Renuka Shahane says her character of Pooja in the cult Bollywood film Hum Aapke Hain Koun (HAHK) made her the “jag-bhabhi”. The Rajshri blockbuster, which completes 26 years of its release today, saw Renuka playing Madhuri Dixit’s elder sister and Salman Khan’s sister-in-law.
In a candid chat with indianexpress.com, Renuka shared several interesting anecdotes about the Sooraj Barjatya directorial.
Here are excerpts from the conversation:
Q. You are still remembered for playing the lovable Pooja in Hum Aapke Hain Koun. What was that moment you realised you’ve become a part of a cult film?
Once, I had gone to see Hum Aapke Hain Koun at Liberty theater with my brother. This was after a few weeks of the film’s release. The kind of madness I could see around was really weird for me. Some people recognised me, though many did not know whether this was the same person. On screen you tend to look bigger, and off-screen, much petite and that time I was super-slim. So people weren’t sure and seeing the crowd, I actually got scared and ran off from there. Later on, I went to see Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ) at Gaiety and HAHK was still running there. My film’s show was yet to start, and I had arrived earlier. The ticket counter man recognised me and said, ‘Ma’am please don’t stand outside. We’ve been running your film for months now and I can’t allow you to stand here.’ He took me up to the projection room. And I saw DDLJ from there (laughs). I did not understand the kind of craze HAHK had at that time. It was like an out-of-body experience for me!
Q. Your song “Lo Chali Main” has become a part of Indian weddings. How many times have you been asked to dance on it in real life?
Scores of times! Singing and dancing. And the funniest thing is that I don’t have a devar (brother-in-law) in real life. So I never had to actually do it in real life for any devar’s wedding. But then because I’m “jag-bhabhi” (universal sister-in-law), everyone becomes my devar!
Q. What are your fondest memories from the sets of Hum Aapke Hain Koun?
Before the shoot started, because I was always interested in direction, I used to go early and be with Sooraj ji (Barjatya) and his assistants while they blocked the day’s plan. I used to love that time. I must say that at the end of our 150-days shooting, we became so close to the crew. During the last shot, Rajshri played that song “Tujhse juda hokar”, and it was such an emotional moment. Something that I find unforgettable. The song was (as if) talking about us and saying thank you. I thought that was so deeply moving. I think that kind of feeling is very rare in the film industry.
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