By Akanksha Gupta Last Updated:
Who knew that a dance performance at school would become a stepping stone towards a glorious career in the entertainment industry for teenager Jaya Prada? A young fourteen-year-old dancer, who made a statement with just a three-minute sequence on-screen, was called the next big thing in the film industry. Jaya Prada has such a captivating aura that even with just her dance performance in the Telugu movie, Bhoomi Kosam, she made Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Hindi film producers and directors line up to sign her.
Jaya Prada is rightfully considered 'the most beautiful actress' that the Indian cinema has ever been blessed with. Despite being blessed with an ethereal beauty, immense talent and a successful career, Jaya had a rather difficult personal life. Words fall short to describe Jaya's incredible on-screen performances and there is a lot about this veteran actress that is still not known to her fans.
Born as Lalita Rani in Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh, Jaya Prada became an iconic actress of Indian cinema and was the reigning star of the '70s and '80s. Jaya's father, Krishna Rao was a film financier and her mother, Neelaveni was a homemaker, who always had a great emphasis on her education and encouraged her to participate in extra-curricular activities. Jaya started learning classical dance at the tender age of seven and before she was even 15, she was quite a maestro. It was during one of her school performances that Lalita was spotted by a director, who offered her a three-minute dance sequence in a Telugu film. The young teenager got her break and that is how Jaya Prada was born!
Since that 3-minute-long dance performance, Jaya has starred in more than a hundred and fifty films in 5 different languages. Jaya Prada's age is 59 and she has not let the number touch her gracefulness. But the veteran actress had undergone facial plastic surgery. Jaya Prada's face surgery was done by the renowned plastic surgeon, Dr Debraj Shome, as reported by pressnews.biz.
Jaya Prada was a Tohfa to the Indian film industry and it was a Sanjog for the Telugu film producer to spot her at her school's annual function. Even today, no actress in, Lok Parlok, can give Takkar to her graceful charm, beauty and exceptional talent. Even after decades, Jaya's songs like Dafli Wale Dafli Baja, Gori Tere Ang Ang Mein, Tohfa Tohfa Tohfa, Intehan Hogayi Intezaar Ki, De De Pyaar De, Mujhe Naulakha Manga De Re, Yashoda Ka Nandlala and Hum To Chale Pardes, continue to be everyone's favourite.
In her career span of close to five decades, Jaya has achieved numerous milestones. Starred in so many films, Jaya left her film career to join the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in 1994 and entered politics. Jaya was also a Member of Parliament (MP) from Rampur from 2004 to 2014 and she later joined Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Jaya also owns a theatre in Chennai. According to starsunfolded.com, Jaya Prada's net worth in 2019 was 27.92 crores with a luxurious car collection and jewellery worth Rs 56 lakhs.
Jaya Prada, because of her ethereal looks and remarkable talent, became every producer and director’s first choice. Circa 1985 was the peak time of her career when she became the highest-paid actress of Bollywood. It was during this time that she came under the radar of the Income Tax department. She had a rough time with the Income Tax department, which left her emotionally drained. Her career saw a dip as well. This is the time when she became friends with the film producer, Srikant Nahata, who came for the rescue of the damsel in distress. The producer came forward to help the actress resolve the legal tussle with the I.T. department. He was there for her as her knight in shining armour.
Srikant Nahata and Jaya Prada became friends and the actress started to lean on the producer for emotional support. The romantic feelings soon knocked on their doors, but the problem was that Srikant was already a married man and had three kids with his wife.
Jaya Prada's husband, Srikant Nahata
Srikant Nahata and Jaya Prada's love affair and marriage had created a lot of controversy in the entertainment world. The married status of Srikant became the reason why Jaya was labelled as the 'other woman'. Srikant was married to Chandra Nahata with whom he has three children and even after his marriage to Jaya, he didn’t divorce his first wife. Jaya and Srikant lived separately for a long time because she could not live with him at his residence with his family and also due to the fact that she faced contempt from all corners.
Jaya Prada was madly in love with Srikant Nahata. It was so blinding that she had no issues with the fact that he was already married with kids. Soon the gossip of their affair got into the grapevine of the industry but neither Jaya nor Srikant backed down from the relationship and it continued for a while before the couple took a step that was highly unexpected.
Jaya Prada and Srikant Nahata decided to get married. In 1986, the couple took the wedding vows in a private ceremony. While second marriages are not uncommon but what Srikant and Jaya did was shocking. Srikant married Jaya without divorcing his first wife. Another strange thing was that his first wife was never heard talking about the injustice that happened to her.
In a 1986 interview, Jaya Prada had spoken about her relationship with a married man, Srikant Nahata. According to Bollywood Memories, when Jaya Prada was asked, "But if you are so conservative, how did you get involved so seriously with a married man?"
She had retorted,
"It just happened like that. He was one of my producers and those were difficult days in my life. When someone offers you love and strength, you slowly get attracted to the person. It happened to me also. It was only much later that I discovered I was in love with the man."
Revealing Srikant's family's reaction to his relationship with her, Jaya had said, "They know about it. We have never kept it secret." When asked, "But, at different times, you and Srikant Nahata have denied the relationship?" Jaya Prada had clarified, "In the beginning perhaps. Not any more. Everyone knows about us. Including his family."
Revealing if she thinks this relationship might lead anywhere and if she wants or expects it to, Jaya continued,
"Every woman wants to be loved and married. I would, of course, like it to end that way. But who knows? Six years have already passed. I think I should give it an ultimatum. Otherwise. It may be too late."
Jaya and Srikant were madly in love once, but their love story had a tragic and predictable ending. Though Jaya continued working in the films after getting married, she was soon side-lined, following her decision of marrying a married man. This led to the end of her career. She couldn't live with Srikant at his residence because of his wife, which led to the end of her married life as well. In the end, Jaya became the 'second wife', who got nothing from her husband. Jaya might still be married but she will always be remembered as the 'other woman'.
Jaya Prada's son, Siddhu
Jaya Prada never got a child from Srikant Nahata. So, to nurture her maternal feelings, Jaya adopted her sister’s son, Siddhu and looked after him as her own. Jaya Prada's son, Siddhu made his debut in the film industry with the Tamil film, Uyire Uyire.
In an interview with The Hindu, Siddhu had spoken about being familiar with the world of cinema and recalled his fascination of how different his mother looked in each of her films. Siddhu was quoted as saying, "I grew up mostly on the sets. Directors, cameras, and lights feel like home. One moment, she'd look normal. The next, she’d walk out of the caravan looking like a queen. It was like magic; I'd take pictures with her."
When strong personalities like Jaya Prada fall prey to such bad decisions, it makes you wonder whether they are any different from regular people or not. Jaya Prada's marriage had some difficulties and we hope that she finds happiness in life because she truly deserves it.