By Rishabh Naudiyal Last Updated:
Born on October 17, 1955, in Pune, Smita Patil is often regarded as the second-greatest actress in the history of Indian cinema, after the legendary Nargis. In a career spanning just over a decade, Smita had given exceptional performances in many films like Manthan, Bhumika, Jait Re Jait, Aakrosh, Namak Halaal, Satya, Mirch Masala, and the list goes on. The Padma Shri awardee had featured in over 80 films in five different languages and cemented her status as one of the most versatile, successful, and graceful actresses of all time.
However, it was her marriage with Raj Babbar that had always been a topic of immense discussion and is still remembered even to this very day, as the latter was already married to Nadira Babbar. However, once in an interview, he had revealed that his marriage with Smita wasn't the reason behind his fall out with Nadira, as he had recalled some rare details about their married life.
In an interview with The Times Of India, when Raj Babbar was questioned about his first wife, Nadira Babbar's reaction to his brewing romance and eventual marriage with Smita Patil, the iconic actor had a surprising answer. The actor had refuted the claims suggesting his first wife was against their relationship and had called Nadira 'mature enough' to understand his undying love for Smita Patil. The actor had explained:
"My relationship with Smita was not the result of problems with Nadira – it just happened. Nadira was mature enough to understand my feelings. Juhi (second child) always loved being with Smita."
Going further in the interview, Raj Babbar had also recalled the early stages of his relationship with his second wife, Smita Patil and had stated that she had entered into his life out of nowhere, and eventually, they had formed an intimate bond with each other. He had said:
"Smita entered my life unexpectedly. When I met Smita Patil for the first time, I realised there was depth to her character. She was generally very friendly and sought my advice once in a while. Gradually, we formed an intimate bond."
The reason why Raj Babbar's statement had looked quite unrealistic at that time was because his first wife, Nadira Babbar, had already shown her displeasure in seeing her husband getting married to another woman. Time and again, in many of her interviews, Nadira had stated that it was theatre, and her kids, Juhi Babbar and Aarya Babbar, who had helped her to move on in life. Meanwhile, Raj and Smita's marriage had not gone well with the people, and the actress was labelled with the tag of 'homebreaker'. However, everything had ended after Smita had given birth to her and Raj's first child, Prateik Babbar, in 1986 at the age of 31 and had died due to childbirth complications.
It was an insanely traumatic situation for Raj Babbar, and in an interview with The Times Of India, the actor had opened up about the demise of his second wife, Smita Patil. The actor had said:
"Smita left me forever. I was traumatised by her death. But I didn't want my problems to affect the lives of those who counted on me. I sought refuge in my work, but the wounds took time to heal."
After Smita Patil's demise, Nadira Babbar had surprised everyone by accepting Raj Babbar back in her life. However, the public had ridiculed the actress for accepting the man who had left her for another woman. But she was confident about her decision and had stuck to it. In an interview with Filmfare, when Nadira was asked to reflect on people calling her 'doormat' for accepting Raj after his second wife, Smita Patil's death, the doting wife had given a powerful befitting response to everyone.
Answering this, Nadira Babbar had explained the reasons behind her big decision to be with Raj Babbar and had said:
"Doormat? Rubbish! I'd like to tell them it's better to be a doormat if you have children. It's better to be a doormat and have harmony at home and give your children a father. It's better to be doormat than to think of only yourself, destroy your home."
At the end of the interview, Nadira Babbar had also revealed that she had always felt extremely sorry for Smita Patil as she couldn't live her dreams with Raj Babbar. She had explained:
"Mujhe bahut afsos, bahut taqleef hui thi for her mother, her family, for the child… She (Smita) had her dreams and wishes. It's sad she couldn't live those. I have forgiven it all. I have no ill feelings towards anyone. In comparison to all that life has blessed me with, it's not right to complain."
Smita Patil had given birth to her son, Prateik Babbar, on November 28, 1986, and had died shortly on December 13, 1986, due to childbirth complications.