Hema Malini is easily one of the most beautiful women to ever grace the silver screen. It is not for nothing that she is called the “dream girl” of Bollywood. And Dharmendra was known as the original “He-man” of Bollywood. When these two would get together, magic was always bound to happen, right? The couple tweeted a couple of months ago on their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary, with a breathtaking photograph and the lines, “Love is togetherness”. The gushing look on the dream girl’s face says it all – their love was always meant to be!
The duo met on the sets when they were shooting for the movie Tum Haseen Main Jawaan. Hema was initially very reluctant to pursue anything with Dharmendra because he was already married. He had been married to his lovely wife Prakash Kaur for over ten years at the time. He also had two children with her – Bobby and Sunny, both of whom we are all familiar with. But this did not stop Dharmendra from falling in love with her and wooing her. Hema, who had already turned down several suitors like Sanjeev Kumar and Jeetendra too could not help but fall for this handsome man.
Hema says that she was attracted to Dharmendra because he was so strong and silent. It was rumoured that when the film Sholay was being shot, Dharmendra bribed some of the light boys on the set to constantly disturb the lights. The many re-takes that ensued gave him more chances to hold Hema close to him!
As for Hema herself, she has said in many interviews that the best days of her life were during this courtship period. Giving us a glimpse into their passionate romance, Hema tells us of the time Dharmendra suddenly went missing from his set in Bangalore. Hema was at Nasik at the time. Nobody knew where he had disappeared to, and were really worried about him. The next day, when Hema woke up, she had a wonderful surprise waiting for her. Dharmendra had come to Nasik simply to see her, and greeted her by saying “I love you”. Hema adds with a blush, “To love so deeply you must have that heart.”
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And so, they were in a happy relationship for several years before they finally decided to tie the knot. Dharmendra’s first wife, Prakash Kaur did not want a divorce. So, the couple decided to convert to Islam in order to get married to each other. They first got married in a Nikahnama ceremony when Hema was 29 and Dharmendra 44. But this nikah was kept a secret for a year, after which the Dharmendra – Hema Malini marriage took place in the traditional Iyengar manner. Both Dharmendra and Hema’s families were opposed to this match, which won’t really come as a surprise to any of us. They also expressed disappointment in them for converting to Islam. But eventually, everyone had to give in to the strong bond of love that these two shared and accept them. Because Hema’s father was staunchly opposed to the marriage, Hema married Dharam only after her father’s demise, much to the sorrow of her mother. Their Iyengar wedding ceremony was simple. Hema Malini looked so stunning in her simple bridal attire, that one cannot help but feel “This is how every bride wants to look on her wedding day”. She wore a traditional saree, simple jewellery and a gold netti chutti (the South Indian matha patti).
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Hema and Dharam have been married for thirty-five years now, and have two daughters Esha and Ahana. Dharmendra still manages to spend time with both his families. Theirs may be a very unconventional relationship, but the love that binds them together is simply amazing to see. Hema says she never really feels possessive about Dharmendra, and that this is one of the secrets of their happy marriage. “I know what I am. So there’s no need for me to get nervous. I’m confident about myself and him. I don’t believe in inquiring, ‘Where are you, where are you?’ In fact, the man should worry why I’m not asking him”, she says with a charming laugh. We congratulate this dream couple on their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary. Here’s to many more.