Shivani Desai (born 13 February 1986), professionally known as Rashami Desai, is an Indian television actress. Desai has received numerous honours, including two Indian Television Academy Awards and Gold Awards.. She has established herself as one of television’s most popular and highest-paid actors. Desai made her Hindi television debut with Ravan (2006) and later had a dual role in Pari Hoon Main (2008) after beginning her acting career in Indian films. She rose to prominence as Tapasya Thakur in Colours TV’s long-running soap opera Uttaran (2009–2014), for which she received numerous awards. Desai also appeared in Zara Nachke Dikha 2 (2010), Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 5 (2012), Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi 6 (2015), and Nach Baliye 7 (2015), as well as a cameo in the 2012 film Dabangg 2.
Comedy Circus Mahasangram (2010), Comedy Ka Maha Muqabala (2011), Kahaani Comedy Circus Ki (2012), and Comedy Nights Live (2016) were her first forays into stand-up comedy. Desai later returned to fiction television as Shorvori in the love triangle Dil Se Dil Tak (2017-2018), after which she appeared in Bigg Boss 13 (2019-2020) and Bigg Boss 15 (2021-2022). During this time, she also appeared in Naagin 4 and Naagin 6, and she had her OTT debut with the short film Tamas and her web debut with Tandoor.
Early and Personal Life
Rashami Desai was born Shivani Desai on February 13, 1986, in Nagaon, Assam. She is of Gujarati descent. Gaurav Desai is her brother. Rashami Desai was raised in Mumbai and completed her schooling and undergraduate studies there. She then went on to earn a diploma in Tours and Travels from Narsee Monjee College of Commerce and Economics in Mumbai. On February 12, 2011, she married her co-star from Uttaran, Nandish Sandhu, in Ghaziabad. After nearly four years of marriage, they separated in 2014 and filed for divorce in 2015. It was completed in March of 2016.
Desai met Arhaan Khan in 2018, and they both appeared on Bigg Boss 13 in 2019, where Arhaan proposed to Desai, who accepted. Salman Khan later disclosed that Arhaan had previously been married and had a child, which he had kept hidden from Desai. Desai ended her relationship with Arhaan after leaving the Bigg Boss house in 2020.
|Born||13 February 1986 Nagaon, Assam, India|
|Parent’s||Rasila Ajay Desai, Ajay Desai|
|Spouse||Nandish Singh Sandhu|
|Height||in feet & inches– 5’3”|
|Weight||in kilograms– 60kg approx.|
|Education||Narsee Monjee College of Commerce and Economics|
Acting debut in films (2002–2006)
Desai began her acting career in regional cinema, appearing in the Assamese-language film Kanyadaan in 2002. Desai made her Bollywood debut in the 2004 romantic mystery Yeh Lamhe Judaai Ke, directed by Birendra Nath Tiwari, opposite Shah Rukh Khan and Raveena Tandon. Sheetal, a college student whose elder sister (played by Tandon), is murdered, was played by her. Desai made her acting debut in the 2005 Hindi film Shabnam Mausi, playing Naina with Ashutosh Rana and Vijay Raaz. She later rose to prominence in the Bhojpuri film business, appearing in films such as Balma Bada Nadaan and Gabbar Singh. Desai appeared in the 2005 film Kab Hoi Gauna Hammar, which won the National Award for Best Feature Film in Bhojpuri.
Television debut and breakthrough (2006–2008)
Desai had her Zed TV debut in 2006 with the mythical drama series Ravan, in which she played Queen Mandodari. She was cast in the series alongside Jay Soni. Desai starred in the English film Sambar Salsa in 2007. Desai’s first big break in daily soaps came in 2008, when she played the twin roles of Nikki Shrivastav and Pari Rai Choudhary in Star One’s Pari Hoon Main. Ravi Chopra directed and produced the series, which also starred Mohit Malik and Karan Veer Mehra in crucial roles. The show told the story of two look-alikes, Pari (an actress) and Nikki (a simple girl), who met, swapped identities, and began living each other’s lives. Desai later co-starred with Manish Paul in Star One’s horror thriller anthology series Ssshhhh…Phir Koi Hai as Priya.
Established success with Uttaran (2009–2016)
Desai made a brief appearance in Meet Mila De Rabba, which aired on Sony TV in 2009, as Dr. Meher Datta, with Surilie Gautam and Piyush Sahdev. Desai rose to prominence after joining Colours TV’s long-running soap drama Uttaran in 2009, where she played the parallel lead opposite Tina Datta and Nandish Sandhu. The series told the narrative of two friends from different social classes, Ichcha and Tapasya. Desai took over for Ishita Panchal in the part of adult Tapasya Thakur, an affluent girl who is misled by her maternal grandmother after feeling less loved by her own parents than her friend.
