Ashutosh Rana & Renuka Shahane Giving Love a Second Chance

Wedding Affair

In this chaotic world where relationships are constraining and friendships are meaningless, we seldom come across a few lucky individuals who found the right person at the right time. The love saga of Ashutosh Rana and Renuka Shahane is living proof that with the arrival of the right person at the right time everything seamlessly falls into place filling your world with eternal bliss. 

Starting with a platonic relationship, the unconventional male antagonist of Bollywood, Ashutosh Rana falls in love with the diligent beauty who dominates the Marathi film industry and Bollywood film industry, Renuka Shahane. Their story is a tale of second chances that bloomed into an eternal love affair. After Renuka Shahane’s first marriage went to the South, it became hard for her to believe in the idea of love again. But, Rana’s persistent efforts, abundant love and unwavering commitment compelled Shahane to fall in love with him. While the love saga of this besotted couple is an inspiration for many, their shares of ups and downs are just like yours and ours. 

The Origins

Renuka Shahane is an Indian actress who is widely known for her work in the Hindi and Marathi film industry and several television productions. She is best known as the co-presenter of the Doordarshan TV show ‘Surabhi’. Born on 7th October, 1966 in Mumbai, Maharashtra Shahane hails from a typical Marathi family. Her father, Lt. Cdr. Vijay Kumar Shahane, was an officer in the Indian Navy and her mother Shanta Gokhale is a theatre personality and film critic who dominantly works on Marathi theatre. Shahane grew up with her mother and her brother Girish Shahane in the city of dreams – Mumbai. She completed her B.A. in Psychology from St. Xavier’s College and her Post graduation in Clinical Psychology from Mumbai University. Shahane started her career in the world of glitz and glamour with the Marathi film ‘Hach Sunbaicha Bhau’. She then worked as an anchor in the vastly popular Hindi TV show, ‘Surabhi’. Her captivating broad smile became a byword for charm in the era when Doordarshan was the only TV channel in India, and Renuka was certainly one of the most popular TV personalities of the 1980s. In 1994, at the height of her fame, while she was hosting ‘Surabhi’, Shahane got the opportunity to act in the film ‘Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!’ which soon became the highest-grossing Indian film. With this film, she procured the image of a girl with wholesome and traditional values. She starred in the Marathi film ‘Aboli’ for which she was widely praised and won Filmfare Award Marathi Best Actress at Filmfare Awards Marathi in the year 1995. After working in many Marathi films, she decided to direct a Marathi film. She released her first Marathi film, Rita as a director. She has also acted in a Telugu movie ‘Money’, produced by Ram Gopal Varma, which was a big hit on the silver screen. 

Ashutosh Rana’s birth name was Ashutosh Ramnarayan Neekhra. He was born on 10th November 1967 in Gadarwara, Madhya Pradesh. Rana, a dynamic personality is an actor, producer, author and television personality. He has predominantly worked in Marathi, Telugu, Kannada, Tamil and Hindi films and has also worked in Indian television shows. Rana has completed his graduation from Dr Hari Singh Gaur University Sagar Madhya Pradesh. After realizing his dreams for acting on the silver screen he went to the National School of Drama, New Delhi and studied acting. Rana started his career with the television serial ‘Swabhimaan’, followed by a few other serials like ‘Farz’, ‘Sazish’, ‘Jax Kabhi’ and ‘Waris’. He was an anchor on the TV show, ‘Baazi Kiski’. He also hosted ‘Sarkaar Ki Duniya’, a reality show which took place on Mango Island in Karwar, Karnataka. Later, in 2010, he acted in a Star Plus show ‘Kaali- Ek Agnipariksha’, where he played an antagonist as Thakral. He has also played the role of a protagonist in the famous TV serial Doordarshan, named ‘Apradhi Koun’. Rana became a famous name in the Bollywood film industry with his impeccable acting nuances in the films ‘Dushman’ and ‘Sangharsh’ and tends to dominate the silver screen with his groundbreaking work

The First Meet

Noted Indian Bollywood actor Ashutosh Rana (R) and actress Renuka Sahane pose are seen at their wedding ceremony in the God Shiva temple at Bandakpur, in Madhya Pradesh state, 25 May 2001. Ashutosh recently won a film fair award for best acting in a villain role in the film ‘Dushman’. AFP PHOTO (Photo by – / AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

The sets of Hansal Mehta’s film, ‘Jayate’ brought context to the love story of Rana and Shahane. While the film got shelved the two were fortunate to have met each other. Some describe it as the butterfly feeling in the stomach and some musical guitars playing in the background and that’s how precisely Rana felt when he first laid eyes on Shahane, he knew she was the one and it was love at first sight. Rana was intimated by Shahane’s personality and work even before knowing her but on the other hand, Shahane had no idea who Rana was as he was not a famous persona at that time. Rana took the leap of faith and approached Director Ravi Rai to ask for Shahane’s phone number. Ravi gave him Sahane’s phone number but with a light warning. Reminiscing about the old time Rana shared in an interview “Ravi warned me that Renuka doesn’t pick up unknown numbers or check her phone after 10 pm. He was right. I left a Dussehra wish on her answering machine with my name but not my number, hoping she’ll find a way to contact me.” Not knowing what destiny had planned for the duo, Shahane reciprocated his efforts as a friendly gesture and called him back to wish him in return. Searching for reasons to talk to each other and calling each other back and forth, Rana shared in an interview “I left another message on her machine to thank her for wishing me and the following day, she finally shared her number with my sister. For the next three months, we played phone a friend.

Infinity And Beyond 

A poet at heart, Rana took the poetic route to propose the love of his life and recited a poem in front of Shahane. The poem ended with a question to which Shahane responded positively. She confessed her love for Rana too and the couple commenced their love journey. “She paused for a second and finally confessed that she was in love with me too,” Rana said blushingly in an interview. Rana and Shahane dated each other for three years before they tied the knot on 25th May 2001 in an intimate ceremony in Rana’s native place in Madhya Pradesh. Rana and Shahane knew that they had found their homes in each other. They knew they were perfect together – a match made in heaven. But, the duo had their share of good, bad and ugly. Rana came from a small village in Madhya Pradesh on the other hand Shahane was born and brought up in Mumbai. Rana had a huge family while Shahane shared her life with her mother and only brother. The duo were polar opposite, and Shahane’s family were concerned about whether she would be able to adapt to his culture or not. Shahane’s first marriage which turned out to be a doom became an obstacle in their eternal story. Her friends and acquaintances bashed her with mean comments like her marriage with Ashutosh R would not last even for a month. The couple’s picture of happily ever after wasn’t rosy but the duo decided to stick to each other. They were each other’s support system and rose to all these negative comments and trolls like one strong team. The couple is blessed with two sons – Shauryaman and Satyendra. Often seen complementing each other and flourishing us with lovey-dovey photographs, Rana and Shahane have been together for 22 years, their love story is a true testimonial to the power of a loving partnership.