Nandana Sen Marriage: Her Secret Wedding With John Makinson, CEO of Penguin Publishing

Nandana Sen was born in Kolkata in a family of academicians – her mother is an award-winning Indian poet and Novelist Nabaneeta Dev Sen and father the Nobel laureate Amartya Sen. It is quite uncanny to see an actress emerge from a family of scholars, and even Nandana was in for a surprise when she was offered a lead role in a film for which she intended to work as an assistant director. Among the flurry of actresses that adorned the 1990s silver screen, Nandana has carved her own niche, thus often regarded a class apart in her league.

In her personal life, Nandana Sen had a live-in relationship with the Bollywood producer Madhu Mantena for almost nine years. The couple broke-up in 2012, and she eventually tied the knot with John Makinson, the chairman of publishing company Penguin Random House in June 2013. Let’s take a closer look at the Nandana Sen marriage story and her tryst with love and relationships.

Nandana Sen – The Academical Actress


Nandana Sen was born on 19th August 1967 as the youngest daughter of economist Amartya Sen and the novelist Nabaneeta Dev Sen. Nandana had most of her education in Kolkata and subsequently secured a seat at Harvard University. Nandana always had a keen interest in films and was more inclined towards screenwriting and direction. After her graduation in literature from Harvard she studied filmmaking from the USC film making school in the US, and returned back to India with a dream of starting her very own film production company.

Nandana was pursuing her Ph.D. while also studying filmmaking when she approached the Bengali filmmaker Goutam Ghose for an opportunity as an assistant director. Goutam agreed to oblige on condition that she also played the lead in the film. Nandana was surprised but accepted the offer, and she eventually made her debut with the Hindi film Gudia in the year 1997. Thereafter, she gave her Ph.D. a pass and dedicated her entire attention on her film career. Since her debut, Nandana Sen has worked in a plethora of films and even fulfilled her dream of being a screenwriter. She has also penned short articles, and is known to frequently contribute to newspapers and journals.

Madhu Mantena – The Nine Years Of Relationship That Didn’t Work


Nandana Sen was in a relationship with the Bollywood producer Madhu Mantena for nine years before calling it off in 2012. The duo met some time in the year 2003, through common friends, and started as friends themselves. Eventually they struck a romantic cord, and thereafter moved-in with Madhu at his place. It is said that it was a phase when Nandana was searching a firm footing in Bollywood, and Madhu played a crucial role in acquainting her with various producers for prospective offers. The couple stayed firmly committed to one another even through the ups and downs of their career. For example, when Nandana’s film Rang Rasiya got canned due to bold visual content, Madhu offered to distribute the film and facilitate its release. Although the release got delayed due to other reasons, many sources close to the couple shared that Madhu’s offer came on the behest of his girlfriend Nandana.

The two stayed inseparable for a good nine years until news broke out in May 2012 that the couple have split path. Later when Madhu was quizzed about the matter, he confirmed the news adding that it was a mutual decision, and they signed-off on a pleasant note. It was later learnt that the reason for the split was Nandana’s decision to settle in New York for life. Apparently, she had even purchased a house there and was keen on shifting into it with Madhu Mantena. But he had a flourishing film production business in Mumbai, and could not just give it away. Since the couple could not see eye to eye on this matter they decided to call their relationship off and diverge paths. Nandana stuck to her original plan, and shifted to New York indefinitely. Madhu went on to tie the knot with the Masaba Gupta, the fashion designer daughter of Neena Gupta and Viv Richards in the year 2015.

John Makinson – The Private Wedding


In the year 2012, Nandana shifted base to New York and it was in the November of that year that she happened to meet the publishing tycoon John Makinson. It is speculated that the two met at a social event, and their relationship took flight after a couple of more friendly meetings. John Makinson was then the chairman of the Penguin group and thereafter became the chairman of Penguin Random House. He is 12 years older than Nandana.

By February 2013, the two took the decision of taking things further and apparently John proposed to Nandana on the valentine’s day in 2013. The two subsequently tied the knot at a very private wedding ceremony on 22nd June 2013 at New York in the presence of close friends and family members. It was such well-guarded event that media outlets got a whiff of the news only a week after the wedding. Nandana later shared that she is happy to tie the knot with someone who shares many common interests.

“We have a really playful relationship. I love the fact that we never run out of things to say to each other and we have both embraced not only each other, but also each other’s families with a lot of love… We both communicate with each other obsessively, as both of us have a need to do so.”
– Nandana Sen about her husband John Makinson

Since her marriage with John, Nandana has become a full-fledged resident of New York. She keeps shuttling between India and USA once in a while for her personal and professional obligations. We hope Nandana has found the true love of her life with John Makinson, and wish the couple all the best for life.

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