By Neelam Jain Last Updated:
Born on November 13, 1967, in Ambala, Haryana, Juhi Chawla became Miss India in 1984 and in the same year, she also won the Best Costume Award at the Miss Universe contest. Two years after winning the coveted title of Miss India, Juhi entered the film industry and made her debut with Sultanat. It turned out to be a commercial failure and finally, in 1988, Juhi got her breakthrough with the film, Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak. Juhi was awarded Filmfare Award for Lux New Face of the Year, becoming an overnight star with the film's success.
For an actress as vivacious and successful as Juhi Chawla and for a diva, who was a Bollywood sensation in the '90s, the marital journey could be no less than a picture-perfect thing. Isn't it? Well! Most of us think that for a celebrity, things are always smooth and a cakewalk. However, this does not stand true for Juhi. Neither her road to marriage was anywhere closer to a Disney fairytale romance nor was her courtship as cheesy and lovey-dovey as we watch in movies. Juhi's wedlock with Jay Mehta was a roller coaster ride, which they kept riding. Persevering through their struggles and pain, Jay and Juhi came closer and finally, tied the knot in 1995. Let's unfold Juhi Chawla and Jay Mehta's love story:
Juhi Chawla's husband, Jay Mehta, son of Mahendra Mehta and Sunayana Mehta and grandson of Nanji Kalidas Mehta, who owns The Mehta Group, is a businessman and entrepreneur. Now, Jay is the owner of The Mehta Group. Jay's Mumbai-based company has subsidiaries in different countries and deals in an array of products like cement and sugar.
Working in completely different fields, Juhi Chawla and Jay Mehta met when destiny played its role and it was director, Rakesh Roshan, who had introduced the couple. During the filming of Karobaar: The Business of Love, Rakesh had introduced the lead heroine of the film, Juhi to his dear businessman-friend, Jay. Unfortunately, the film wasn't a hit but it brought Juhi and Jay together for a lifetime.
Jay Mehta's wedding with Juhi Chawla is his second marriage as he had earlier tied the knot with Yash Birla's sister, Sujata Birla, who lost her life in 1990's Flight 605 plane crash.
Juhi Chawla and Jay Mehta met several times during the filming of the movie but they never thought of each other in a romantic way. Jay was a devoted husband to his first wife, Sujata Birla, whereas Juhi was all engrossed in establishing her acting career. However, when Jay lost his wife in the plane crash, his friendship with Juhi took a different turn. Jay came closer to Juhi as she was the only one, who pulled him up through his hard times. Juhi did not let this personal setback overtake Jay's life.
Juhi Chawla became Jay Mehta's vital friend, who helped him recover from the personal tragedy of losing his wife. Initially, Juhi was hesitant towards giving a name to their relationship. She wasn't that inclined in the beginning but soon, she changed her mind and attitude. Jay's approach towards her influenced her heart and mind. Jay and Juhi came closer and that is when they thought of giving their lives a fresh start.
As if the tragic incident in Jay Mehta's life was not enough, the real test of his relationship with Juhi Chawla was when more tragedies crept in. Not long after their wedding was finalised, Juhi's mother lost her life in a car accident. Post her demise, Juhi was, of course, not in the right frame of mind to embark on the journey of married life with Jay. The bereaved lady couldn't endure the loss of her mother. Henceforth, Juhi's wedding plans and dreams came to a halt. Juhi's brother, Bobby Chawla suffered a massive stroke in 2010 and after being in a coma for four years, he breathed his last in 2014.
Juhi Chawla and her mother
Rather than the tragedies and unforeseen circumstances driving the couple apart, it brought Juhi Chawla and Jay Mehta closer. Jay assured Juhi of all the emotional support and comfort during her grief-stricken phase. Jay offered her all the aid and time to help her cope with the personal loss and emotional hardships. Slowly, facing all the hardships life threw at them, Jay and Juhi emerged out successful as true partners.
It was a hush-hush and clandestine marriage for the tragic-struck couple, Juhi Chawla and Jay Mehta. Juhi remained tight-lipped about her marriage to Jay. In 1995, Juhi and Jay got married, five years after his first wife passed away. Juhi and Jay's wedding, which was a close-knit affair, astonished the fans and media back then. Juhi and Jay's secret marriage got highlighted only when the couple was expecting their first child.
