Neelu Kohli – Hindi actress best known for TV series, Shastri Sisters

Neelu Kohli is a popular screen mother of Bollywood movies and small screen shows, regular with TV soaps. She is a familiar face of small screen with a wide range of character roles she played for TV audience. She acted in the web series, Ghar Set Hai. She is quite popular for her role in TV series, Shastri Sisters. Her role as Mintakshi “Minty” Sareen – Rajat and Neil’s mother made her a household name among TV audiences. Her role as Nanda Kukku Chabra in TV soap, Bhabhi gave her the early break.

She appeared in Bollywood movies like Dil Kya Kare, Tere Liye, Manmarziyaan, Houseful 2, Yeh Mera India, Style, Break Ke Baad, Agni Pankh, Jhootha Kahin Ka, Hum Tum Aur Ghost, Khanna & Iyer, Gori Tere Pyaar Mein, MP3 – Mera Pehla Pehla Pyaar, Goodbye, Hindi Medium and Patiala House. She played mother role multiple times. Tera Kya Hoga Alia, Khushiyaan, Choti Sarrdaarni, Mere Angne Mein, Na Bole Tum Na Maine Kuch Kaha, Love U Zindagi, Yeh Jhuki Jhuki Si Naza, Maddam Sir, Piya Ka Ghar Pyaara Lage, Bhabhi, Naamkarann, Khushiyaan, Geet – Hui Sabse Parayi, Madhubala – Ek Ishq Ek Junoon, Jamai Raja etc are some of her major small screen roles.

Neelu Kohli was born and brought up in Ranchi

Neelu was born on May 15 1964. A resident of Ranchi, now a part of Jharkhand, Neelu Kohli (also pronounced as Nilu Kohli) studied in Lorento Convent and Nirmala College. Her father was an army personnel in British Indian Army. She has one young brother. After her marriage with Harminder Singh Kohli in 1986, she moved to Chandigarh. The couple has one son and one daughter.

Nimmo Te Vimmo’ marked her TV acting debut

She started her acting career with television in her early 30s. But mostly played roles of aged woman and moms. With background in theatre, her entry to entertainment world was co-incidence. She was first casted in a commercial. She received this offer when she took her daughter to a dentist. It was followed by Punjabi serial, ‘Nimmo Te Vimmo’ which marked her acting debut.

Among her Hindi shows, she was first seen in Doordarshan’s mythological series, Jai Hanuman aired during 1997-2000. She has made episodic appearances in shows like CID and Aahat. She marked her big screen debut, playing a supporting role in 1999 romantic movie, Dil Kya Kare starring Ajay Devgan and Kajol. Apart from Hindi soaps, she appears in Punjabi TV shows too, and has been featured in TV ads of Pepsi, Rin, SBI Bank, Cream Bell etc.

Neelu’s role as Nanda Kukku Chabra in Bhabhi established her career

Started her acting career in the second half of 1990s, she became familiar to small screen audience through the show, Bhabhi. The show helped her to bag many more character roles on small and big screen. The character role of Billo in 2005 series, Yeh Dil Chahta Hai on Star One also got noticed. Sharmili Sinha in Star Plus ‘Mere Angane Mein’ is yet another memorable role during her early phase in entertainment industry.

Now she is a well-known name in television industry. After working in industry for more than 20 years, she felt like she has reached a saturation point, and started experimenting with big screen and OTP roles later. For the last 5 years, she is taking roles from other medium more and quite regular with Bollywood. Yet her love for television asks her to take a few TV roles too.

After a small break, she returned to small screen with “Band Baaja Bandh Darwaza”. She played a ghost as she wanted to do a comedy and horror-based show. Her character was a sweet and positive soul. She was tested Covid positive and took some time to recover from its aftereffects. She played Diljit Dosanjh’s mother in 2022 film, Jogi.

Neelu Kohli – Some interesting and less-known facts

1. Since school, and later in college she acted in many plays.

2. She is the only actor to appear in all the episodes of the popular soap, Bhabhi aired on Star Plus between 2000 and 2008. She appeared as Nanda Kukku Chabra in 1400 episodes of the show.

3. She is much fond of reading the novels. Soft classical music is also her favourite.

4. At film and television sets, she likes to take black tea in between takes.

5. She practises yoga at home.

6. She practises Sikhism and is deeply inspired by Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru.

7. She played Diljit Dosanjh’s mother in 2022 film, Jogi. In an interview, while talking about the film, she shared some of her personal experiences of anti-Sikh riots in 1984. She was in Chandigarh, and her family which was in Ranchi had some financial losses. Her father had some money after his retirement, which he wanted to invest in construction business with his brother and he lost everything. He never got out of that grief till he passed away.  

8. Teas and toothpicks are among her favourite collections.

9. She still does auditions for many of her roles. A lot of new people are being casted across all mediums.


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A freelance writer and blogger by profession since October 2011, interested in writing over a wide range of topics. Hope you enjoy my writings. I belong to one of the beautiful places of the world, Kerala, nicknamed as 'God's own country'.

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