Every day thousands of people move to the ‘City of Dreams’, Mumbai with an aspiration to become an actor. While some struggle for years to get a golden ticket to the industry, some do get the chance but are nowhere to be seen after a few flicks. Those who couldn’t make it big in the industry are eventually forgotten by their fans.
Do you remember Anil Kapoor’s love interest in Virasat or Karisma Kapoor’s sister in Haseena Maan Jaayegi? Yes, we are talking about the leggy lass of the 90s who swept everyone off their feet with her vivacious smile, former Femina Miss India International, Pooja Batra. Though Pooja Batra has been away from the limelight for a long time now, she is still capable of reigning our hearts. Despite delivering some successful movies like Virasat, Haseena Maan Jaayegi, Jodi No.1, Nayak: The Real Hero, Kahin Pyaar Na Ho Jaaye in her kitty, she couldn’t carve a niche for herself in the industry.
Apart from Pooja Batra’s professional achievements, her personal life has also made it to the headlines every now and then. Not many of us know that Pooja left her flourishing career in Bollywood after falling in love with an NRI doctor. Yes, you read that right! But before telling you about her husband, and how she later got a divorce from him, let us tell you about her alleged affair with a Bollywood actor. Or rather we say, Bollywood’s khiladi! (*wink*)
By now you would have guessed it that we are talking about Akshay Kumar! Known as the 'Casanova of Bollywood' in his initial days, Akshay Kumar had a big list of ladies who were smitten by his charisma and sense of humour. And one such diva who got attracted to him was Pooja Batra. Back in the 90s, Pooja and Akshay were rumoured to be dating, even before joining the film industry. As per reports, Pooja knew Akshay and got close to him during her modelling days.
Akshay and Pooja both later made it to the film industry, and where Akshay tasted success in his work, Pooja couldn’t quite make it. As per the grapevine at that time, some suggested that Akshay used Pooja as a ladder to climb up the in the cine world and used to accompany her in the star-studded parties to make contacts. But after years of togetherness, Akshay and Pooja parted ways to set their foot in the industry, and with reasons that are best known to them.
However, Akshay Kumar and Pooja Batra have let bygone be bygones, and are good friends now. Khiladi Kumar gave everyone a pleasant surprise when he arrived at alleged ex-girlfriend, Pooja Batra’s movie, Mirror Games screening in 2017. As no one was expecting Kumar to be there, the media and paparazzi got excited and clicked the ex-couple. Though Akshay didn’t stay for long at the event, he gave his best wishes to Pooja and the film's team.
Pooja Batra has not only worked in the Hindi film industry but also expanded her genre to South Indian films and was seen in Malayalam and Tamil films too. But the Jodi No. 1 star left everything when she got married to the love of her life, an orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Sonu S. Ahluwalia. Post her marriage to Sonu in 2002, Pooja left her professional career and shifted to Los Angeles, California. However, after 9 years of marriage, Pooja and Sonu filed for a divorce.
In 2011, Pooja filed for the divorce, citing irreconcilable differences as the reason. As per the reports, a source was quoted as saying:
"Pooja and her husband are separated and will be filing for divorce in Los Angeles. She moved out of Sonu's house a few months ago."
Pooja’s frequent visits to the country gave rise to speculations about the trouble in actress’ marriage. As per sources, child issue was the root of their differences. While Sonu was desperate to become a father, Pooja wasn’t ready to embrace motherhood. According to an insider:
"Sonu is famous doctor in Los Angeles and a fantastic guy. He brought her a lovely home and a swanky car and was paying for her acting and make up classes. They may be splitting up. Pooja wants a career in Hollywood and has been going for auditions, though matters haven't been exactly going her way. When they came down to Mumbai in 2010, they looked very happy together."
Speaking about her failed marriage, Pooja had earlier stated:
"I've lived through the most gruelling, lonely and difficult phase of my life! All the negative energies from my eight-year marriage and divorce burst out on the sets like a pressure cooker. The upheavals took a toll but my ambition to make a name for myself in this part of the world kept me going."
After her failed marriage to Dr Sonu Ahluwalia, Pooja has found love again and is in a happy phase now with Norwegian-born, Christian Middelthon. In a 2016 interview, Pooja talked about her new-found love and remarked:
"Yes! I have a European boyfriend… If you’re asking if marriage is on my mind, it is not, simply because I am independent. I have my business to sustain. Financially, I am self-sufficient and would love to not be married as of now."
Pooja’s self-deprecating humour came into forefront recently, and when asked if her break from the industry is responsible for it, Pooja retorted to the Times of India:
“Moving away from the industry, leading a normal life and not living in that entitled bubble has helped me evolve. Had I been here, maybe my career would have gone in a different route. But, I have learnt a lot about life being away from the industry.”
In the same interview, when she was asked about her special someone, Pooja expressed:
“I have a boyfriend. But, marriage, I don’t have the guts to do it the second time around. I am not sure. It’s too much of a commitment.”
Although it is difficult to pick up those pieces of life from a broken marriage and track it back into a right direction, it isn’t impossible to do so either! And looks like the 43-year-old actress, Pooja Batra’s life is back on track and she is in a happy space with her boyfriend, Christian. Much love and power to you Pooja, we hope to see you on the screens soon!