Joined: 21 June 2005
|'Marriage is not a bed of roses' - Renuka Shahane and Ashutosh Rana|
|Her thousand-watt smile leaves you stunned, his Hindi even more. Both have carved themselves a well-deserved place in the industry and each other's hearts. Married for two years, Ashutosh Rana and Renuka Shahane have found happiness together.|
In an exclusive with ShaadiTimes, this happy couple shares their thoughts on love, marriage and parenthood.
'Hum aapke prashansak hain'
"We met at the trial run of a film called Jayati , directed by Hansal Mehta, which unfortunately never hit the screens. Ashutosh came to the show with singer Rajeshwari Sachdev. She introduced me to him. I hadn't seen Dushman , so I really didn't know who he was until then. He on the other hand, had seen Sailaab and Hum Aapke Hain Kaun , and was quick to accolade my performances with a - hum aapke bade prashansak hain (I'm a great admirer of your work). After the show, they dropped me off at Prithvi theatre, as my driver hadn't shown up. This was in September 1998 and there was no contact between us after that day for several months."
The build up
"In October, director Ravi Rai was planning a serial, and he had Ashutosh, a few others and me in mind. Ravi Rai had thrown a Divali party at his place where Ashutosh couldn't make it because he had to give an interview. The next day he called on me on my answering machine wishing me a happy Divali. This was on 17th October, he again called on 19th October and finally on 20th October 1998. Feeling a little awkward, I called him back and we ended up speaking for an hour. The days that followed were amazing, we spoke only on the phone because of our busy work schedule and finally after almost three months we finally met on 31st December 1998."
'There was something mysterious about him'
"He is an extremely intelligent person and a terrific actor," says Renuka. "It's the drive and ambition he has, that left me awe struck. There is something mysterious about him; he has this quality that i hadn't observed in any one else. Besides, he was a very well educated man."
"Her peace, intelligence, strong personality and her liveliness attracted me towards her," says Ashutosh. "We love to talk to each other. We've always had different opinions on several issues, but our work was something we never discussed."
'I learnt a lot from my first marriage'
Renuka's first marriage was short-lived. The failed marriage, according to Renuka, has done more good than harm. "I did have insecurities before getting into another marriage, but I guess I was better equipped this time around. My first marriage has made me what I am today."
As for Ashutosh he had no doubt that she was the one for him. "Her past didn't feature in any of our long discussions, there were no doubts on my part."
An equal and opposite reaction!
"My father who has a very cool temperament reacted very pleasantly to my wedding plans,'' says Renuka. "My mother was very tense, not because it was my second marriage but due to Ashutosh's family background. His family, which hails from a little hamlet in Madhya Pradesh, consists of twelve members."
Now they share a wonderful relationship, he has even picked up Marathi from her! Ashutosh's family was more than happy for him. "I was the last in my family to tie the knot and my family members took an instant liking for Renuka. There might have been a cultural difference between our families, lekin raston pe aalag nahin the (We did not have different paths)."
A royal wedding
And so after two and a half year's of courtship, they decided to get married. Their wedding was an affair right out of a fairy tale. They had decided to get married in Damoh in Madhya Pradesh.
"We reached Damoh on 25th morning and the ceremony was scheduled for 12 noon. I was stunned to see the entire station packed with people, which looked more like a political rally. And then we stood in our jeep and waved to the crowds lined up on both sides of the road," says Renuka.
As Renuka's mother was unable to be at the ceremony on time it was Ashutosh's sister who did the kanyadaan . "The pandit performing the ceremony was stunned at my sister-in-law doing my kanyadaan."
"For him family is always first. He is a very rooted person. He puts a lot of effort into our marriage and supports my decision to work. In fact, he is still pestering me to get back to work, which I stopped after my pregnancy. And he doesn't smoke or drink."
"She has loads of patience and an ability to contain and tolerate my occasional hyper-active behaviour. She is basically a very honest and positive person."
"He is extremely possessive about me. But besides this he is the perfect husband."
"I have accepted her the way she is, which also includes her negative qualities. If I have accepted her unconditionally, the question of her weakness is of no consequence."
As you sow, so shall you reap!
Both Renuka and Ashutosh believe that marriage requires a lot of effort. "Marriage is not a bed of roses. You have to put a great deal of effort into marriage and remember that this is the woman you have chosen to be with, and you have to be there for her no matter what.
