By Rishabh Naudiyal Last Updated:
It was in 1968 when filmmaker, Mahesh Kaul had decided to bring a fresh face in the Indian cinema that could match up to the aura of iconic actress, Vijayanthimala. After a lot of scouting, Mahesh and his team had found a 16-year-old actress, Hema Malini, who had worked in two films, Pandava Vanavasam and Idhu Sathiyam, by then, and the director was quick to suspect the potential in her. After which, Hema Malini was cast opposite the legendary Raj Kapoor in the film, Sapno Ka Saudagar and was promoted as the 'Dream Girl' of the Indian cinema and the rest is history.
For the uninitiated, Dharmendra had tied the knot with Prakash Kaur in the year 1957 and together, they had welcomed four children, Sunny, Bobby, Vijeeta and Ajeeta. After which, the iconic actor had fallen in love with Hema Malini and had converted his religion into Islam to marry her and keep his two marriages intact. While Dharmendra and Hema Malini's wedding had received a huge backlash from the media and their own fans, it was the actor's first wife, Prakash Kaur, who had defended them and had silenced everyone by revealing that she had no problem with Dharmendra and Hema's marriage.
In a conversation with Simi Garewal on her famous celebrity chat show, Rendezvous with Simi Garewal, Hema Malini had opened up about her marriage with Dharmendra and admitted that initially, she was completely against the idea of marrying him despite liking him a lot. When the show's host, Simi Garewal, had asked the actress to explain the reason behind it. The evergreen actress had explained that despite being attracted to Dharmendra, she had always thought that she would marry someone just like him, but not him. She had said:
"I never bothered in the beginning, not at all. Anyone can say that he's a very good-looking man, doesn't mean you have to marry that person. So, I continued working with him, but not at all with any intention that I'm going to marry this person. Somewhere I used to think, if at all I have to marry, I will marry somebody like him. Not him, definitely not. But it happened, so you can't help it."
Going further in the conversation, Hema Malini had also admitted that she and Dharmendra had worked in many movies together. They got the opportunity to spend a lot of time with each other, which had created a close connection between them. The actress had also recalled the time when she had called Dharmendra suddenly one day and had told him to marry her right now, and the latter had also agreed instantly. She had revealed:
"Naturally, no parents would like this kind of a marriage. But it was difficult to decide anything else for me. I was quite close to him, we were together for so long. And to suddenly think of somebody else to marry, I don't think it is right. So, I called him and I said, 'You'll have to marry me now'. He said, 'Yeah, I'll marry you'. So that is how it happened."
When Simi Garewal had asked Hema Malini to open up about her parents' reaction to her decision of marrying Dharmendra, who was already a married man. The actress had stated that her father used to try his best to keep a check on her and Dharmendra's growing closeness in the initial stages but had added that Dharmendra was also a persistent lover. The actress had recalled:
"Usually, my mother or my aunt used to accompany me on shoots but during the shoot of one of the songs, my father accompanied me. He was worried that I and Dharam ji shouldn't spend some time alone as he knew we were friends. I remember this when we used to travel in a car, my father used to immediately sit next to me. But even Dharam ji was no less. He used to sit at the next seat."
At the end of the interview, Simi Garewal had questioned Hema Malini if she wished to change anything in her journey with Dharmendra or anything she would want to do differently if given a choice. Answering this, Hema Malini had given a beautiful answer, as she had stated that there's nothing she would want to change in her and Dharmendra's journey. The actress had explained:
"I don't think I want to change anything. I didn't get enough time to spend with Dharam ji since marriage. But that's okay. Whatever time we have together is precious. And I make it a point not to crib. Yeh kyon nahin kiya, woh kyon nahin kiya (Why did you not do this or that)…Why are you late?… I don't squander my time with my loved ones complaining."
Hema Malini and Dharmendra got married in 1980 and welcomed two daughters, Esha and Ahana Deol, into their lives.