Renuka Shahane is today a very well-known name. As she turns a year older today, let us go back to the times when Renuka won the hearts of millions with her broad smile as a co-anchor on Doordarshan’s famous hit show 'Surabhi'.
Renuka and her co-host Siddharth Kak, who was the man behind this show, were very popular during the 1980s as their simplicity and charm made people glued to the screen. Importantly, it was the first really entertaining and informative show that showcased the diverse culture, ethos, and architecture of the country.
It is said that the show not only boosted the tourism sector then, but also helped propagate the diverse culture of the country.
The show ran almost for a decade with a gap in between. The reason why Surabhi was so successful is that for the first time there was a platform that put forth the art and craft as well as the artists from remote areas in front of the people and exposed every Indian to some of the most unknown things that this country has to offer.
Undoubtedly, Surabhi played a big role in encouraging people to explore different parts of India and buy things from local artisans that were unique and beautiful. While talking about selecting Renuka as the show co-host Siddharth Kak said that she has this unique ability to mug up all the lines and reproduce them effectively without fumbling.
At the start, Renuka received a comment for her broad smile which made her quite conscious and she stopped smiling. However, when Siddharth Kak told her to be normal and keep smiling she followed his advice and it was this smile that gained her a pivotal role in Madhuri Dixit and Salman Khan-led 'Hum Aapke Hain Koun'.
Now, married to Bollywood actor Ashutosh Rana with whom she shares two kids, Renuka over the years has acted in multiple Hindi movies, and a South biggie titled 'Money' and even directed a Marathi movie 'Rita' which was critically appreciated.
She then directed Kajol, Mithila Palkar, and Tanvi Azmi in her first Hindi directorial movie 'Tribhanga'. Those who watched television during the 80s have a fond memory of watching Shah Rukh Khan romancing Renuka Shahane in the television serial Circus.
Apart from her creative contributions, Renuka has also been one of the very few people from Bollywood to take a stand against Salman Khan when he was accused in the hit-and-run case and booked for other allegations.