The arena of the Hindi Cinema in the 1970s, up till the 1980s, was dominated by an illustrious actor whose aura and brilliance was matched by few at that time. He was the first superstar of the Hindi movies and an absolute legend who was colloquially referred as Kaka, but better known everywhere and to everyone as Rajesh Khanna. Being a popular actor, Rajesh Khanna had no dearth of female admirers. He was the heartthrob of thousands of women in that era, but fell for a 15-year old teen called Dimple Kapadia. Was she his first and last flame? Read on.
The First Bandhan
Rajesh Khanna started his film career in the year 1966 with the movie Aakhri Khat. The movie flopped and was followed by a slew of other flops at the box office. Despite the tough career phase, Rajesh Khanna met success on the personal front when he happened to meet the beautiful and desirable Anju Mahendru, a model and actress. Anju was Rajesh’s biggest supporter and in fact is known to be the one who groomed him for the showbiz. They both had a live-in relationship for nine years but things were deteriorating since Rajesh Khanna was having a hard time coping with his failures. Anju was his biggest critic and that would add more fuel to the fire since the couple would get into frequent arguments. After 7-8 years of relationship the couple split and moved-on to their individual paths.
The Dimple Of His Life
Time passed by and Rajesh Khanna soon started getting a taste of success and stardom. It was during the peak of his career in the 1970s that he happened to notice the adorable and so-very-young Dimple Kapadia during the filming of her first film Bobby. Rajesh was struck by Dimple’s innocent and immaculate personality and took a swift decision of marrying her despite she being 16 years younger to him.
The couple got married at Dimple Kapadia’s father Chunnibhai Kapadia’s family bungalow at Juhu, Mumbai in March 1973. The couple had a grand marriage reception at Hotel Horizon, Juhu, Mumbai which was attended by Indian film industry’s who’s who. Since Dimple was amidst the filming of her first film Bobby, the couple had to postpone their honeymoon. The couple eventually went for a honeymoon to London where Rajesh Khanna had a lavish celebration of Dimple’s 16th birthday at the popular Hilton Hotel. The couple went on to have two daughters which were predominantly raised by Dimple who left the showbiz on the behest of Rajesh Khanna.
The Not So Amar Prem
The dainty period in the newly-wed’s life didn’t last too long as things slowly started going a bit sloppy. The late 1970s and the early 1980s saw a decline in the popularity of Rajesh Khanna. The first thing to take a hit were Rajesh Khanna’s movies. This state of failure would often send him in fits of erratic rage, which he would often vent out on Dimple. This was coupled with his alcoholism, which eventually started shaking the foundations of their marriage.
Despite all the altercation, the couple held-on to each other till Rajesh Khanna met an another young actress called Tina Munim. Tina had been an ardent admirer of Rajesh Khanna, like any other young girl during those days. She was also a budding actress. Coincidentally, one day, she was offered a role opposite Rajesh Khanna which was a dream come true for Tina Munim. The fact that she was attracted towards Rajesh Khanna and was fresh out of a breakup with actor Sanjay Dutt made conditions conducive for her to get romantically involved with the much older Rajesh Khanna. Dimple Kapadia was clearly upset by this illicit relationship which made their wedding more shaky. Things became too much for her to handle and finally in 1984 Dimple Kapadia and Rajesh Khanna separated. It is said Tina Munim provided the much needed emotional support to Rajesh Khanna during this phase of his life.
The Final Prem Bandhan
The situation was everything Tina Munim had wanted. She spared no time to move into Rajesh Khanna’s palatial bungalow to begin a live-in relationship. She was living her dream of being the love interest of India’s first superstar. Despite this, Tina was unhappy; she wanted something more. She wanted Rajesh to free himself from all his ties with Dimple by divorcing her and marrying her. Rajesh was reluctant since he was concerned about the impact it would have on his two daughters with whom he was very close and for whom he had not divorced Dimple yet. Tina didn’t want to stick around to play the second fiddle for long. That is when she decided to take the decision of leaving him despite his repeated pleas not to do so.
With Tina gone, Rajesh had nothing much left in life but to reconcile with Dimple Kapadia. The both continued to live separately but never divorced. Dimple Kapadia, in real sense, was his true love. Eventually, both are known to have reached a point in their lives where they rediscovered their lost love and Dimple Kapadia is quoted to be saying that, “He can never be unimportant.” The couple stayed in the marital bond till Rajesh Khanna’s death in the year 2012. In spite of Rajesh Khanna’s affairs, there is no denying that he will always remain the original superstar of Hindi cinema who won the hearts of fans and damsels alike with his undeniably strong charisma.
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