Ratna Pathak Shah, who is the daughter of actor Dina Pathak, first began getting noticed as an actor with popular TV serial Idhar Udhar in the 1980s. The actor, who turns 66 on Saturday, March 18, has been acting for over four decades now on stage, film and television. But back when she was just starting and dating another actor, Naseeruddin Shah, they both had a funny but awkward encounter at a fancy overpriced restaurant with little money. Also read: Ratna Pathak Shah says ‘sadi hui formula films’ not working anymore, actors of all ages getting work
Ratna and Naseeruddin Shah dated for a few years before tying the knot on April 2, 1982. They have two sons Imaad Shah and Vivaan Shah, who are also actors. The actor has a daughter, actor Heeba Shah, from his first marriage. Ratna recalled the almost embarrassing encounter at a Mumbai restaurant that left them checking their wallets for the bill. The restaurant also had a sexist method of keeping separate menus for men and women, which added to the confusion.
In a 2017 podcast of AlB, hosted by comedians Sumukhi Suresh and Kaneez Surka, Ratna shared how her then-boyfriend Naseeruddin mistakenly ordered too many things from the menu during a fancy dinner date. She said, “These fancy restaurants once upon a time used to have two menu cards. One for the women and one for the men. The one for the woman didn’t have the prices and the one for men did. This was the Taj. (If I’m allowed to say that). The first time we went together (Naseeruddin Shah and Ratna Pathak) we had like ₹400. We went for this dinner and we just started out in life and we hardly had any money. By mistake, I got the menu card with the money and Naseer got the menu card without the money, so he was ordering left and right. And finally when the waiter went away I told him and then we started counting our money.”
Ratna recently made her film debut in Gujarati cinema with Kutch Express. The actor has already appeared in the Netflix web series Trial By Fire earlier this year. She is currently appearing as the matriarch of a close-knit Gujarati family in the Prime Video comedy series Happy Family: Conditions Apply.