boyfriend and girlfriend, but asked to keep it quiet for now, aware of Callum's feelings for her. However, when the pair were then caught kissing in the school corridor by Priya, she reacted furiously - actually venting her own confusion over her feelings for Paul Robinson - and pulled them apart, also attracting the attention of a devastated Callum. Smitten Rani was oblivious to all the fighting, but was upset when Sophie returned from rehab in Sydney and took an immediate dislike to Harley, asking that he be left out when they all spent time together. Desperate for time with Harley, Rani lied to her friends that she had work to do, before spending the day in the spa with Harley, and she was thrilled when he finally called her his girlfriend and gave her a necklace - which was promptly confiscated from her at school, and later revealed to be stolen.

Harley continued to lead Rani astray, as he convinced her to talk to her mum about holding a school formal for the year 9s. The plan worked, but Harley was disappointed when it turned out that they were getting a bush dance at the mens' shed, and he told Rani that, after the dance, he'd be taking her to a party in Frankston and they'd be staying the night. Unsure that she was ready to take this step, or to lie to her parents about it, Rani confided in Callum. Callum was already concerned about Harley's influence, as Rani's excitement about Diwali had disappeared when she realised that Harley didn't care about it. Rani soon had other things to worry about when she spotted her mum hugging Paul Robinson. Rani confronted her mum the next day, and Priya explained that she'd simply been comforting him, after listening to his problems about his son's epilepsy diagnosis. Rani wanted to believe this, but her doubts resurfaced when her mum bought her a leather jacket, claiming it was just a treat, but Rani was concerned that it was her mum's way of telling her to keep her mouth shut about what she saw. When Sophie started working at Lassiter's hotel and showed Rani a box of lost jewellery that had been found in hotel rooms, she was stunned to see a pair of earrings that her mum had recently lost. Her worst fears beginning to come true, Rani tried looking on her mum's phone for evidence but when that failed, she stole Paul's phone from the hotel reception desk and was disgusted to find a series of messages between him and her mum, proving that they'd been sleeping together for weeks. Rani threw the phone in the lake and decided to go with Harley to the party in Frankston, but the pair were caught before they could leave, with Harley being sent back home to his mum, and Rani forced to explain her actions. As Ajay told his daughter of his disappointment in her, she blurted out that Priya had been sleeping with Paul Robinson - but Ajay didn't believe her, thinking she was simply lashing out.

When a concerned Priya returned home, knowing that Rani had discovered her affair, she tried to tell Ajay the truth, but he continued to think his daughter was making up stories to be cruel. Eventually, Priya told Ajay that Rani was telling the truth - she'd had an affair with Paul, but it was over now. As Ajay threw his wife out of the house, Rani struggled to cope with what had happened, even suggesting that she never wanted to see her mum again, and falling out with Sophie, Paul's niece, over the whole issue. After a couple of weeks, Ajay realised that it would ultimately cause more damage to keep Priya and Rani apart, so he asked his wife to return home, telling her that she would be sleeping in the spare room. Though Priya tried to mend bridges, Rani continued to make it clear that she wanted nothing to do with her. Callum, meanwhile, continued his efforts to win over Rani, worried about how unhappy she'd been since her parents' marital problems. With his little sister Nell just born, Callum plotted to get Rani's attention by pretending that he couldn't cope with looking after her, knowing that Rani wouldn't be able to resist as she loved babies. The plan seemed to work, but when Rani saw Callum easily pick up and hold the baby later that day, she realised that she'd been conned, but Sonya and Callum eventually convinced her to stay and she started to relax. Having won back Rani's friendship, Callum then decided to try and impress her by giving her a photo of him and Nell, but her underwhelmed reaction wasn't quite what he was hoping for.

