Rati Agnihotri Marriage: A Happy Ending To A Sad Tale Of Domestic Abuse?

If you’ve ever seen a Rati Agnihotri film, you would surely have noticed her supremely charming screen presence and strikingly jovial persona. The 1980s avant-garde actress started her career as a teen-aged model and went on to the film industry, where she acted in a variety of films ranging over a whopping 10 languages! Rati Agnihotri’s marriage however, did not go as smoothly as her career.

Behind all that talent, glitter and cheer, was a heckled and harrowed wife who tolerated domestic abuse for more than 30-years, just so that she could see her only son grow. Rati’s 30-year old marriage with businessman Anil Virwani reached an ugly culmination in 2015, when Rati filed a complaint of domestic violence against her abusive husband. The two are back together now but not without some lingering scars. We take a closer look at life Rati Agnihotri’s marriage and personal life.

Rati Agnihotri – Model And Actress With A Promising Career

Rati Agnihotri's marriage

Rati Agnihotri was born on 10th December 1960 in Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh. She was still a child when her family moved to Chennai (then Madras), where she had all her upbringing and education. When she was just 16-years old, she was spotted by the Tamil film director Bharathiraja, who after seeking Rati’s father’s permission, cast the teenager in her first film Puthiya Vaarpugal. This was is 1979, and Rati’s first film this happened to be in Tamil. The film was a blockbuster, and despite the fact that Rati was Punjabi, she was well-received by the Tamil audience.

Rati then went on to do several other films in Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, and also made her debut in the Hindi film industry with the critically-acclaimed 1981 film Ek Duuje Ke Liye. Interestingly, the film also happened to be the debut of critically acclaimed actor Kamal Haasan. Since then Rati acted in films of various genres and languages but decided to take a break at the peak of her career in 1985, when she chose to tie the knot with the architect and businessman Anil Virwani.

[Read More: Suchitra Pillai’s Marriage]

Rati Agnihotri’s Marriage : A 30 Year Ordeal

Rati Agnihotri's marriage - A-30-Year-Ordeal

Rati Agnihotri was at the top her game when she met the Mumbai-based businessman and architect Anil Virwani. The two happened to bump into one another at a social event, and soon got along really well. The couple were soon dating much to the objection and disapproval of Rati’s family who saw Anil as a far from ideal life partner. But despite all the silent protest by her family, she went ahead and married Anil Virwani. Rati Agnihotri’s marriage to Anil was soon to hit a roadblock. She was soon to find out that her parents had been right all along.

“I believed in the sanctity of marriage… I believed in love. Anil was the man I had married despite the fact that my parents had never liked him. And like every girl I’d dreamt of a picture-perfect life with a husband who cared and provided for me.”
– Rati Agnihotri about her marriage

Little did the 25-year old Rati know that her dreams would soon be shattered, and that she should have in fact heeded her family’s intuition. Within a year of her marriage, Rati had a rude awakening when she became acquainted with the true Anil.

Anil would slip into severe bouts of rage, in which he would go violent, striking Rati with an intention of deliberately hurting her. While things were manageable initially, Anil soon started losing his cool more unpredictably, which became acute after the birth of their only son Tanuj Virwani in 1986. There were times when Rati had to cower under a piece of furniture to hide herself from her enraged husband, who would seek to vent out his irrational anger. Despite, the appalling incidents happening behind the closed doors of their penthouse, Rati would wear her smile and a cheerful face for the outside world; never letting anyone know the abuse she was going through.

[Read More: Responsibilities Of Parent’s After Marriage]

“There were times when I would tell myself I didn’t have to smile so much, that it was all right to shed a tear sometimes, to frown occasionally, but I never did.”
– Rati Agnihotri about the domestic abuse she faced

But there is a limit to the abuse a human being can take, and while her maternal feelings gave strength, Rati could not tolerate her husband’s misdeeds forever. Early 2015, finally marked the tipping point in Rati Agnihotri’s marriage to husband Anil Virwani.

“I thought to myself that I am a 54-year-old woman and I will progressively grow older and weaker and then one day I will die, beaten to death.”
– Rati Agnihotri about the day she decided to file a complaint against her husband

Enough Is Enough!

Rati Agnihotri's marriage - husband

Rati once shared in an interview, that every time Anil would become normal, she would reach at the brink of hoping that things will finally change, but the next day her hope would be battered, literally. It was March 2015, and yet another scene of Anil preparing himself to strike his wife. This time though Rati managed to escape by a whisker and locked herself in a room. But it was a different scenario now. Rati was no longer young, she was 54 years old; a weaker but wiser lady, who felt that it was finally time for 30 years of suffering to end. A week after the incident, she drove to a police station, and filed a complaint against Anil Virwani for domestic abuse. She even considered filing a divorce, but for now chose separation, and drove away to her bungalow in Lonavala, where she would continue to stay for the next few months.

Rati Agnihotri’s Marriage : Reconciliation Or Just A Reunion?

Rati Agnihotri's marriage - Reconciliation-Or-Just-A-Reunion

Rati Agnihotri continued to live alone by herself in her Lonavala residence, and during the tough phase her son Tanuj supported her a lot. It is unknown whether any legal action was taken against Anil Virwani but he was by Rati’s side in July 2015 when she was rushed to a hospital in Mumbai with complaints of chest pain. In spite of their grey past, Anil reached the hospital with their son Tanuj and attended to his wife. After her recovery, Rati went straight to her matrimonial home, where the couple spent their time talking and sorting things out. There were rumours that the couple were in talks with legal experts to get a divorce but Anil Virwani refuted the claims, and shared that they are happy to be back together. Their son Tanuj confirmed the news that Rati Agnihotri’s marriage to Anil Virwani was not over. He added that he is happy to see his parents back together putting their life back on a proper track.

[Read More: Anil Ambani Marriage]

Rati and Anil have been together since then, and while one cannot say whether they have perfected their paradise, they at least seem to have reached a certain mutual harmony. The Virwani family posted some candid snaps online in early 2016 of their holiday in Lonavala, which even featured the daughter of Kamal Haasan, Akshara Haasan, whom Rati’s son Tanuj is dating. They plan to tie the knot apparently, but that is a different story, For now, everything seems going smooth in Rati Agnihotri’s marriage and we hope Anil Virwani has finally awakened to his wrongdoing and enlightened to the fact that he has an amazing wife, whom he should treasure like a true life partner.

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