By Pragati Pal Last Updated:
An actor who once ruled the hearts of the major part of the female population, owing to his extremely expressive eyes and his charming smile, was caught in a fallacious love triangle, which had shocked the entire glamour world. Yes, we're talking about veteran actor Jeetendra, and the infamous love triangle between himself, Hema Malini and Dharmendra. Jeetendra had made his screen debut back in 1967 with a V Shantaram film, Farz and was shot to fame in the '60s for his dancing skills.
The fable of the love triangle between Hema, Jeetendra and Dharmendra was started with Hema Malini' mother, Jaya's disregard to her daughter' romantic involvement with a married man. Jaya was eager to marry off Hema Malini and hence she had set out for a potential groom hunt. And for that, she didn’t even have to go far. Jaya saw a potential groom in Hema’s contemporary actor and a co-star of many films, Jeetendra. In fact, Jaya knew that Jeetendra also had a soft corner for Hema, but he was involved with Shobha Kapoor.
Legend says that Jeetendra had approached Hema Malini quite a few times but because Hema was in love with Dharmendra, she had denied Jeetendra’s proposal and the two had settled on being friends forever. But, Hema and Jettendra's parents were on a different page altogether. On the other hand, Hema and Jeetendra’s friendship grew so strong that the two became each other’s secret keepers. Parallel to all these, Jaya kept coaxed Hema to meet Jeetendra’s parents at least once. And once Hema agreed, the two families went ecstatic. A source close to Jeetendra revealed him saying: “I don’t want to marry Hema. I am not in love with her. She is not in love with me. But my family wants it, so I might as well. And she is such a good girl”.
While Hema Malini has always been candid about the entire episode, Jeetendra has never been as forthcoming. However, the actor had addressed the 'elephant in the room' a few years back with a leading film magazine. Jeetendra was asked if he had ever proposed to Hema, a Pinkvilla report quoted him as saying, "I’d rather not talk about that chapter in my life. Her kids have grown up and so have mine. To talk about this now would be very awkward and embarrassing."
Talking further about the alleged fiasco, which had made Jeetendra and Hema Malini almost married. While Hema Malini and Jeetendra were good friends, they weren't romantically inclined towards one another. But as Hema's mother, Jaya was hell-bent on breaking Hema and Dharmendra's relationship, she somehow managed to convince Hema Malini and Jeetendra to tie the knot.
A secret wedding was planned in Chennai and both families flew down. A local paper got wind of it and published the scoop as front-page news. A slightly drunk Dharmendra, accompanied by Jeetendra's then-girlfriend and now wife, Shobha, reached the venue in time to stop the nuptials. When Dharmendra and Shobha arrived at the venue, the scene couldn’t have been more dramatic. Hema’s angry father pushed Dharmendra out of the house, and screamed, "Why don’t you get out of my daughter’s life? You are a married man, you can’t marry my daughter.”
A helpless, heartbroken and angry Dharmendra would not budge. And finally, he was allowed to talk to Hema alone in a separate room. Hema’s parents, Jeetendra’s parents and Jeetendra himself stood outside, waiting desperately. Inside the room, Dharmendra kept on begging Hema not to marry Jeetendra and commit such a mistake. On the other hand, Jeetendra told Shobha that he really wanted to marry Hema. A puffy-eyed Hema and Dharmendra came out of the room and Hema asked everyone if they could wait for a few days before taking any decision. The insult was too big to handle for Jeetendra, and he darted off angrily out of the place with his parents. Eventually, things settled and Hema Malini got married to Dharmendra on May 2, 1979. Jeetendra went on to marry Shobha Kapoor.
What are your thoughts on the alleged love triangle?