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Charu Shankar

From EverybodyWiki Bios & Wiki

Charu Shankar (born 17 August 1981) is an Indian actress, television anchor, fitness expert and dance practitioner. She is best known for her depiction of Mehrunissa [1] in the Indian Television adaptation of Indu Sundaresan’s book The Twentieth Wife. She has also worked in Hollywood and Bollywood film projects, and featured in various ads, including Vodafone, Fortune cooking oil, Metro shoes, Fashion and You, and Farmlite biscuits.

Early life and background[edit]

Charu was born in India, New Delhi to Dr. Nilima and Durgesh Shankar (IRS). Her mother, Dr. Nilima Shankar is a Professor and Head, Dept. of Physiology at University College of Medical Sciences and Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, and her father, Durgesh Shankar was an Indian Revenue Services officer who superannuated as Member, Central Board of Direct Taxes and Special Secretary, Government of India (2011). Her younger brother Varun Shankar, is a practicing lawyer with an LL.M from Cambridge University. She spent her early years mostly in New Delhi, but travelled extensively with her father to his government postings in Jodhpur, Bombay and later to Cardiff, UK, where she also did her early schooling. The family was very fond of traveling and she spent most of her school and college vacations traveling the interiors of the country with her adventurous parents. In 2010, she married Raghav Laul in New Delhi and now lives with her husband on a farmhouse on the outskirts of New Delhi. Together, they adopted 6 dogs from Friendicoes,[2] and are outspoken about the cause of adopting the Indian dog.


She started her career by doing amateur theatre in school and Delhi University, and moved on to working with prominent directors in New Delhi, including Joy Michael, Dilip Shankar, Roysten Abel, Rashid Ansari, Shena Gamat, Shivani Wazir Pasrich and Vivek Mansukhani. In 2001, after 6 months of intense dance training, at Ashley Lobo’s Danceworx Performing Arts Academy, she was invited to join the Company. She worked with Danceworx till 2005, and then returned to the theater. She later trained in dance movement and martial arts under Rashid Ansari, dance movement under Gilles Chuyen and dance therapy under Tripura Kashyap, and danced in various stage productions including The Pink Balloon by Shena Gamat and Revisitig the Epics with Tom Alter. In 2009, she started her company Aquamarine Productions, and directed her own Dance-Art production called The Veil, which premiered at Arts.i in New Delhi. She has also choreographed for films, including Jal Bin Jalpari by Nila Madhab Panda and Listen... Amaya Geeta Singh starring Farooq Sheikh and Deepti Naval. In 2001, she also began her television career with NDTV, as the anchor to the fitness segment Fata-fit on their breakfast show Dr. Morepen’s Tango, on Star Plus. In 2005 she returned to television, this time as the anchor to NDTV MetroNation’s fitness show Workout Victim.[3] In 2008 she was invited to join Reebok as a Global Instructor, when they were launching a new fitness program Jukari, in collaboration with Cirque du Soleil. In 2011, she qualified as a certified Trainer with the American Council of Exercise. In 2014, she anchored and co-produced The Perfect Body- built by tech for NDTV Prime. In 2009, she also began her association with the travel desk at NDTV Good Times,[4] and hosted many travel shows, including 10 Things to do before you say Bye!,[5] Wine Down Under, Big Fat Indian Wedding[6] and Discover India with Taj.

In 2013, she was chosen to play the lead role of Mehrunissa for EPIC (TV channel)’s adaptation of Indu Sundaresan’s novel The Twentieth Wife, called Siyaasat [7][8] The show is currently on air. Her film performances include roles in Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited,[9][10] and Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist.[11] She played the main protagonist in Manav Yadav’s short film Sleeping Awake[12][13] (Best Foreign Film 2011 California International Shorts festival;[14] Official selection in Davis film festival[15] and Burbank International film festival). She has also done ads for Metro Shoes,[16] Fortune cooking oil,[17] Farmlite biscuits, Fashion&You, and Vodafone, and a music video "Aare aare" for Sandesh Sandhaliya, directed by Imtiaz Ali.


  1. Hollywood actress Charu Shankar to make her television debut - TOI Mobile | The Times of India Mobile Site
  2. The society looks after abandoned animals in the NCR region
  3. "Charu Shankar - Workout Victim NDTV". YouTube. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  4. "Routes, Charu Shankar". Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  5. "Charu Shankar 10 Things to do before you say Bye - Jordan". YouTube. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  6. "NDTV Big Fat Indian Wedding Part 1 - rajasthan travel service (1).avi". YouTube. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  7. "The reigning queen of Siyaasat: Charu Shankar on playing Noor Jehan". Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  8. "Epic TV launches its first fiction show - Mallika". Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  9. "Charu Shankar - Darjeeling Limited". YouTube. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  10. "The Darjeeling Limited (2007) : Full Cast & Crew". Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  11. "The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2012) : Full Cast & Crew". Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  12. "Sleeping Awake (clip from)". YouTube. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  13. "Sleeping Awake (2010) : Full Cast & Crew". Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  14. "Archive". Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  15. "Davis Film Festival, 2011 Movie Lineup". Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  16. "Charu Shankar - Metro Shoes Ad". YouTube. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  17. "Charu Shankar - Fortune Oil Ad". YouTube. Retrieved 21 January 2015.

External links[edit]


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