Suchitra Pillai's Marriage To Lars Kjeldsen: A Danish Connection

Suchitra Pillai’s marriage to Lars Kjeldsen is big news for a lot of reasons. Suchitra Pillai was still a teenager when she began her career as a model. She was barely 17 when she did her first TV commercial for a shampoo brand, and that is when she met model, now actress, Raveena Tandon. Just like her buddy Raveena, Suchitra went on to become an actress, but steered towards theatre. She joined a theatre troupe and moved to London, which is where she met her first husband. Suchitra Pillai’s marriage did not last a decade, and Suchitra eventually went on to tie the knot with a Danish man named Lars Kjeldsen – actress Preity Zinta’s ex-boyfriend. So what has Suchitra and Lars’ love story been like? We unravel it here.

Suchitra Pillai – The Engineer Who Became A Model

Suchitra Pillai's Marriage - Suchitra Pillai

Suchitra Pillai was born to Keralite parents on 27th August 1970 in Ernakulam. Her parents later moved to Mumbai, where she received most of her education. While she was still in school, she developed an ardent interest towards modelling and acting. She got her first modelling assignment when she was 17 years old. In fact she even had a rhinoplasty (or a nose plastic surgery) done when she was still 17. It was during her modelling days that she happened to meet Raveena Tandon, and the two became friends.

Suchitra continued to pursue her studies while simultaneously doing modelling projects, and eventually graduated in Electronic Engineering. After the completion of her graduation she put her entire focus on acting and joined a theatre troupe and moved to London; that was around the time of Suchitra Pillai’s marriage, her first marriage. It was here that she was offered her first film in 1993, which was a French film. She later worked in several British films throughout the 1990s. She made her Bollywood debut in 2001 with the Hindi film Bas Itna Sa Khwaab Hai. It was her role as Saif Ali Khan’s girlfriend in the film Dil Chahta Hai that brought her much attention and since then she has worked in over a dozen Hindi films, and continues to do so today.

A London Marriage

Suchitra Pillai left for London in early 1990s, and it was when she was working in a theatre troupe that she happened to meet a certain London-based Indian businessman, and started seeing him. The details of Suchitra Pillai’s marriage are totally obscure, and almost nothing is known about the identity of her first husband except his apparent surname ‘Mallik’. Suchitra’s first marriage is said to be a simple court wedding in London, and the she went on to live with her husband for the next seven years. It is somewhere around early 2000s that she filed for a divorce from her husband, and moved to India. Suchitra has said that one of the many reasons for her marriage’s failure was the long distances involved – since the couple was always hopping from one place to another, sometimes forsaking their marriage to the point of neglect.

That Danish Man

Suchitra Pillai's Marriage - Suchitra And Lars In A Candid Social Shot

One day in 2002, a while after’s Suchitra Pillai’s marriage was dissolved, Suchitra was at her friend’s place in Mumbai playing Jenga with some others. It was a certain Lars Kjeldsen’s turn to fit-in the blocks, and after his turn was over he iterated the point that he is an Engineer, and he knows that the block will not fall. When it was Suchitra’s turn, she put her block, and repeated the same words, which immediately grabbed the attention of the gentleman from Denmark. That marked the beginning of their acquaintanceship, thanks to that ‘engineering connection.’

Suchitra Pillai's Marriage - Lars And Preity Zinta Way Back In 2000

Lars Kjeldsen was no stranger to India since he had been working on several civil projects in Mumbai for many years. He had been married once in the past but had split, and those days was fresh out of his relationship with actress Preity Zinta. He was often seen accompanying the actress at many social events, and they were considered to be in a strong affiliation. Little is known about the exact reason for their breakup.

Suchitra and Lars met once again a couple of months after their first meeting, but this time it was New Year’s Eve and the place was Sri Lanka. This time when they happened to bump into each other, they made it a point to exchange phone numbers and even e-mail ids. Thus, they stayed in touch thereafter. Lars was then working in Vietnam, and would often visit Mumbai for matters pertaining to work. Each time he would be in the city, the two would meet every day not realising that somewhere deep down they had already commenced a sweet amorous relationship.

“Whenever he was here, we would hang out everyday and deny the fact that there was something going on between us. Maybe we did not want admittance to what we felt to create any awkwardness.”
– Suchitra Pillai on dating Lars Kjeldsen

It was Lars second tryst with love and marriage but on one of his trips to Mumbai, he insisted to meet Suchitra’s parents, and shared with them his intent of having a long-term relationship with their daughter. Lars cemented the fact that he was not looking for a brief fling, and in fact saw a potential life partner in Suchitra Pillai. He later invited her to Denmark for Christmas to meet his family, which further proved that he loved Suchitra and was honest about his relationship.

Suchitra Pillai's Marriage - Suchitra And Lars At Public Appearances Post The Wedding

The couple then went on to have a solid relationship, and in February 2004, when Suchitra was in Vietnam meeting Lars, he took her out for dinner one night and proposed to her. Suchitra later shared how the progression of their relationship never felt forced, and was always an effortless advancement. Since the proposal was done it was now time for the wedding bells to ring. And Suchitra Pillai’s marriage to Lars Kjeldsen was on the way!

Suchitra Pillai’s Marriage To Lars, The Confluence Of Marriage Traditions

Suchitra Pillai's Marriage - Suchitra And Lars' Official Wedding Pics

Suchitra Pillai’s marriage to Lars Kjeldsen happened at the plush Kumarakom Lake Resort in Kottayam, Kerala in May 2005. The wedding was a Malayali one, with the attire of both bride and bridegroom conforming to the traditions. The occasion was graced by all of Suchitra’s friends from the modelling world, and the guest included Shruti Desai, actress Sandhya Mridul, singer Sagarika with husband Martin, supermodel Madhu Sapre, and even Raveena Tandon and her husband Anil Thadani, who gifted the newlyweds a silver coffee mug set. Later in the wedding ceremony, Lars gifted Suchitra a heart pendant on a white necklace, which was studded with an impressive 32 diamonds since he was 32-years old, when he first met Suchitra Pillai.

Soon after their Indian wedding the couple headed for Denmark where they had a traditional Danish wedding in an 800-year old castle. The couple then held a reception in Mumbai, before jetting off for their honeymoon to Bali, Indonesia.

Life Ever Since

Suchitra Pillai's Marriage - Suchitra And Lars' With Annika

Suchitra Pillai’s marriage to Lars was a match made in heaven. Suchitra and Lars seem to have found a true soul-mate in the other. The couple was blessed with a daughter, Annika, in 2008. The two make it a point to be together but also give each other space, and have shared that cultural differences between the two were never a hindrance in their relationship. This is because the duo never tried to change one another. Lars seems to have moved base to Mumbai and is of course, seen more often in India. Now that is true love. Here is wishing the Kjeldsen family tons more of happiness in the future.

images source: 1, 2, 3, 6