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Meet outsider who became star with debut, one mistake in contract ruined her life, has no films in 26 years, works as...

Navodita Sharma became a star with her screen name of Chandni after her debut opposite Salman Khan was a huge hit

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Meet outsider who became star with debut, one mistake in contract ruined her life, has no films in 26 years, works as...
Navodita Sharma aka Chandni in Sanam Bewafa
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A debut opposite Salman Khan in the 90s was a dream for most aspiring actresses. To get that and then have the film work at the box office would mean the dream has come true. This is what happened with this one outsider, an alien to films, who became an overnight sensation. But then, just as quickly as she had found fame, she lost it all. And all of it, due to one technicality.

The outsider who became a star with one film

Navodita Sharma was born and raised in Delhi. She was still a teenager when she came across an ad for auditions for the female lead opposite Salman Khan. Navodita cleared the auditions and became Chandni. The film was Sanam Bewafa, a box office success that was released in 1991. The film’s success and Chandni’s on-screen appeal made her a darling among the masses. This should have been the launch pad for her future success but it wasn’t to be.

How one contract ruined Chandni’s career

Before her debut, Chandni signed a multi-film deal with Sawa Kumar Tak, the director of Sanam Bewafa. This meant that even after the success of her debut film, she could not sign any other movie. By the time, Tak freed her of the contract, a significant amount of time had passed and she was no longer a sensation. At this point, Chandni did supporting roles in big films like 1942 A Love Story, Jai Kishan, and others, but could never recapture her former glory. Her last film release was in 1998.


Navodita Sharma teaches dance in the US today

Navodita Sharma’s later life and career

 

In 1994, Navodita married American-based NRI Satish Sharma and moved to Florida. She quit films for a quiet life in the States. The couple has two daughters – named after the Kapoor sisters Karishma and Kareena. As of 2024, Navodita lives in Orlando, where she is a dancer and instructor, teaching Indian dance to youngsters, as well as organising events locally.

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