As Tanuja turns 78 on Thursday, age has didn’t dim the flicker in her eyes and her attribute blunt wit, each the qualities that her daughter Kajol seems to have inherited. The feisty actor has labored in numerous movie industries throughout India, has acted in movies as various as Jewel Thief and Teen Bhubaner Pare and but by no means taken her profession as a aggressive train… a rat race of you’ll. For her it was all about connecting together with her colleagues on an mental and human stage, and having enjoyable whereas doing it. Perhaps as a lot enjoyable is listening to her recounting her experiences — of Vinod Khanna who was no ‘altu-faltu’, the ‘besharam’ Dharmendra who ultimately grew to become her rakhi brother and assembly Amitabh Bachchan as he danced in a membership along with his then girlfriend.

Recounting her life and co-stars in a method that’s all her personal, Tanuja remembers how she was pals with Dharmendra and had even met his then-wife Prakash Kaur. But, the day the actor tried to flirt together with her, she first slapped him and later, on his insistence, tied a rakhi on his wrist and made him her brother. “We were shooting for Dulal Guha’s Chand Aur Suraj. Dharam and I were drinking buddies and would have great fun. He even introduced me to his wife Prakash. Sunny (Deol) was just five then, while his daughter Lali was around six-months-old,” Tanuj narrated to Filmfare in an earlier interview.

Dharmendra and Tanuja in Chand Aur Suraj. (Express archive photograph)

She added, “One day he tried to flirt with me. Taken aback, I slapped him and said, ‘Besharam! I know your wife and you have the audacity to flirt with me’. Embarrassed, he pleaded, ‘Tanu, meri Maa, sorry bolta hoon! Please make me your brother’.” After a lot persuasion, she “took a black thread and tied it around on his wrist.”

Besides Dharmendra, Tanuja shared a cordial relationship with actors Vinod Khanna, Sanjeev Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan. With Khanna, she shared the display screen within the 1974 movie Imtihan and was all reward of his intelligence. She shared, “He was no altu faltu, he didn’t talk rubbish. It was satisfying to interact with a co-star who was at par with you mentally.” Khanna handed away in 2017 after battling cancer for a few years.

For Tanuja, her Anubhav (1971) co-actor Sanjeev Kumar was “seedha-saadha, gentle soul” and a “fabulous actor”. Recalling how she used to attempt to be at par along with his efficiency, the veteran star had stated, “If he scored 20 in a scene I’d try and reach 21.”

tanuja sanjeev kumar Tanuja with Sanjeev Kumar within the movie Anubhav. (Express archive photograph)

Tanuja was Amitabh Bachchan’s first heroine in Ravikant Nagaich’s movie Pyaar Ki Kahani (1971) whom she first met at a membership in Taj along with his then-girlfriend and mannequin Sheila Jones. On her first assembly, she requested him, “‘Why don’t you join films?’ He replied, ‘I’ve come here to join films’.”

The daughter of yesteryear actor Shobhna Samarth, sister of actor Nutan, and spouse of filmmaker Shomu Mukherjee, Tanuja had an illustrious movie profession, not simply in Hindi cinema, but in addition in Bengali and Marathi cinema. Now, it’s her daughter Kajol who’s carrying ahead her mom’s legacy in cinema.

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