Divya Bharti Marriage – One That Ended Too Soon

Divya Bharti

At the turn of the last decade of 20th century, Indian cinema saw an emergence of a fresh face that won the applause and fancy of Indian audiences. It was none other than the 19 year old teenage beauty Divya Bharti. In her short career span of four years, she worked in 21 films, in three different languages with the who’s who of Indian cinema. In this article, we take a look at Divya Bharti’s marriage and the events that followed.

The Making Of Divya Bharti

Divya Bharti's Marriage - Divya Bharti's Family Portrait From 1978

Young Divya (the left child) with her parents, and brother

Divya Bharti was born in the year 1974 in a family that had little to do with movies or cinema. She grew up as a regular girl with a regular schooling. It was when she was in her 9th standard in the year 1988 that she was noticed by film-maker Nandu Tolani, who decided to sign her for his next film. Eventually, her role was cancelled and after that the young Divya had a slew of offers, which would eventually be scrapped or shelved.

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She made her proper feature film début finally in the year 1990 in a Telugu film Bobbili Raja in which she was cast after being noticed by the famous Indian producer D. Ramanaidu. She did six films in Telugu and Tamil before she made her Hindi film début with Sunny Deol in the film Vishwatma in the year 1992. Although the film met mediocre success, Divya’s fame catapulted thanks to the famous song ‘Saat Samundar’, which remains to be a favourite even today. She’s even done a couple of movies with Shah Rukh Khan, and was originally set to play ‘Simran’ in DDLJ. She completed over thirty movies in her short career; ironically, as of January 1993, she had her name signed onto another thirty movies set for the next five years.


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Divya Bharti's Marriage - Saat Samundar

Wines n’ Dines And A Wedding: Divya Bharti’s Marriage To Sajid

During the phase when Divya Bharti signed her first Hindi début film Vishwatma, she also signed another film called Shola Aur Shabnam. It was during the making of this film that she first happened to meet Sajid Nadiadwala, a rising second generation film producer. Sajid was making his first independent production called Zulm Ki Hukumat, which starred the actor Govinda. Govinda was also playing the lead role in the film Shola Aur Shabnam, and since this film released around the same time as Sajid’s film, it is quite likely that the making of these films overlapped.

Divya Bharti's Marriage - Divya And Sajid In A Candid, September 92' Filmfare

It is said that one day for certain work, Sajid visited Govinda on the set of Shola Aur Shabnam, and for the first time was introduced to Divya Bharti by Govinda. It was love at first sight for the 26-year old Sajid. He was so stumped by the innocent looks and vivacious persona of Divya that he started making it a point to visit the sets almost every day. It is said that initially the two started off as friends but as the frequency of their meetings increased, even Divya started developing feelings for him. Sajid was eight years older to Divya who was still seventeen then. Soon the two started seeing each other even after the completion of the film and were very much in a relationship.

In spite of the growing affinity between the two love-birds, they continued to maintain secrecy about everything.The rumour mills were not aflow with theories of Divya Bharti’s marriage to Sajid happening anytime soon. There were two reasons about it, one was that they came from different faiths, and other was Divya’s flourishing career that could have taken a hit because of this.

Divya Bharti's Marriage - Divya And Sajid In A Candid With The Press One Year After She went Open About Her Relationship

Despite that the couple had every intention of tying the knot, and they both were just waiting for Divya to turn 18, which eventually happened in 1992. It was everything the duo were waiting for. They were at the peak of their relationship and didn’t spare any time to take it to the next level. Divya Bharti’s marriage to Sajid went ahead on 10th May 1992, and it is said that Divya converted to Islam and changed her name to Sana Nadiadwala. Their marriage was most probably a court marriage. By this time, the media had a whiff of their relationship and they were constantly being bugged by questions; Divya Bharti’s marriage to Sajid happened at a time when she was, as mentioned, predicted to become a reigning Bollywood queen in the next couple of flicks, so yes, there was an abnormal interest in this beautiful young woman’s love life.

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Sajid would avoid talking about their relationship but Divya would be candid about her close bond with Sajid but at the same time she would deny all reports of being married. In an interview in July 1992, Divya gave a rare insight into her relationship . Although she did not accept being espoused to Sajid she shared the following words of appreciation for her beau:

“If I was even half as notorious as people made me out to be, then would such a caring man like Sajid still be with me? We have been going around for nearly one and a half year now. And things have been just terrific between us. The advantage is that Sajid is very mature and a very experienced man. He has been through a lot in life. Whenever I behave childishly or sulk then Sajid explains things to me. He tells me what is right and what is wrong. I trust his judgement he is never wrong.”

– Divya Bharti about her husband Sajid Nadiadwala

She even said that in spite of the fact that she cannot cook or handle regular household chores, Sajid has been very patient with her. He even taught her how to make tea.

Going by the tone of the interview, it was evident to everyone that this doting pair had every intention of getting married. Little did anyone know that Divya Bharti’s marriage to Sajid was already a fact. But in an interview given to Stardust magazine in March 1993, Divya shared that she plans to make a big announcement in January 1994 about her relationship with Sajid. Most probably it would have been an announcement of a formal wedding, or a revelation of their secret marriage. Sadly, that announcement could never come, since Indian cinema lost its most promising actress just a month after that interview in April 1993.

The End Of A Short Era

Divya passed away on 5th April 1993, after she fell from the window of her fifth floor apartment in Mumbai. Her death remains a mystery till date with many speculations and conspiracy theories associated with it. Irrespective of the numerous conjectures about her death, it has been an unequivocal fact that Divya Bharti left a stellar legacy that she achieved in very little time. She became the face of modern Indian cinema, which was ushering into a new light of global recognition at the turn of the 20th century. It is therefore unsurprising that her death left everyone shocked, and given Divya Bharti’s marriage to Sajid, and the kind of equation they shared, he was distraught for a very long time after.


Divya Bharti's Marriage - Did You Know

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After her’s death, Sajid dedicated his every film thereafter to Divya Bharti. He continued to do so till 2004, when he married former journalist Warda Khan. Sajid continues to have fond remembrance of his wife (remember the fact we shared earlier), and has always spoken of Divya in public with dignity. In an interview, his current wife Warda Khan shared that Sajid still keeps a photo of Divya in his wallet and visits Divya’s parents regularly. Divya Bharti’s marriage to Sajid would not be cast aside as a thing of the past, Sajid was very open about that, and he has had issues with many women in his life because of this, including actress Tabu, who left him for the same reason. Divya Bharti holds a special place in his heart and in the hearts of the 90s generation, and even today enjoys a loyal fan base who remember her unique bubbly persona. It is no wonder that she will continue to have a charming effect on many many generations to come.


Images Source: 1, 2, 3, 4