By Akanksha Gupta Last Updated:
Known for her much-remembered Marilyn Monroe-esque pose in Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar, Pooja Bedi became the bohemian 90s rebel girl. Page 3 diva who had often grabbed the limelight for her personal life more than the professional front. Bigg Boss 5 contestant and the charismatic actress-dancer, Pooja Bedi fell in love quite a few times before meeting her soulmate, Maneck Contractor, who is an alumnus of her school, The Lawrence School Sanawar. (Also Read: Shahid Kapoor Revealed He And Kareena Kapoor Dated Within A Week Of Meeting Each Other [Throwback])
Vishkanya debutante, Pooja Bedi, who is in her late 40s, has never guarded her personal life from the media glare and is quite open about her relationships and the men she fell for in her life. Pooja’s most-talked-about relationship was with Aditya Pancholi, who is synonymous to negative roles in Bollywood. Somewhere around 1993, when Aditya’s married life with Zarina Wahab had started losing its spark, he had bumped into Pooja, which led to an extra-marital affair. Soon love brewed between Pooja and Aditya and there were times when the latter would spend residing at her residence.
Pooja Bedi and Aditya Pancholi’s relationship took an ugly turn when the former’s 15-year-old maid had informed her that he had sexual relations with her, after promising to get her a role in a movie. When Pooja confronted him, Aditya confessed, and she had dumped him after that incident. And as they say, rest is history! In a throwback interview with the Stardust, Pooja had poured her heart out about her relationship with Aditya.
Beginning with how their relationship had lost its charm and when things went too far, Pooja Bedi had elaborated, “It was inevitable. Our relationship was as good as dead since a couple of months now. We were just holding on to it, hoping we could find a solution. But I guess things had gone too far. There were no drives, no dates, no going together to the parties, no meetings, nothing for a very long time. So, what could I do.”
Clueless of what went wrong in their relationship and why her ex, Aditya Pancholi had detached himself from her, Pooja Bedi had stated, “I don’t know what exactly went wrong. He just started withdrawing himself from me. He suddenly stopped communicating with me. He isolated and alienated himself saying he needed time, he needed breathing space. Maybe he missed his daughter and maybe I reminded him of what he had lost. Maybe he held me responsible and seeing me constantly brought back painful memories. Or maybe like my friends had warned me, he simply moved on! I tried every trick in the book to understand him. But I just couldn’t get across to him. He had shut himself up totally.”
Speaking of how she dealt with her life after separating from Aditya Pancholi, Pooja Bedi had said, “My life will not come to an end because of one relationship. I will move ahead and if he decides to return, it may be too late. Yes, I was miserable earlier. But I’ve had my share of tears and that’s it. There’s no point in giving hundred per cent of yourself to anyone when not only is it not appreciated but also not desired. Why should you give yourself away to someone who doesn’t want you? You’re wasting yourself aren’t you? There are so many other people in this world who love me for what I am. I have to just sit back and think of them and there will be so many. So why wait for him? He’s happy, at least I hope he is, wherever he’s gone, then why can’t I be happy too?”
When asked if Anna Singh, Aditya Pancholi’s dress designer, the reason for their breakup, Pooja Bedi blatantly exclaimed, “Don’t be silly, Anna is just his dress-designer. She used to design my clothes too but I fell out with her. We tended to disagree on a lot of issues.” When probed, “Like Aditya Pancholi for instance”, Pooja had clarified, “Never. I know that while he was with me he would never have looked left or right or at any other woman. In the beginning of our relationship, I used to tell him that if I ever saw him with another girl, I could claw her eyes out or if I couldn’t manage that, I’d really whack her hard. I loved him so much that I could stab anyone for him. I could have even killed myself. Feelings don’t die overnight. I don’t think I can break away completely from him. We’ll still be good friends. And I know if I ever need help, he’ll always be there.” (Also Read: When Rekha Opened Up About Amitabh Bachchan's Denial On Their Much-Talked Affair [Throwback])
When asked, “If they still cared for each other, then what exactly had gone wrong? Could it be that she was over-reacting? Could it be that this was just one of their numerous lover’s tiffs? Maybe there was still place for reconciliation.” Pooja Bedi had replied, “I don’t think so. It’s over as far as we are concerned. The only thing I do feel bad about is that he could have at least spoken to me about what was on his mind instead of just walking out like that. I feel very let down. After all he did owe me an explanation, I was the other half of the relationship. One fine day, after having had enough of his strange behaviour I asked him, ‘Is the relationship over?’ and Aditya just looked back into my eyes and said ‘Yes, it’s over’. I almost thanked him for telling me. At least the decision was taken one way or the other. And I respect his decision and have no regrets about the relationship. It was incredible while it lasted.”
