Bollywood’s rare second husbands

2014-08-07 00:00

PERHAPS the great amount of time they spend together during shooting and the romantic scenes they have to portray causes some Bollywood stars to fall in love with their co-stars.

In several instances, this ends up in actors taking co-stars as second wives, but very rarely if ever in actresses finding second husbands, perhaps born of the myth that once married, actresses no longer appeal to fans, so producers stay away from them when choosing their cast. Some actresses also become second wives to others in the fraternity, such as producers, scriptwriters and directors.

After several years of guarded courtship, including initial denials, the recent wedding of Rani Mukerji and producer Aditya Chopra in the romantic city of Paris prompted me to look up some of the other high-profile second marriages in Bollywood.

Perhaps the best-known is that of one-time top co-stars Dharmendra and every male fan’s Dream Girl, Hema Malini. Dharmendra secured the consent of first wife Prakash Kaur, with whom he had two sons, Sunny and Bobby, who also became actors, and two daughters. His two daughters with Hema, Esha and Ahana, also had brief trysts as heroines.

The most recent well-known second marriage was that of Saif Ali Khan to Kareena Kapoor after he dropped former actress Amrita Singh

Kareena’s sister, Karishma, also snatched away a husband in the guise of businessman Sanjay Kapur, her childhood friend who was previously married to designer Nandita Mahtani. Karishma was due to be engaged to Abhishek Bachchan when a postponement of the event was announced just before Kareena and Abhishek’s father, Amitabh, were part of a group of stars at a press conference in Durban ahead of a major concert there by impresario Anant Singh.

I recall Amitabh getting a bit irritated when I asked if the new date had been finalised, not knowing about the background at the time.

Another businessman who left his wife for an actress was Raj Kundra, who married actress Shilpa Shetty after her second shot at fame when she won the Big Brother contest in the United Kingdom.

Indian tennis star Mahesh Bhupathi left his model wife Shvetha Jaishankar for Lara Dutta and actress Raveena Tandon married film distributor Anil Thadani, but was roundly slammed for his messy divorce from Natasha, part of the powerful Sippy family in Bollywood, and film-maker Boney Kapoor was already married to Mona Shourie when he decided to marry screen siren Sridevi.

Javed Akhtar divorced fellow scriptwriter Honey Irani to marry Shabana Azmi, while his one-time co-writer of hit films, Salim Khan, father of Salman Khan, married yesteryear item dancer Helen with permission from his Muslim wife Salma.

All these second marriages have so far stood the test of time. Only top South Indian star Kamal Hasan drifted away from his second wife, Sarika, after leaving his first wife, classical dancer Vani Ganapathi.

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