I met Renuka Shahane last year when she was in the city to promote her directorial venture 'Rita'.
It's hard to believe that the demure and soft-spoken Renuka Shahane was a 'crazy' teenager or that as a child she used to pick up stray cats and bring them home. Talking to YB about her childhood, Renuka laughs, “My brother and I drove my mother mad by bringing stray cats home everyday. It didn't last very long because my mother put her foot down.”
A student of King George School (now Shri Chatrapati Shivaji High School), Renuka as a child spoke Telugu and not Marathi. “My father was in the Indian Navy and we were stationed at Vishakhapatnam port. I spoke Telgu till I was five. Only after returning to Mumbai I learnt to speak Marathi. Now, of course, I am extremely fluent in the language,” says the popular TV star.
Renuka who had dabbled in Marathi theatre as a student never intended to become an actress.
“I was very fond of children and I wanted to become a Child Psychologist. I had finished my MA in Clinical Psychology and wanted to do my Phd in Child Psychology, but before I could fill the form, Circus, the television serial happened. The director of the serial and my mentor, Aziz Mirza told me that my calling lay in acting,” she says.
Renuka then turned her attention towards acting, but she has managed to retain her love for children and her interest in psychology.
“I cut down on my work because of my two kids, Shauryaman and Satyendra. My mother was always around when my brother and I were growing up, dropping us to school, packing our dabbas, making us complete our homework. I had a very normal childhood and that's what I want the same for my kids too,” concludes Renuka with a smile.