As the veteran actor Reema Lagoo breathed her last on Thursday morning, many of her co-actors and colleagues from the television and the film industry were left shocked. The fans and co-actors of Bollywood’s new-age mother found it hard to come to terms that Reema Lagoo died so young. What Nirupa Roy was to the 70s and 80s generation, Reema Lagoo was to the 90s kids — an understanding mom with a lovely smile and great acting skills. Reema owned her every role.
Majorly it was Rajshri Production movies where Reema established a motherly image. She was an onscreen mother to Kajol, Juhi Chawla, Madhuri Dixit, Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, and Sanjay Dutt among others. One among Reema’s onscreen children squad was actor Renuka Shahane.
Renuka Shahane and Reema Lagoo — the mother and the daughter of Hum Aapke Hai Koun — created magic together on the 70 mm screen as they expressed the beautiful bond between a mother and daughter. But Renuka could never accept she made an apt daughter to Reema. Before meeting the beautiful actor on the sets of the iconic film, Renuka witnessed the acting prowess of Reema when she was an ace Marathi theatre artist.
On Thursday at Reema Lagoo, 59, passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest in Mumbai, Renuka ‘with a very heavy heart’ bid adieu to an actor whom she admired and took inspiration to grow in life. Reema’s mesmerising beauty always left Renuka spellbound and she made sure to capture the eternal beauty in her camera lens. But the actor never shared the candid clicks with anyone, not even with Reema.
Renuka took to her Facebook account to share the black and white clicks and wrote an emotional message along with them. Renuka wrote, “Reema Tai….the first time I met you, many, many years before I got to work with you in films, was at your home. You had made amazing “matkichi usal”. I couldn’t take my eyes off you…..you were so beautiful. Then I saw you on stage….” Savita Damodar Paranjape” ” Ghar Tighancha Hava”….you were outstanding…..what an immensely powerful actress you were on stage! I was in awe of you….a huge fan. I wouldn’t have imagined I would get the opportunity to work with you a few years down the line.”
Talking about her film with Reema, Renuka wrote, “‘Hum Aapke Hain Koun’….I played your daughter. I would joke with you that I wasn’t suited to play your daughter since you are so beautiful….”मी नक्कीच looks department मध्ये Anupam Kher वर गेल्ये”. You would laugh full throatedly at this comment, slap me playfully and say “काहीतरीच काय!” We used to share our Tiffin boxes, make-up rooms…..you were protective about me…..if an actor became too friendly you would help me get out of any such situation…..I could spend hours watching you get ready. Though you would want to get ready as fast as possible because you didn’t much care for spending time on make-up. You didn’t need it much because you were naturally so beautiful.”
Like an ardent admirer of Reema Lagoo’s beauty, Renuka took the actor’s permission to capture her in monochrome.”Once I got my camera and asked your permission to click your photos in black & white…..you were a bit embarrassed but allowed me to experiment with what I wanted to do….I wanted to take a picture of you in the mirror…..You were thrilled with the photos….but they didn’t do justice to your beauty,” wrote Shahane.
Renuka also feels the Hindi cinema failed to do justice to her acting skills. She wrote, “And the Hindi films you did didn’t do your immense talent justice….and life hasn’t been just in snatching you away so early! I’m sharing the black & white photos I clicked with a very heavy heart…..the last thing I wanted was to share them as an obit to you. Rest in eternal peace my beautiful Reematai.”