By Srijony Das Last Updated:
Finding a star-crossed lover is destiny’s rare play and for Manoj Bajpayee, the same happened when he met Shabana, a.k.a Neha. What was initially a clash of two films of equal weight at the box office slowly turned out to be a beautiful love story, and the beginning of a new journey for both of them. Well then, take a look at the simple and sweet love story of Manoj and Shabana.
Perhaps one of the most unusual ways of meeting one another, Manoj met Shabana when both of their films clashed on the same month of release at the box office. Dating back all the way to the year 1998, Manoj made his blockbuster performance in the film, Satya while Shabana starred along with Bobby Deol in the acclaimed romantic film, Kareeb. While both the films were immensely acclaimed and were released within a short while, it made Shabana and Manoj receive all the limelight together for their respective performances.
However, their first interaction took place when Manoj and Shabana, who was renamed as Neha by then, attended a common party. What made her grab Manoj’s attention almost instantly was the fact that Shabana had attended the party with oily hair, in contrast to all the others who were gorgeously decked up. In a recent interview with the Humans Of Bombay, Manoj recalled their first meeting and mentioned:
“I was completely mesmerised. Not only with her beauty but also with the fact that she was there with oiled hair, in such a big party and didn’t care about what others are going to say! The real person inside her really impressed me more than her beauty."
After hitting off instantly at the party, there was a sense of liking for each other in both Shabana and Manoj’s hearts. The duo fell in love and started to date each other, which lasted about eight years. After realising their compatibility with one another, and knowing each other better, it was soon enough that the couple decided to take their relationship to the next level and get hitched.
After eight years of dating, the couple finally tied the knot in 2006. Interestingly, for Manoj it was not his first marriage as way back during his struggling phase, he was married to a girl from Delhi. But the couple had fallen apart amicably and divorced within a few months of marriage. In an interview with Hindustan Times right after their wedding, Shabana had opened up on the type of bonding she shares with her husband, Manoj and revealed that nothing gave the duo more joy than sitting back in their home and enjoying hearty conversations over a cup of tea. In her words:
“Manoj and I understand each other well. We do not mix our professional and personal lives. We have a very healthy relationship. Manoj and I don't need to socialise or go out to feel happy. We share long evenings of tea, silences and warm vibes right in our house. Nothing gives us more joy than to be together in our house."
After nearly five years of marital bliss, the couple got promoted as parents after the arrival of their baby girl, Awa Nayla in 2011. This brought a complete change into the life of the couple, as indeed every bit of their relationship’s dynamic changed after the arrival of their little one. In an interview much later in life, Manoj had bared his heart out and revealed how his daughter and wifey had brought a huge change in his life. In his words:
“My wife has made me responsible. My daughter Ava Nayla has made me patient. I used to get angry easily, not today. Being with a child is a test of your personality."
In his personal life, Manoj is a complete family man who loves and cares for them utmost. However, what is all the more special is that he respects and feels indebted to his wife for sacrificing her career at the peak time in order to get married to Manoj and thereafter start a family. Later in life, in an interview with the Deccan Chronicle, Manoj opened up on his wifey’s sacrifices and mentioned that given a chance, he would love to work with his wife as an actor. In his words:
“I would love to work with her. The day she makes a comeback and asks me to do a film, I will do it. She has done a huge sacrifice for me and I owe it to her.”
Manoj Bajpayee may appear to be a man of few words, but in his real life, he is as ordinarily a family person than anyone else. He gave a proof of the same in an interview where he revealed that back at home, he is totally afraid of his wife, Shabana and his daughter, Awa and does not even think of arguing with them. He revealed how the duo easily team up against him, due to which he ensures to avoid every possibility of such a situation. He mentioned:
"I am scared of my daughter and my wife. I am very scared. Sometimes I make the mistake of getting into an argument. Then I hit my head, thinking about why I got into an argument with them. It is a lose-lose game. They gang up against me all the time. As she is growing up, she is becoming more and more ferocious with her arguments."
The life of married actors often takes toll on their personal life, especially when it concerns them doing bold scenes on screen. However, when it comes to Manoj Bajpayee, things of this kind has never been a part of his marital bliss since his wife, Shabana also came from the same field and that she was too broad minded and self confident about their relationship. Highlighting on the same aspect, Manoj had once mentioned:
"Shabana is broadminded and self-confident. Those who are confident are never insecure. Secondly, she knows the kind of person she has married. Thirdly, she herself is an actor and understands the nature of our work."
Fast forward to today, the couple has been enjoying their mushy marital life for more than seventeen years now. With their lovely daughter growing up every day, the couple is loving their marital bliss as fresh as any newly wedded couple. Though they are not quite active social media users, nevertheless they enjoy their company in complete seclusion. On the work front, Manoj was last seen in the OTT drama titled, Gulmohar.
We love this sweet tale of love between Manoj and Shabana!
An actor par excellence, Manoj Bajpayee is one of the rarest gems of Hindi cinema. The actor, who often awestruck his fans with his versatile acting, leads a simple life. Despite being one of the leading names in the Hindi film industry, he finds solace in doing his day-to-day household chores.Read More