In an interview with Rajeev Masand, Juhi Chawla revealed how she managed to keep her wedding a secret and why kept it hidden initially. She was quoted as saying:
"At that time, you did not have the internet and you did not have cameras on every phone, so you could do it that way. I was just about established and doing well. That's the time Jay was serenading me and I was afraid of losing my career just when I had kind of got there. I wanted to carry on and this seemed the midway."
About losing her mother in a car accident, Juhi Chawla had stated:
"That was a very difficult time for me, because I felt I was going to lose everything I loved."
Revealing that her first meeting with Jay Mehta was brief, with friends and before she entered into Bollywood, Juhi Chawla recalled the proposal and how he wooed her. She had said:
"From then on, everywhere I went, he turned up. Everywhere I looked, he was there with flowers and notes and gifts. Every day! On my birthday, I remember he sent me a truckload of red roses. I was like, 'What do you do with a truckload of flowers?' He really did all he could. After a year, he proposed,"
Juhi Chawla and Jay Mehta are blessed with two kids, a daughter, Jahnavi Mehta and a son, Arjun Mehta, who were born in 2001 and 2003 respectively. Despite being constantly in the limelight, Juhi has kept her personal life and her kids guarded from media scrutiny.
In an interview with the IANS, Juhi Chawla had spoken about the career aspirations of her kids, Jahnavi Mehta and Jay Mehta. The Yes Boss star had said:
"My small monkey Arjun has clearly told us, 'Mom don't even think about it'. With Jahnavi, I'm not so sure. Arjun is quite funny and good with mimicking accents. He's actually hilarious, so I feel sometimes that he could maybe try. Jahnavi is an avid reader. If there is anything she likes in this world, and if you ask her what she wants as a gift, it will be a book. She said she wanted to be a writer. Then she went through a phase where she said 'Okay I want to be a model'. Tomorrow she might say 'I want to be an actress'. Then she might say she wants to drop all this and do sports. I don't know, but I have learnt one thing that you have to let your children do what they want."
In a conversation with The Telegraph, when Juhi Chawla was asked which of her films Jahnavi and Arjun love, she had replied:
"I have to ask them! They must have watched three films of mine in their whole life. I don't even know if they have caught anything on TV. I don't see them watching Hindi films or any film. Not my films definitely! They are so embarrassed watching me."
In an interview with Pinkvilla, Juhi Chawla revealed that she had no fondness for kids but once she embraced motherhood, she started looking at children differently. Juhi had stated:
"When you get married, you don't know how it is going to be like, no matter what everyone says. Then when you have children, it is a new experience. In fact, frankly, before I had kids, despite doing films like Hum Hai Rahi Pyaar Ke, I had no fondness for children. I would find them as a nuisance. But I started looking at children differently once I turned into a mother. It changed me."
Juhi Chawla continued her work post-marriage and even after embracing motherhood. When asked if her kids ever complained about not having enough time with her, Juhi had said:
"There is nothing like a perfect parent. I know my parents were also working and I hope my children also see it that way. I don't see any problem with that. From my side, I always try my shooting schedule is in Mumbai, or if I am going outstation, someone is there at home, so that they are never left alone. Sometimes when I used to go, the mother-in-law or sister-in-law would take care. I would also make sure that the shooting schedule outdoors is not more than 10 days at a stretch so that I could visit my kids and see them. It is not like they wanted me to come but it was me. So, you always try to juggle and balance, and mostly, somebody helps you and things happen when you believe in it. It might not be perfect, it is never perfect but you do your best."
Speaking of if she ever felt mother's guilt while trying to balance her work and personal life, Juhi Chawla had continued:
"No, I wouldn't call it guilt. When I look back, I would call it a rollercoaster. It has happened that I was away and my kid got sick and I coordinated on phone. Luckily, my friend was staying over and she took care of him. Somehow, everything worked out, always. There is no perfect moment or life, and it is okay, it works out in the end."
Juhi Chawla and Jay Mehta's wedding journey is definitely not a romantic one but the struggles and tragedies paved way for a strong relationship for a lifetime. It's out of pain that their marriage and union became a success. Juhi and Jay have given love a new definition, which is based on vows of commitment.