Rajesh Khanna, a name which gives Indian film industry its identity, ruled the silver screen in the 60s and 70s like a king. Being India’s first superstar, his life and affairs were always in the limelight, but it was his marriage to the then budding star Dimple Kapadia that made the headlines.
The couple faced a lot of hardship after a few years of marital bliss, which eventually led to their separation. But despite parting their ways, they both loved each other unconditionally and supported each other through thick and thin. To know more about the love-hate story of Dimple Kapadia and Rajesh Khanna keep scrolling down.
Before meeting the newbie Dimple Kapadia, Rajesh Khanna was dating a model, fashion designer and actress Anju Mahendru and they were in a live-in relationship for seven years. But due to some differences and actor's "moody, temperamental, irritable" behaviour, they both went their separate ways and did not speak to each other for next 17 years.
With time Rajesh Khanna, who was colloquially called as Kaka, was climbing the ladder of success. It was during the peak of his career that he happened to notice the adorable Dimple Kapadia during her first film Bobby. Kaka developed an instant liking for her but at that time the actress was dating her, Bobby co-star Rishi Kapoor, but they too broke up soon.
Like many other fans, Dimple Kapadia was also a huge fan of the actor. When he came to know about her break-up and fascination for him, the actor wasted no time and proposed marriage to Dimple Kapadia, despite knowing that the actress is in her teen years. Overjoyed by the proposal by her favourite movie star, Dimple Kapadia happily accepted it.
And so the stage was set and the entire film fraternity was invited for Rajesh and Dimple's nuptial. Their wedding was heavily covered by every media house. After all, it was the wedding of one of the finest actors of the industry.
But what surprised everyone was the age difference between the couple. Dimple was just 16 years old at the time of her marriage to Rajesh who was 15 years older than her! It was even reported that Rajesh married the actress just for attention. But regardless of this, their marriage was celebrated with great joy in March 1973. Speaking about her marriage to the veteran star, the actress once said:
The biggest high for me was to marry Rajesh Khanna. That was high and I don’t think my success was as much of a high as getting married to this superstar. I used to be a big fan of his, it was dream come true.
The star couple held their grand marriage reception at Hotel Horizon in Juhu, Mumbai. They later went to Europe for their honeymoon. Rajesh Khanna even threw a lavish party at the famous Hilton Hotel to ring in Dimple's 16th birthday.
After marriage, Dimple left the industry on behest of Rajesh, but it did not bother her much because for her family came first.
I got married while I was just sixteen. I do not have any regrets for having left the stardom for the sake of my family life. I feel that was my best period.
But with time the stardom of Kaka started fading away and so did their love for each other. Most of his movies toppled at the box office in the late 70s and early 80s. The superstar could not handle this failure and it made him short-tempered, angry and an alcoholic. Result- his marital life hit the rock bottom.
But despite this, Dimple stayed on his side and supported him through the difficult period till Rajesh fell in love with another young budding actress Tina Munim. The actress worked with Kaka in over 11 films and being a great admirer of him, she could not stop herself from falling in head over heels with him. It was during the 80s when the stories of Kaka and Tina's romance started doing the rounds. That was the last straw in Rajesh and Dimple's relationship. Heartbroken, the actress left in 1984 and later admitted that getting married to the superstar was a wrong call.
In 1985, Dimple Kapadia told India Today:
The life and happiness in our house came to an end the day I and Rajesh got married.
Although the couple separated, they did not complete their divorce proceedings. Even on the repeated plea of Tina, Kaka did not divorce the actress as it would have a bad impact on their daughters Twinkle and Rinki Khanna to whom he was very close.
But he admitted that he married Dimple to heal from a past break up and had an affair with Tina Munim to cope up with all the pain.
I married Dimple on the rebound and Tina was a balm on my wounds.
Since Tina did not want to play the second fiddle, she too left Kaka soon after.
Years after separation, they both rediscovered their lost love but both continued to live separately. But despite all the ups and downs, Dimple and Kaka maintained an amicable relationship and were always seen together at social gatherings, political rallies and many other places. In true sense, Dimple was Kaka's only love. Kaka once expressed his feelings by saying:
You know what? I still love my wife, Dimple.
Even for Dimple, Rajesh held a special place in her heart. She once said:
He is the father of my children and a very integral part of my life. He can never be unimportant.
Even during Rajesh Khanna’s last days, Dimple was always there for him. The superstar passed away on 18 July 2012 at his bungalow, Aashirwad, in Mumbai. The actress was inconsolable after Rajesh Khanna’s death and held his lifeless hand tightly and caressed his forehead.
While India lost one of their biggest superstars, it was the family and especially Dimple Kapadia who suffered the biggest loss. As Dimple Kapadia once expressed:
Do you think he has gone? No, he shall always remain with us.
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They might have had a love-hate relationship, but they were truly made for each other. What are your thoughts about their unique bond? Do tell us in the comment box below.