BEST FOOT forward
Filmfare|April 2021
RENUKA SHAHANE TALKS ABOUT BEING A DIRECTOR AND SHARES ANECDOTES ABOUT HER CO-STARS AND HER PERSONAL LIFE. VEDANSHI PATHAK TAKES NOTES
VEDANSHI PATHAK

My parents used to watch Surabhi and loved it. What they liked most was the ever-smiling anchor Renuka Shahane, who together with Siddharth Kak regaled the viewers for 10 years. The actress made her mark in films with Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! (1994) playing Madhuri Dixit’s elder sister. Though strangely, she never capitalised on that success. She married Ashutosh Rana in 2001 and afterwards got busy with her married life. Her sons Shauryaman and Satyendraand kept her busy. She did come on and off in TV serials but didn’t pursue acting actively. Renuka was seeking different horizons and made her debut in direction with Marathi film Rita (2009). Now a decade later, she has made her directorial debut in Hindi cinema with Tribhanga. She has some fond memories of working with Madhuri Dixit Nene, Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan in the past and also of directing Tribhanga. She also speaks of her sepia romance with Ashutosh Rana. Excerpts from an all-heart interview

YOU STARTED YOUR JOURNEY AS A CO-PRESENTER IN DOORDARSHAN’S SURABHI. HOW HAS THE JOURNEY BEEN FROM THEN TILL NOW?

I didn’t start my journey with Surabhi, I started with a serial called PC Aur Mausi in 1987 starring Farida Jalal, Pankaj Berry and me. Then I did Circus, Lifeline and then Surabhi came into my life. And I did it for 10 years. I still have viewers coming up to me. They are CEOs of companies and they approach me saying I was their childhood icon. During Lifeline in 1988 I was also an assistant director to Dr Vijaya Mehta I was her fourth assistant and that’s when I developed this interest in direction. After marriage, at the behest of my husband Rana ji (Ashutosh Rana) I started writing screenplays. The first film I directed was the Marathi film Rita (2009) which I adapted from my mother’s (Shanta Gokhale) novel Rita Welingkar. In 2013 I was part of Mumbai Mantra’s Screenwriters workshop and I wrote a 10 page treatment which later was expanded into Tribhanga. I had named it Tribhanga because I wanted this metaphor where three women from different generations offer three different perspectives about similar things in life.

HOW WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE OF DIRECTING THREE AWESOME ACTORS LIKE KAJOL, TANVI AZMI AND MITHILA PALKAR FOR TRIBHANGA AND HOW DID YOU MANAGE TO BRING THEM TOGETHER?

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