Rani's odd behaviour continued when she posted some nasty comments about her mum on her Facebook page, and decided to see how far she could push her mum on the first day of the school year, by refusing to attend assembly and classes. Rani was furious when she received a week of detentions, and her dad refused to support her, taking her back to school to attend her punishment. When Rani's online comments were then turned into a Facebook page, her upset over the whole situation became too much and she sprayed some nasty graffiti about Paul outside the hotel. After Priya had a word with Paul, he agreed not to press charges, and she was given rubbish collection duty at Lassiter's. Though Callum and Sophie were becoming concerned about their normally polite and respectful friend's behaviour, newcomer Bailey Turner was immediately smitted by her, bad behaviour and all. After putting his foot in it over her mum's affair, Bailey later managed to win Rani's friendship and she finally had something to smile about. Meanwhile, Callum, still desperate to impress Rani in any way possible, managed to prove that student Alistair O'Loughlin had been behind the nasty Facebook page, after stealing his phone. Unbeknownst to Rani, Alistair's father Brian had also been sending horrible text messages to Priya, but the whole incident seemed to help the Kapoor family to unite again, and brought Priya closer to both her daughter and her husband.

Though Ajay and Priya's marriage seemed to be getting back on track, Rani was still struggling with her feelings at times, and was upset when her mum bought her a pink dress to wear to Toadie and Sonya's wedding. After spending the day feeling uncomfortable, Rani finally snapped when Callum told her how nice she looked, believing that he was making fun of her. As Priya tried to help, Rani told her mother that she hated her and stormed off, hiding out with Sophie and ignoring calls and texts from her parents. When word eventually reached Rani that there'd been a gas explosion at the wedding reception and that Priya had been seriously injured, she rushed to the hospital and waited with her dad for news. After a long wait, they were informed that Priya's brain had been starved of oxygen for too long, and that she would never regain consciousness. A devastated Rani then said a difficult farewell to her mum, knowing that the final thing she'd said to her was 'I hate you'. In the days that followed, Ajay was pleased that Rani seemed to be coping well with her mum's passing, and concentrated much of his effort on a class action suit against the hotel. It was Susan who realised that Rani wasn't coping, as she did anything she could to avoid talking about Priya's death, and ran out on a small memorial service held at the school. A few days later, Alistair tried to apologise to Rani for everything that had happened with their families, but Rani started ranting at him about how her mum wasn't really gone, and later Callum went to see Ajay to tell him about what had happened. As Susan had tried to tell him earlier that week, Rani was finding things very difficult, and when Ajay suggested that they should think about taking some of Priya's clothes to a charity shop, Rani became very upset and wouldn't even consider the idea. Later, Ajay spoke to his daughter and she opened up about how guilty she felt, as the last time she'd spoken to her mum, she'd told her that she hated her. Ajay assured Rani that Priya loved her very much, and she knew that those feelings were reciprocated, so Rani shouldn't worry about those final words. Although Rani seemed happier after talking to her dad, what nobody around her realised was that she'd been seeing visions of her mum and talking to them, finding some comfort in it but also hoping that the vision would talk back to her and give her a sign that she didn't hate her daughter.

With some encouragement from Kate, Rani helped to clear out her mum's old office at the school, and found a journal that Priya had been writing, putting down her feelings after her counselling sessions. The first thing that Rani read in it was Priya's fear that her daughter hated her, but as Rani continued to read, she was comforted as she realised how much her mum had loved her, and how similar their personalities were. As she saw the vision of her dead mother one last time, Priya smiled at her and disappeared for good. A little happier now, Rani began to look at Callum in a new light, appreciating his friendship and agreeing to go on a date with him, despite her feelings that perhaps she was better suited to Bailey. When Rani returned home one day to find her dad clearing out her mum's belongings, she stayed to help, forgetting about her date with Callum, who ended up coming to the house and helping with the clear-out. The pair ended up finding an old floppy disk that had belonged to Priya and, with Karl's help, they got to see the contents - a play entitled To Agra With Love, which Rani's mum had written when she was a teenager, though had never finished. The story, of a young girl called Rani who was caught between an arranged marriage to a man named Sanjay, and the man of her dreams named Raj, seemed to reflect the situation that Rani was finding herself in, and she began to think about writing her own ending and staging the play at school. After the auditions, things only got more confusing for Rani, as Callum was cast as Sanjay, and Bailey was playing Raj. As she was so focused on getting the play ready, Rani failed to notice that Bailey was also struggling with her feelings towards her during rehearsals, but the pair gradually grew closer. On the day that Erinsborough experienced an eclipse, Rani was overcome with emotion, as she thought about her mum and whether she could see it from heaven. As she confided in Bailey, Rani shared a close moment with him, only confirming her fears that she was dating the wrong guy.

