It’s been 24 years since Raveena Tandon seduced Akshay Kumar in a yellow saree in the blockbuster hit Mohra and the entire country began calling her “that mast mast girl”. The National Film Award winner starred in multiple commercially successful Bollywood hits before venturing into arthouse and parallel cinema – something that seemed odd at the time. After all, why would anyone want to leave behind the glamour and glitz that comes with being the Bollywood ‘it girl’.
However, throughout the course of her career, Tandon has held her own and charted her own path. Having delivered hits like Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi, Bade Miyan Chote Miyan and Dulhe Raja, the actress received high praise and critical acclaim for her performances in Shool, Satta and Jaago. In the span of a decade, Tandon had managed to do what very few actresses in Tinsel Town have – establishing themselves as commercially viable celebrities and powerhouse performers at the same time.
In 1995, when such a thing was rare, she adopted two girls, Pooja and Chhaya, completely decimating the notion that a single mother couldn’t succeed in her career. She also lends her support to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), joining the likes of John Abraham and Shilpa Shetty.
Above all, however, while the actress is still fondly remembered for that iconic dance in the rain, she has proved that she is much, much more than just “that mast mast girl”.