By Shreya Sharma Last Updated:
Neliima Azeem is an actor and a Kathak dancer, who is also a mother to Shahid Kapoor and Ishaan Khatter. Before making her name in the Hindi film and television industries, Neliima had met her first love, Pankaj Kapur at the National School of Drama. The two creative souls, while working towards accomplishing their dreams had fallen in love. In 1979, the couple had decided to tie the knot and five years and a kid later, things had gone kaput between Pankaj and Neliima. Neliima Azeem and Pankaj Kapur had separated and were granted divorce in 1984, three years after the birth of their son, Shahid Kapoor.
Now, the actress, Neliima Azeem has made a shocking revelation on how her ex-husband, Pankaj Kapur had left her even before they knew that she had conceived Shahid Kapoor. Neliima has single-handedly raised Shahid Kapoor and Ishaan Khatter (her son from her second marriage with Rajesh Khatter). She had conceived her first child, Shahid Kapoor at the age of 21 and it was her parents, who had helped her during her first pregnancy.
In a conversation with Bollywood Bubble, Neliima Azeem opened up on her pregnancy experience and balancing work and finance while looking after her child. Shahid Kapoor was hardly three years old when Neliima Azeem and Pankaj Kapur had parted ways. Opening up on how Shahid had reacted to it, Neliima shared that Pankaj had left her much before the couple had gotten to know about their first pregnancy. She said, “Shahid was very young, he was three and a half years old. Shahid was born in Delhi while I was staying with my parents because Pankaj had left much earlier and shifted to Mumbai before we know that I had conceived. He wanted to try his luck in films and TV and I supported him because I thought he is a very talented and young man.”
Neliima then narrated how she was living with her parents when she was pregnant with Shahid Kapoor. She said, “I was actually taken care of by my parents and my brother during the pregnancy all through. Later when Shahid was born, we were with my parents in their home. Pankaj and I never had a home together ever. Shahid was used to staying with us there in Delhi.” Talking about Shahid’s reaction to his parent's divorce, she added, “It wasn’t as if that he stayed with his father and then he had to shift. He was in the same surrounding as he was born. So it did not make a huge difference to him. Of course, separation and divorce make a difference to children but he was very young and he was in the same family structure as he was used to be.”
With her failed marriages, Neliima Azeem came out as a victor of these tough life situations. Decades later, Neliima had recalled her experience with 'grief, sorrow, rejection, anxiety, pain, and fear of the unknown' when she had divorced Pankaj Kapur. Earlier, in an interview with Bollywood Bubble, Neliima had said, "I had this wonderful friend who I got married to, everything was just la-la-la-da-di-da, my parents were wonderful, I had a great crowd around me, toh mujhe ye pata hi nahi tha ke kuch zindagi mein aisa bhi ho sakta hai jisme pav phisal jaye aur hum dhap kar ke ghir jaaye. Aur rejection ka koi sawaal hi nahi hai because everybody used to love me and adore me and follow me around. So it was, in that way, when you're young and full of beans, it was the first time when I experienced grief, sorrow, rejection, anxiety, pain, and fear of the unknown and a whole lot of insecurity."
Despite all the odds, Neliima Azeem has given the best of life to her two kids, Shahid Kapoor and Ishaan Khatter and they have come out to be a happy family!