Ratna Pathak: The lady who will totally enthrall you

Ratna Pathak

Ratna Pathak, the sophisticated but our very own Maya Sarabhai is one iconic television character we all have enjoyed watching in some part of the last decade. A veteran of theater, films and television when it comes to acting as well as a prolific director, Ratna Pathak is one hugely talented artiste who has been lighting up screen for years now with her unconventional acting and the equally unique characters she chooses to portray on screen.


Born on 18 March, 1957 in Mumbai to Baldev Pathak and actress Dina Pathak, Ratna Pathak is a Gujarati Hindu . An alumna of the J. B. Vachha High School, Dadar, Mumbai, Pathak completed her formal education from the prestigious National School of Drama, Delhi, as a 1981 batch scholar.

Ratna Pathak has been married to prominent theater and Bollywood personality Naseeruddin Shah since 1982. The couple has two sons- musician Imaad Shah and actor Vivaan Shah.

Ratna Pathak
Source: OddNaari

Ratnak Pathak has an illustrious younger sibling- cine personality Supriya Pathak. Married to Pankaj Kapoor, another doyen of Indian theater, Supriya Pathak was born on 7th January, 1961 and is particularly known for her role of Hansa Parekh in the Khichdi franchise. The larger audience remembers her for her caustic portrayal of Dhankor Baa in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela and Vaibhu from Amravati.

Ratna Pathak
Source; WikiVividly

While in the earlier years of their careers, Ratna Pathak and her sibling did not get along well, they later sorted out their differences amicably.


Ratna Pathak made her Bollywood debut in 1983 with the film Mandi; while on television, the sitcom Idhar Udhar was her first project that aired in 1985 on DD National.

Ratna Pathak
Source: Wikipedia

Thereafter, her choice of films and projects has always been intended to be a diversion from the conventional. Be it the 2oo8 romantic drama Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, the 2010 comedy offering Golmaal 3, the 2012 rom com Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu, the comedy dramas Khoobsoorat (2014) and Kapoor and Sons (2016), Pathak did full justice to her roles in the limited ambit of her characters as a supporting actress.


However, the role which was instrumental in making Ratna Pathak a household name was undoubtedly the comedy sitcom Sarabhai vs Sarabhai. As the quintessential upper class lady who prides herself on ‘possessing’ the choosiest of ‘assets’, Pathak as Maya Sarabhai completely owns the character she portrays.

Be it her impeccable class in her delivery of dialogues or even her trademark style of blouses for that matter, Ratna Pathak has immortalised Maya in the way only she can. No wonder then that this role fetched her the Indian telly Award for Best Actress- Comedy in 2005.

Ratna Pathak
Source: India.com

Among Ratna Pathak’s notable works in the film circuit, her role in the 2017 black comedy film Lipstick Under My Burkha earned critical acclaim.

Ratna Pathak
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Also, as a once love struck lady who finally reconciles with her estranged lover, Pathak succeeded in rendering Golmaal 3 much of the class sentiment ingrained in humor. Her pairing with Mithun Chakraborty was picture perfect and as the essentially devoted mother and secretive lover, she played her part with all seriousness expected of a lady in the other side of the age divide.

Ratna Pathak
Source: Wikiwand

However, it is theater that has sharpened Ratna Pathak’s mettle as a true actor, who emotes and defiantly brings out the essence of every character she plays. As such, she has always been engaged with this medium of acting, as a part of several Russian plays, as also in co founding Motley Theater Group.


Pathak has also been a part of the prestigious Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan Selecting Committee for 2012 Award. And though her roles have not been numerous, she has impressed in every outing she has embarked on.

Particularly selective about her on screen portrayals, Pathak’s dynamic acting faculties and her innate talent of belting out sarcasm even while maintaining a totally demure and composed outlook has been instrumental in her acceptance as one of the most talented actresses in mainstream Bollywood.

Ratna Pathak
Source: Saavn

It is however surprising to note that despite being born to an actress mother, Ratna Pathak was not particularly willing to make her foray into the emoting world. Rather, the anticipations of people about her as the daughter of a famous star made her quite apprehensive about accepting acting as a career, even when she had the desire for it. But ultimately, she chose to honor her calling and it has been a blessing for the whole world of Indian theatrics and cinema.

With an almost 25 years long stint with showbiz and in the world of histrionics, Ratna Pathak has had a glorious run in the realm of films and theater. This skilled yet hugely underutilised reservoir of acting fortitude is surely counted among one of the finest manifestations of Indian talent in the world stage.