Tanuja Chandra – Female filmmaker of Bollywood with ‘Dushman’ and ‘Sangharsh’ to her credit

Tanuja Chandra is a female film director and screenwriter of Bollywood since 1997. After co-scripting notable films – Tamanna, Dil To Pagal Hai and Zakhm, she marked her directorial debut with Kajol starrer Dushman in 1998. She later directed Sangursh, Yeh Zindagi Ka Safar, Sur – The Melody of Love, Zindaggi Rocks, Qarib Qarib Singlle etc and most of those movies were women oriented. She also directed Hope and a Little Sugar and Film Star. She published a collection of stories titled – Bijnis Women.

Hails from a family related to films and entertainment

Tanuja Chandra hails from Delhi, and belongs to a family with filmy and literal background. Her siblings are equally famous. She is the daughter of Kamna Chandra who has scripted many movies like Prem Rog and also a few radio plays. Noted writer Vikram Chandra and film critic Anupama Chopra are her siblings. Famous film director Vidhu Vinod Chopra is married to her sister, Anupama Chopra.

Tanuja Chandra started her career with Television

She joined television industry in 1995 and directed TV series, Zameen Aasmaan starring Tanvi Azmi. She later directed TV series, Mumkin. In 1997 she co-scripted the biggest blockbuster of the year – Dil To Pagal Hai, aside Chopra family, and also Tamanna directed by Mahesh Bhatt. The following year she co-scripted national award winning film, Zakhm for Mahesh Bhatt before marking her directorial debut with Dushman.

Though Dushman was not a huge hit, it received rave reviews from critics, and Kajol’s double role was critically acclaimed. It also helped Tanuja to make an impressive debut in Bollywood, and to get more offers. Her movies – Sangursh and Qarib Qarib Singlle also received praises from critics. Sangursh starring Preity Zinta and Akshay Kumar too was not a big hit, yet remembered among good and performance oriented movies. Sur – The Melody of Love is best remembered for its melodious tunes.

After directing Hope and a Little Sugar in 2008 she took a break from the industry, and returned back in 2017 with Irffan Khan starrer romantic flick – ‘Qarib Qarib Singlle’, garnering critics’ positive reviews. She is also known for giving early breaks to many actors and actresses in Bollywood. Songs of her movies too are memorable.

Tanuja Chandra – Some interesting and less-known facts

1. Television actor Ashutosh Rana got his first break to Bollywood through Tanuja’s directorial debut – Dushman, and he also played memorable villain’s role in Sangursh. Both these films established the careers of Rana and Tanuja in Bollywood.

2. Dushman was the second release of actor-model Jas Arora, who played second lead in the film. the actor is still known for this short but sweet role.

3. Television actress Gauri Karnik marked her screen debut through Tanuja’s Sur – The Melody of Life, and is still known for this movie.

4. Famous Malayalam actress Parvathy marked her Bollywood debut with less-known film Qarib Qarib Singlle in 2017. Though the movie was not a commercial hit, it met with critical acclaim.

Top chartbuster songs featured in the movies of Tanuja Chandra

Yes, Tanuja Chandra’s movies featured some of the finest romantic songs of late 1990s and 2000s. In fact many of them were instant chartbusters and still popular. Here I list a few.

Pyar Ko Ho Jaane Do from Dushman

  1. Mujhe Raat Din from Sangharsh
  2. Pehli Pehli Baar Baliye from Sangharsh
  3. Aa Bhi Jaa Aa Bhi Jaa from Sur – The Melody of Life
  4. Kabhi Shaam Dhale from Sur – The Melody of Life
  5. Dil Mein Jagi Dhadkan Aise from Sur – The Melody of Life
  6. Jaane Kya Dhoondta Hai from Sur – The Melody of Life
  7. Tu Dil Ki Khushi from Sur – The Melody of Life
  8. Chitthi Na Koi Sandes from Dushman
  9. Aawaz Do Hamko from Dushman
  10. Pyar Ko Ho Jaane Do from Dushman
  11. Nikal Padi from Yeh Zindagi Ka Safar
  12. Ahista Ahista from Yeh Zindagi Ka Safar
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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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