Suresh Oberoi Marriage: Love And Mutual Respect Conquers All

Suresh Oberoi was barely a year old in August 1947 when his family fled the mayhem in Quetta in Pakistan. It was a bitter-sweet time – India gained independence, but at the cost of a bloody partition – leading to a mass, chaotic exodus both ways across the new border.

The Oberoi family settled down in Hyderabad, India, where they established a flourishing pharmacy business. But Suresh’s interests lied elsewhere. After starting out as a radio talk show host – owing to his amazing voice, he went on to become one of the most successful supporting actors in the Hindi film industry.

Suresh’s career was still in its nascence when he had an arranged marriage with Yashodhara, who was eight years younger to him. Despite coming from an affluent family, Yashodhara happily lived with her struggler husband in a single room flat and did all the household chores. Even after four decades and more of togetherness, the couple share the same rapport which they had in the very beginning.

Let’s take a closer look at the Suresh Oberoi marriage with Yashodhara, and the secret behind their successful marriage!

Suresh Oberoi – From Radio Shows To The Big Screen

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Suresh Oberoi was born on 17th December, 1946 in Quetta, then part of British India (now in Pakistan). After the partition, the family moved to Hyderabad, India, where Suresh’s father established a pharmacy successful business. Suresh was one among eight children, and received all of his education in Hyderabad.

Suresh always had a keen interest in the performing arts but never considered it as viable option until he was in high school. But due to his father’s death at the same time, he had to postpone his plans. He later joined the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII, Pune) in 1974 and graduated in 1976. He, subsequently shifted base to Mumbai, where he began his career as radio talk show host and an advertising model.

In 1977, Subhash made his Bollywood debut with the film Jeevan Mukt in which he played a supporting role. He played the lead character in the film Ek Baar Phir (1980), which unfortunately bombed at the box office. Thereafter, Suresh stuck to playing well-written supporting characters, and is counted amongst the most popular supporting actors of the 1980s.

This was around the same time that Subhash changed his surname from ‘Uberoi’ to ‘Oberoi.’ In the 1990s, he also worked as a dubbing artist and was the voice of Mufasa in the Hindi version of The Lion King (1995).

Although he limited his work in cinema after 2010, Suresh Oberoi continues to be active as a dubbing artist and a TV talk show host, and is popularly known to possess one of the best voices in showbiz, perhaps second only to Amitabh Bachchan.

Yashodhara – An Arranged Marriage Based On Selfless Love

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By early 1974, Suresh Oberoi had taken an affirmative decision to become an actor – much to the disappointment of his family. The Oberois had a booming business in Hyderabad, and Suresh’s elder brother Jagmohan was keen on having him on board. But nothing could deter the young Suresh from his goal, and he joined the prestigious Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune for a two-year acting course.

The family thus decided to wed him off before he sets foot into the film world. Suresh agreed to it but on the condition that the girl needs to be a Punjabi but settled in South India for a long time. Through their research, the Oberois zeroed down on Yashodhara – a Punjabi girl settled in Chennai (then Madras) with relatives living in Hyderabad. She happened to be one of the relatives of a close family friend of the Oberois. The match was fixed. Suresh went down to Chennai in April 1974 to meet Yashodhara and assented to the marriage. The very next month the couple got engaged and the wedding date was set for 1st August 1974.

“We were not allowed to speak even on the phone because it would mean a disgrace to our families. Hence for months, we just waited for D-day in separate cities.”
– Yashodhara about the phase between engagement and wedding

Suresh tied the knot with Yashodhara on 1st August 1974 – the same day when he was beckoned to FTII, Pune. He sent a request letter to the institute with an appeal to permit him to join a week later. Suresh lied to Yashodhara that he will be off to Pune for a three-month direction course whereas he had applied for a two-year acting course.

Exactly a week after his wedding, Suresh left Hyderabad for Pune to pursue the acting programme.

The Initial Years

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At FTII, Suresh would wait for a long weekend to make a trip to Hyderabad to meet his wife. Some months through his course the institute faced a strike and Suresh made the most out of it and returned to Hyderabad to take his wife for a honeymoon trip to Bangalore. A few days after their arrival back to Hyderabad, Yashodhara spotted an acting course form in Suresh’s belongings and it is when it dawned on her that Suresh had lied to her and that her husband will be away for two full years. She hid the form and later mailed it to Suresh when he had left for Pune.

“After we returned, she found a copy of the acting form at home and sent it to me, filled with her own details and ‘suffering wife’s course’ written in the space for subject!”
– Suresh Oberoi on his wife learning the truth about his acting course

Yashodhara was a committed life partner – supportive to her husband’s choices and goals. In 1976, Suresh and Yashodhara were blessed with a son, Vivek. A few months after Vivek’s birth, Suresh completed his acting course, and shifted lock, stock and barrel to Mumbai with his family.

By Each Other’s Side Through Tough Times

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The initial years in Bollywood were not easy. Yashodhara who enjoyed the luxury of maid servants – both at her marital and maternal home, was suddenly expected to bear all the work single-handedly. The couple had their second child, a daughter, in Mumbai, and now the entire responsibility of the house, their son, and now their daughter, Meghna, was on Yashodhara’s shoulders.

“We stayed in a small room with no fridge or T.V, no bread or cheese. She even washed clothes and utensils, something she never did her entire life, but she never complained.”
– Suresh Oberoi about his wife during his struggling years

Despite all the hardships, Suresh strived to keep his wife and children happy. He made it a point to fulfil his responsibility as a breadwinner by helping his wife with all the shopping and outdoor activities.

“I remember during his days of struggle, he would work in shifts and return only in the morning. He would bring vegetables in a suitcase so that people didn’t know he was ‘vegetable-shopping’ for me!”
– Yashodhara on her husband Suresh

Suresh and Yashodhara are a couple with high moral values, and it was their faith in the institution of marriage that helped them glide through the difficult times. Suresh Oberoi went on to become a successful actor, and eventually his son Vivek followed his footsteps to meet success himself. Yashodhara later took to social work and even today is known to be an active social worker.

Together Because Of The Respect For Each Other

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In an interview, the couple once shared that the reason they had a smooth marriage is because they based their relationship on the strong foundation of faith, respect and mutual dependence. The couple always made it a point to share whatever they experienced in their lives – be it their biggest victories or their greatest losses.

“Marriage is no competition. To be committed and to sacrifice is not an easy task. A relation needs a lot of commitment and respect for each other’s views. It is in doing little things for each other that a relationship becomes strong.”
– Yashodhara Oberoi about marriage

Suresh stated that in today’s modern era, marriage is more based on sexual compatibility rather than tolerance towards each other’s incompatibilities. “Today’s youth finds it convenient to break up rather than walk along,” added Yashodhara.

Respect and commitment has been at the core of the Suresh Oberoi marriage with Yashodhara, and it is no wonder that the couple went through so much yet excelled at their relationship for more than four decades. It seems everyone can learn a lot from their relationship! On that note, we’ll leaving you with these adorable words by Yashodhara and wish the couple many more decades of happy togetherness.

“If I read something I make him listen. We go for evening walks. We talk, discuss and spend time with each other. After so many years we can read each other’s mind without having to say anything!”
– Yashodhara Oberoi about her marriage with Suresh Oberoi

Images Source: 1, 2, 3, 5

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