You may have different opinions about certain things, it is essential for the both of you to have the same policy on life." Renuka offers some valuable advice. "Being strong willed people, the secret to our marriage is having no ego and always finishing an argument. Identify the problem, discuss it and find a solution. Never sleep over an argument!"
'She is a good listener, I'm a great talker'
Friendship reigns supreme in their marriage and there are many things this couple of two years share in common. "I love to talk and she is a great listener, it works really well," beams Ashutosh. For Renuka friendship is an essential support system in any relationship. "Our marriage is based on friendship, I think all marriages today are. We love spending time together watching movies, plays, having long discussions on theatre and being with friends."
'Marriage is not a matter of change, but of exchange!'
Both Renuka and Ashutosh have found a new life after marriage. "My working capacity has increased after marriage," remarks Ashutosh. "I have started living my life in a very positive way. I believe that marriage is not a matter of change, but of exchange."
Renuka has rediscovered herself once more after marriage. "At first I thought I could do without marriage, but now I'm happy that I'm a married woman. I'm more relaxed now because the barrier, of being a single woman in our society, no longer exists. I am much happier now and extremely positive about the future. Marriage has widened my spectrum of acceptance of other people - it has changed my life."
A bundle of joy
Renuka and Ashutosh are proud parents of a ten-month-old baby boy, 'Shauryaman'. "I have taken a sabbatical from work to be with him. Ashutosh has been extremely supportive as a husband and is great father. Despite the busy schedules, he always makes it a point to be with our son. Shauryaman's arrival has made life much better for the both of us."
And Ashutosh knows that though fatherhood is tough, he will be good father. "I have been a good son to my father and a good husband to my wife, why wouldn't I be a good father to my child?"
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Why Ashutosh Rana and Renuka Shahane went in for the most non celeb marriage.
They met three years ago and for the better part of the past two years were a couple. Finally, in May, Rana's spiritual guru, Dev Prabhakar Shastri told a pleased as punch Rana that he should marry Renuka. "My guruji advised me to get married. He likes Renuka and thinks she's perfect for me."
Says Renuka, "We wanted it to remain simple because Ashutosh's spiritual guru wanted it that way. Simplicity suits us fine as we had no time to arrange an elaborate wedding." They wed on May 25th in Damoh in Madhya Pradesh, and returned to Mumbai on the 27th. Though the wedding itself was a simple and private affair, with only close family and friends present, but in Damoh they were treated like visiting royalty.
They were then taken to a newly built hotel in Damoh which they then had to inaugurate. It was already 9.30 am by then, and they had to reach the wedding mandap by 12. To add to their woes, the power supply went off, and Renuka had to get dressed and do her own make up in the sweltering May summer heat of Damoh. "I was perspiring all the way, and it had nothing to do with nervousness." The bride dressed in a traditional red, beige and gold chaniya choli, while the groom went traditional too in a beige bandhgala sherwani, with a gold turban.
Renuka's mother who was to give her away didn't reach the venue on time, so Ashutosh's sister did the honours. The ceremony was very simple and traditional and the entire wedding was organised by Rana's guruji, so Renuka has no wedding organising tips to share. What she does state, however, is
Joined: 21 June 2005
Renuka Shahane and Ashutosh Rana
Actress Renuka Shahane, who married actor Ashutosh Rana, her second husband, says, "I was left bitter by my first marriage. But I was never against the institution of marriage. In fact, I was all for it, as long as both parties see it as an equal responsibility from each and every point of view. I've learnt this from my first marriage."
For her, her first failed marriage was a learning experience; one that left her wiser and a lot more cautious. "The second time round, when I decided to marry, I was more careful about whom I chose as my spouse and why. In Ashutosh I found a perfect partner. He knows the industry, knows the kind of working hours we keep and knows exactly how difficult life could be for an actress," she explains, proving that a partner, who understands and cares, is vital for a successful marriage.
Renuka surmises, "I also think that by the time you marry the second time round, you are more mature and much more ready to accept that you may also have made a fault somewhere and not repeat it again." But this might not be the case with everyone. For many are unaware of the subconscious baggage they have carried over to the second relationship. As was the case with Rishi Shinde, whose traumatic first marriage and divorce had a telling effect on his relationship with his second wife.
Joined: 01 April 2006
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