Pooja Bedi felt that Aditya Pancholi had left her because he wanted to get back to his wife, Zarina Wahab and reconcile with his married life. She had said, “I think he wants to go back to Zarina. I don’t know, at least that is what I gathered. I think Aditya and Zarina are weaning towards each other. He probably broke off with me because he wanted to go back to her. But I know for sure that if he does go back it’ll be only for the sake of his daughter Sanaa… Anyway, since it’s all over between us, I think he’s entitled to live his life the way he wants to.”
Stating her belief in Richard Bach’s quote, “If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they're yours; if they don't they never were”, Pooja Bedi had remarked, “You know, whether it is Zarina or anything else, I just hope that he finally gets what he wants. The man has seen so much suffering. I just want him to be happy. He wanted me, he got me, but obviously he was not happy. There’s a saying that if you love somebody, set him free. If he comes back he’s yours, if he doesn’t he never was!” Did she still hope that Aditya would come back to her? “I don’t know. Maybe by the time he decides to come back he might not find me waiting for him. And I think it is he who will be the loser.”
Narrating an incident when Aditya Pancholi had asked her what would she do if he broke up with her, Pooja Bedi had recalled, “I know this may sound egoistic but he’s like the guy who has a diamond ring on his hand and mistakes it for glass. Aditya did not realise my worth even after all that I did for him. I loved him to the extent that I would have died for him. Even killed for him. He had once asked me what I would do if we ever broke up. And I had replied that I’d either try and run away from the situation and go to America or I’d haunt him. He asked me why would I want to die for a guy like him and I told him, who’s talking about haunting through death? I may die for you while you’re with me but if you leave, I’ll haunt you by becoming a great actress. Everywhere you turn you would find a poster of mine. Every magazine you opened would contain my article and everyone you spoke to would talk to you only about me. And he had laughed…”
Sharing what she has learnt from this relationship, Pooja Bedi was quoted as saying, “Men are such strange creatures. They fall in love with you for certain qualities that you possess, like say you’re the bubbly, giggly sort, but then after they’ve got you, they want to change you. This is one thing I’ve learnt from this relationship. So, one should never, never lose one’s individuality. Just be yourself and you’ll be happy. And if your man loves you that way fine, otherwise…”
When asked, “Do you still meet him?” Pooja Bedi had replied, “Off and on. We are trying to be friends, but things are so fresh and painful it’s not easy. Many people said that Aditya was the worst thing that could have happened to my career and image. They’re not wrong. It is very important to suffer. Better now than later. Because at a later stage it could have affected me more and even made me bitter and cynical. I’m only eighteen now. I’m too young to think of things like marriage. I’m not like a wife sitting back home with the security of a long-term relationship. One has to move on. And I want to experience life to the fullest. As for Aditya, at least he’s established professionally. I wish him the very best and hope he reaches the top. And if I fail in my career and fall flat on my face, I will pick myself up and try again. In the end it’s all in the hands of destiny. Que sera sera…whatever will be will be… the future’s not mine to see…!” (Also Read: Salman Khan Was Offered Aishwarya Rai's Brother Role During Their Dating Days, Here's How He Reacted)
Well, now Pooja Bedi is happily engaged to Maneck Contractor and we wish them an eternity of happiness and love!
Yes, she is the Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander girl who created a lasting impression on the audience with her acting skills and Marilyn Monroe pose in the red dress. Although, her career did not take wings and she was seen in only in handful of movies post the Aamir KhanRead More