By Ojasvee Last Updated:
Mandira Bedi - an epitome of women empowerment and a powerhouse of talent. But what most of us are unaware of is that she was also amongst the lucky few, to be fortunate enough to find true love in her life. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge fame, Mandira and her filmmaker-husband, late Raj Kaushal's love story will give you a glimpse of how two opposites got attracted and became a perfect couple!
It was in the year 1996 when actress, Mandira Bedi and filmmaker, Raj Kaushal met for the first time. Raj was working as Mukul Anand's Chief Assistant and was busy auditioning for a show called Philips 10. By that time, Mandira had already worked in the acclaimed serial, Shanti and the most-watched movie of Bollywood, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. Though Raj had seen her work, the first time he noticed Mandira was when she showed up for the audition in a red and white striped t-shirt and khaki pants.
Recalling when he first noticed Mandira in real-life despite watching her in the film, DDLJ, Raj, in a throwback interview with ShaadiTimes, had gushed:
"We met seven years ago at producer Nitin Manmohan's office. I was Mukul Anand's chief assistant, and was busy with auditions for a countdown show called Philips Top 10. Mandira was also called for an audition. That's when I saw her for the first time. She was wearing a red and white striped T-shirt and khaki pants. I had seen her in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, but I never really noticed her till then."
Mandira and Raj started meeting frequently and by the end of 1996, the lovebirds were in a steady relationship. Mandira and Raj were complete opposites, but as he said, within three meetings, he knew that he had found his lobster! Recalling his dating phase with Mandira, Raj had said:
"We would meet quite frequently at Mukul Anand's house. It took us three meetings before I knew that she was the one. I told her that I was looking at marriage. She is vegetarian and I'm non-vegetarian. Some of our first dates were in Udipi Hotels."
Other than the fact that both Mandira Bedi and Raj Kaushal are talented and successful, their friends often wondered what attracted these polar opposites to each other. When asked this question in a media interaction, Mandira and Raj had given the sweetest replies. Revealing what she likes about Raj, Mandira had remarked:
"He is a basic person, very honest. There is nothing fake about him like people who don masks to hide their true selves. With Raj, it's - what you see is what you get."
Revealing what he likes in his life and wife, Mandira Bedi, Raj Kaushal had said:
"Mandira is a cultured, intelligent and beautiful girl. Being from the same industry, she was well aware of how hectic life can be. She has always been supportive, even during our hard times. It was simple. I met her, liked her and went after her. I don't think any man would want to miss such an opportunity."
It was the complementary nature of this couple, which worked as a glue in their relationship.
Raj Kaushal always had marriage on his mind. Raj once confessed that he quickly made up his mind about getting married to Mandira Bedi and did not waste any time introducing her to his parents. Raj's parents were elated to meet their son's choice but things weren't this smooth with the Bedi family. Mandira's parents were apprehensive about their daughter marrying a film director. Recalling his awkward meeting with Mandira's parents, Raj had said:
"There were no objections from my parents, In fact, my mother was really happy that I was settling down. Meeting her parents was a little awkward at first as she comes from a family of bankers. Her father is a complete corporate person. But they warmed up to me soon. I guess they had no choice!"
Revealing that initially, her parents had concern over her decision to marry a filmmaker because of the instability in his line of work, Mandira Bedi had stated:
"My parents were a little concerned with the fact that I was planning to marry a director because its an unstable line of work. Now they just love him."
Mandira Bedi's parents, later on, agreed to her decision of marriage. Mandira and Raj tied the knot on February 14, 1999. For their big day, the couple dressed in all their glory. Mandira wore a red and golden lehenga with an exquisite matha patti and Raj complemented her in a golden sherwani. Raj and Mandira got married twice, once as per the Arya Samaji Hindu rituals and again in an Anand Karaj ceremony.
After 12 years of being married, Mandira Bedi and Raj Kaushal were blessed with a baby boy, Vir Kaushal. Due to Mandira's work commitment, they couldn't plan a baby sooner but when little Veer came into their life, nothing else mattered. Mandira had undergone C-section to deliver her son and revealing how she could not exercise to shed off her 22 kgs pregnancy weight, the fitness freak mommy had said in an interview with India Today:
"The needle was stuck there-it was frustrating. I had a C-section so I couldn't exercise, my doctor gave me 40 days to even start doing my daily walks. I counted the days and on the 41st day, I was walking on Carter Road."
Nine years after his birth, Vir Kaushal became a big brother as Mandira Bedi and Raj Kaushal welcomed a baby girl, Tara Bedi Kaushal via adoption. On the festive occasion of Dussehra in 2020, Mandira and Raj had made the celebrations even more special by announcing that they have welcomed a baby girl into their lives. Revealing that their son, Vir Kaushal is now a big brother, Mandira and Raj had posted their first family picture with Tara. Mandira had written:
"She has come to us Like a blessing from above, Our little girl, Tara. Four years and a bit With eyes that sparkle like stars Sister to her Vir Welcoming her home With open arms and pure love Grateful, thankful. blessed Tara Bedi Kaushal Became a part of our family on 28th July 2020."
Raj Kaushal had captioned the family picture as:
"On this festive occasion of Dussehra we would like to introduce you to the newest member of our family Tara Bedi Kaushal. Finally the family is complete #humdohamaredo."
Mandira Bedi and Raj Kaushal made a headstrong couple. They stood by each other through the thick and the thin. During the 2003 Cricket World Cup, rumours of Mandira having an affair with the cricketer, Yuvraj Singh started doing the rounds. On this, Raj had raised his voice and shut the media with a strong statement. He had asserted:
"I've known Yuvraj Singh since he joined the Indian cricket team so it doesn't make much of a difference. It is in times like these that trust plays a vital role in a relationship. Just because you are seen with someone in public, the media creates stories to spice things up. When this happened, Mandira was in South Africa and I was shooting for a commercial in Malaysia."
Clarifying the rumours of her affair with Yuvraj Singh, Mandira Bedi had said:
"Yuvraj and I are buddies. Raj knows Yuvraj as much as I do. He is just a friend. This is not the first time the media has linked me. I was linked earlier to actor Parmit Sethi after DDLJ."
As a shock to the Bedi and Kaushal family, their friends and fans, filmmaker, Raj Kaushal took his last breath on June 29, 2021. The couple's close friends, Onir, Rohit Bose Roy, Neha Dhupia, Anupam Kher, Tisca Chopra and others expressed how disheartened and shocked they are on knowing about Raj Kaushal's demise. As per the reports, Raj Kaushal has died due to a cardiac arrest.
Mandira and Raj were one such couple, who were transparent and real, despite being celebrities. They might have started as two opposite personalities but being together, they had shared the same passion. Mandira and Raj loved to travel together and were happy in their own world. Now, Mandira, Vir and Tara's lives won't be the same without Raj, we hope God gives them strength to cope up with the loss.