Uttaran introduced Indian television to newer international markets, making Desai a household name outside the country’s borders. Desai got multiple awards and nominations for Uttaran, including the ITA Award for Best Actress Popular and the Indian Telly Award for Best Actress in a Negative Role Popular in 2010. She dropped out of the show in January 2012. She returned to Uttaran on November 7, 2012, with pleasant vibes, but departed again in 2014, alleging artistic differences. Desai appeared as a wildcard participant in Sony TV’s comedic reality TV show comedic Circus 3 Ka Tadka in 2010 alongside Vikrant Massey.
Desai later appeared on Star Plus as a member of the team “Massakalli Girls” in Season 2 of the dancing reality show Zara Nachke Dikha. Her squad was victorious. Desai also appeared as a panellist on Imagine TV’s reality show Meethi Choori No 1 and on Sony TV’s comedy reality show Comedy Circus Mahasangram the same year. Desai competed in Star Plus’s comedic reality TV show comedic Ka Maha Muqabala in 2011, where her team finished second.
Desai starred as Shivani in Vikram Bhatt’s horror anthology series Haunted Nights, which aired on Sahara One in 2012. She later competed in the Colours TV dancing reality show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 5, where she finished as the first runner up. She was also a guest on Shekhar Suman’s show Movers & Shakers. Desai later appeared in the Salman Khan-starrer Hindi film Dabangg 2 in 2012. Desai appeared as Natkhat Sali on Colours TV’s stand-up comedy show Nautanki: The Comedy Theatre in 2013. She participated in the episode-based programmes Savdhaan India and CID in 2014 as a victim of blind faith and a woman tortured by her own family, respectively.
Desai appeared on Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi 6 in 2015. She was eliminated, however she was welcomed back as a wild card entrant. She and Sana Khan were both removed just before the finale. Desai later competed in Nach Baliye 7 alongside her then-husband Nandish Sandhu, finishing first runner-up. Desai starred as a deaf and mute girl in Palash Muchhal’s Teri Ek Hassi music video, with Nandish Sandhu, in October 2015. Jubin Nautiyal performed the song. Later that year, Desai made a brief appearance in Colours TV’s Ishq Ka Rang Safed as Tulsi, a widow with ulterior motivations.
Desai portrayed the dark supernatural character Preeti in &TV’s Adhuri Kahaani Hamari in 2016. In March 2016, she also took part in the Box Cricket League. Desai then performed alongside Salman Yusuff Khan in Palash Muchhal’s dance-based song video Sajna Ve. Monali Thakur and Dilip Soni performed it. Desai later appeared on Life OK in Balaji Telefilms’ comic reality show Mazaak Mazaak Mein. Desai also completed the anthology drama film Rare & Dare Six-X in 2016, in which Rituparna Sengupta and Shweta Tiwari played major roles.
Dil Se Dil Tak and beyond (2017–2020)
Desai appeared in Colours TV’s drama series Dil Se Dil Tak in 2017, alongside Sidharth Shukla and Jasmin Bhasin. Desai played Shorvari Bhanushali, a lady torn between her love for her husband and her wish to be a mother. The show was partially inspired on the 2001 Hindi film Chori Chori Chupke Chupke. Desai defined her role as “not expressing through words.” She expresses herself through gestures, her eyes, and her facial expressions. That’s intriguing. In reality, as an actor, this provides me a lot of room to express myself.” She was nominated for Best Actress at the Golden Petal Awards 2017 for her role in the series.
Desai made her Gujarati film debut the same year, in Bhavin Wadia’s romantic thriller Superstar, starring Dhruvin Shah. Desai kicked off 2019 as the lead in DD National’s comedy series Chalo Saaf Karein. She portrayed Palak, an ambitious Delhi University graduate and staunch supporter of Gandhian doctrine, as well as Swachhta, who plans to construct a residential English medium school in her hamlet. Ashish Lal, Aruna Irani, and Anita Raj also played key roles in the series. Desai later that year competed in the reality show Bigg Boss 13, finishing as the third runner-up.
Rashami co-starred with Nia Sharma, Anita Hassanandani, and Vijayendra Kumeria in Colours TV’s supernatural fantasy thriller television series Naagin 4: Bhagya Ka Zehreela Khel in 2020. Desai then starred in the short film Tamas with Adhvik Mahajan as Sania, and in the same year, she performed in Ladies vs Gentlemen, a reality interactive game show hosted by Ritesh Deshmukh and Genelia D’souza. Desai appeared in Palash Muchhal’s dance-based music video Ab Kya Jaan Legi Meri with Shaheer Sheikh and Sana Saeed in December 2020.