Soon after, Bailey and Rani were rehearsing along together at the community centre, and they ended up sharing a kiss. The incident was witnessed by Sonya, and Rani explained that they'd just been rehearsing the kiss at the end of the play, but it wouldn't happen again. Sonya accepted this, and didn't say anything to Callum, but Rani's guilt grew and she decided to change the ending of the play, so that her character ended up with Callum's, instead of Bailey's. But as Callum was being nice to her all the time, Rani couldn't cope and she told him the truth about her kiss with Bailey, leading to the two boys having a fight in the street, and Callum wrecking the Taj Mahal backdrop that was to be used in the play. Despite all the drama, the play ended up being a big success, with a final heartfelt plea from Rani leading Callum to take part. Afterwards, he and Rani agreed to give things another try, but Callum told her that she couldn't spend time with Bailey anymore. She reluctantly agreed, but it was obvious that it was making her unhappy. After sneaking off to the Turner house to talk to Bailey one day, Rani was surprised when Callum turned up, and the boys started to argue again - but when Callum pushed Bailey away, he fell into the swimming pool, hitting his head on the way in and almost drowning in the process. Although he recovered in hospital, it made Rani realise that she couldn't continue to be with Callum when her heart wasn't in it, as it was ruining everyone's lives. Over the weeks that followed, a bitter Callum finally realised that he had to let Rani be happy, and he set her and Bailey up to meet by the lake, where they kissed and finally became a couple.

Meanwhile, Rani turned to Susan for advice when she suffered from painful period cramps, a problem that had been around for a while, and that Priya had tried to help with. Unable to speak to her dad about it, Rani appreciated Susan's help as she took her to a doctor, but when Ajay found out, he wrongly assumed that his daughter had gone on the pill, as she was having sex with Bailey. When Ajay found out the truth, he apologised to Susan, and realised that he was going to have to start treating Rani like a young woman, rather than his little girl. When the compensation cheque for Priya's death arrived, Ajay suggested that they could spend some of it on a trip to India during the school holidays. Rani was delighted, but when Ajay called his grandmother to tell her the news, he learnt that she was dying, but had kept it from him as she wanted to allow him and Rani to grieve to Priya. As Ajay started making plans to leave for India, Rani assumed that she'd be going with him, so was disappointed when she learnt that she'd be staying behind, with the Kennedys. She found her dad by Priya's memorial, saying goodbye, and told him that he couldn't protect her from the world forever, and that she would rather be by his side, so they could face things together. Ajay came to his senses and told Rani that she could come, and, after Rani said goodbye to Bailey, the Kapoors drove out of Ramsay Street.

Three months later, Rani made a surprise return to Ramsay Street, with the news that she and Ajay were moving to London. Following the death of his grandmother, Ajay had been offered a job in London, and had accepted, so Rani had returned to collect the last of her things and say some final goodbyes. Bailey was delighted to see her again, and was already making plans for them as a couple, when he found out that she wouldn't be staying for long. After hearing that Paul Robinson was planning an educational scholarship, Bailey decided to apply, hoping that it would mean that he could go to London and be with Rani. However, he failed to notice that she wasn't very keen on the idea, and eventually, just as she was preparing to leave Erinsborough, she told him that she didn't want him to come to London, explaining that she had met someone in India who she'd felt a connection with, and although nothing had happened, it had made her realise that she didn't want to be tied to one person at such a young age. And so, after saying her goodbyes, Rani departed Ramsay Street for good, leaving a heartbroken Bailey behind.

Trivia Notes
• Between episodes 6328 and 6461, Coco Cherian was credited as Coco-Jacinta Cherian
• Rani was a recurring guest character between episodes 6328 and 6458, a regular character between episodes 6461 and 6685, and returned for three episodes (6740, 6741, 6743) later in 2013, when she was credited again as a guest character, despite still featuring in the opening titles at the time

6328, 6342, 6343, 6349, 6354, 6359, 6374, 6376, 6377, 6381, 6384, 6393, 6394, 6404, 6405, 6411, 6412, 6413, 6418, 6426, 6436, 6437, 6447, 6452, 6457, 6458, 6461-6685, 6740, 6741, 6743

Magic Moments
Episode 6328: Rani's Arrival
Episode 6685: Ajay and Rani's Departure
Episode 6741: Rani's Return

Biography by Steve