Professional expansion (2021–present)
In 2021, Desai made her web debut alongside Tanuj Virwani in Nivedita Basu-directed crime drama web series titled Tandoor. In May 2021, it was announced that Desai will collaborate with singer Rahul Vaidya for a music cover. Desai September 2021, Desai appeared in Altamash Faridi’s music video titled Subhan Allah. Later in the year, Desai collaborated with Rahul Vaidya again for a music video titled Zindagi Khafa Khafa. In November 2021, Desai entered Bigg Boss 15 as a wildcard contestant and became the fifth runner-up. Desai appeared in three music videos in March 2022, titled Qatilana, Biraj Mein Jhoom, and Tere Pind. She later appeared in Naagin 6 as a cameo, portraying the twin roles of shape-shifting serpents, Shalaka from Season 4 with positive hues, and a new character Shanglira. Desai teamed with Neha Bhasin on a song video titled Parwah in April 2022.
Desai then appeared in the second season of Anil V Kumar’s anthology series Ratri Ke Yatri as the title character of the episode Ruby. The series, which also stars Abigail Pande and Mohit Abrol in Desai’s part, shines a sympathetic light on women from low-income neighbourhoods.On October 11, 2022, the show launched on Hungama Play and MX Player. Desai has completed filming for Anup Thapa’s Hindi film Mission Laila with Rajpal Yadav as of May 2023. Desai has gone on to star in her second Gujarati film, Mom Tane Nai Samjay, alongside Amar Upadhyay. Dharmesh Mehta is directing the film, which is being shot in London. She will also make her Punjabi feature film debut alongside Nav Bajwa in the romantic comedy Chambe Di Booti. She’s also agreed to play a minor role in the upcoming Voot series LLB – Naam Hi Kaafi Hai.
|2004||Yeh Lamhe Judaai Ke||Sheetal||Hindi||Credited as Divya Desai|
|Balma Bada Nadaan|
|Hum Balbrahma Chaari Tu Kanya Kumari|
|2005||Gazab Bhail Rama|
|Kab Hoi Gauna Hammar||Gauri||National Award for Best Feature Film in Bhojpuri|
|Nadiya Ke Teer|
|2006||Bambai Ki Laila Chapra Ka Chaila||Bhojpuri|
|Kable Aayee Bahaar|
|Kangna Khanke Piya Ke Angna|
|Pappu Ke Pyar Ho Gail|
|Tohse Pyar Ba|
|2008||Bandan Toote Na||Bhojpuri|
|Pyar Jab Kehu Se Hoi Jala|
|Shahar Wali Jaan Mareli|
|2009||Hum Hai Gawaar|
|2010||Sohagan Bana Da Sajana Hamaar|
|Umariya Kaili Tohre Naam|
|2012||Dabangg 2||Bride||Hindi||Cameo appearance in the song “Dagabaaz Re”|
|2017||Superstar||Anjali Kapadia||Gujarati||Nominated— Gujarati Iconic Film Award for Best Actress|
|Six X||Shweta Bhardwaj||Hindi||Unreleased|
|Mom Tane Na Samjay||TBA||Gujarati|
|Chambe Di Booti||TBA||Punjabi|
|2021||Tandoor||Palak Sahni/Palak Sharma|
|2022||Ratri Ke Yatri||Ruby|
|TBA||LLB – Naam Hi Kaafi Hai||TBA|
|2008||Pari Hoon Main||Pari Rai Choudhary/Nikki Shrivastav|
|Ssshhhh…Phir Koi Hai||Priya|
|2009||Meet Mila De Rabba||Dr. Meher Datta|
|2010||Comedy Circus 3 Ka Tadka||Contestant|
|Meethi Choori No 1||Panelist|
|Zara Nachke Dikha 2||Contestant||Winner|
|Comedy Circus Ke SuperStars||Host|
|Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 5||Contestant||1st runner-up|
|2013||Nautanki: The Comedy Theatre||Natkhat Sali|
|2015||Nach Baliye 7||Contestant||1st runner-up|
|Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi 6||9th place|
|Ishq Ka Rang Safed||Tulsi|
|Romansa Cinta Uttaran||Tapasya|
|2016||Adhuri Kahani Hamari||Preeti|
|Box Cricket League 2||Contestant|
|Mazaak Mazaak Mein|
|2017–2018||Dil Se Dil Tak||Shorvori Bhattacharya|
|2017||Rasoi Ki Jung Mummyon Ke Sung||Contestant|
|2019||Chalo Saaf Karein||Palak|
|2019–2020||Bigg Boss 13||Contestant||3rd runner-up|
|Ladies vs Gentlemen||Panelist|
|2021–2022||Bigg Boss 15||Contestant||5th runner-up|
|2015||Teri Ek Hassi||Jubin Nautiyal|
|2016||Sajna Ve||Monali Thakur and Dilip Soni|
|2020||Ab Kya Jaan Legi Meri||Palash Muchhal and Amit Mishra|
|2021||Kinna Sona||Rahul Vaidya|
|Subhan Allah||Altamash Faridi|
|Zindagi Khafa Khafa||Rahul Vaidya|
|2022||Qatilana||Ajay Keswani and Aakansha Sharma|
|Biraj Mein Jhoom||Anuradha Palakurthi Juju|
|Tere Pind||Gurlez Akhtar and Fateh Shergill|