Vinod Khanna Marriage: The Sexy Sanyasi’s Tumultuous Love Life

When Vinod Khanna made his debut in 1968 in Sunil Dutt’s film Man Ka Meet, his on-screen persona and charisma won him a lot of admirers. His extremely good looks became food for fantasy for many, and that included even film producers who thronged his doorstep with film offers. Within a year of his first film release, Khanna had 15 films in his kitty, and had soon become a reckoning actor. Back in the day, he was often labelled as the sexiest male actor Bollywood has ever seen, and was even given the moniker of sexy sanyasi when he decided to take a hiatus from acting. Sadly, his decision became the root cause for ending Vinod Khanna’s marriage with his wife Geetanjali but Khanna found love the second time when he met Kavita, his second wife, in 1990. We take a closer look at this handsome actor’s love life, ups and downs, and everything that lies in between.

Vinod Khanna – The Peshawari Boy

Vinod Khanna's Marriage

Vinod Khanna was born on 6th October 1946 in Peshawar, which was then part of undivided India. Khanna was born in a family which specialised in textiles and dyes business. After the partition, the family shifted base to Mumbai but later moved to New Delhi. This is where Khanna had all his education, but he eventually moved to Mumbai for his graduation, which is where he joined the theatre department and developed interest towards acting. It was one day that he happened to have a chance encounter with actor Sunil Dutt at a party who offered him a role in one of his upcoming film. Vinod Khanna played the villain in his debut film Man Ka Meet in the year 1968, and went on to enact different roles in his career that spanned more than four decades.

[Read More Rinke Khanna’s Marriage]

Vinod Khanna’s Marriage : The College Sweetheart

Vinod Khanna's Marriage - The-College-Sweetheart

Growing up, Khanna had a keen interest in studying science, but since he came from a business family his father forced him to join the commerce stream. It was during his graduation years that Khanna developed an interest towards acting, and became part of his college theatre troupe. Being the heartthrob, which he always was, he used to have many girlfriends. But one fine day everything changed when he happened to meet Geetanjali Taleyarkhan. She was from his college and she was keen on becoming a model after graduation (which she eventually did). There was something about this girl that made Khanna fall head over heels for her. They dated each other for a long time but Khanna kept postponing the wedlock till a point when he made it big in the film world. That moment joyously came in the year 1971, two years after his film debut, Vinod Khanna’s marriage to his long-time girlfriend Geetanjali finally took place in Mumbai. The couple were eventually blessed with two sons, Rahul Khanna (b. 1972) and Akshaye Khanna (b. 1975). Vinod Khanna was a full-fledged family man and in those days was the only actor apart from Shashi Kapoor who would not work on Sundays. The couple had everything what an ideal married couple would wish for but things took an abrupt turn when Khanna started seeking solace at Osho’s ashram.

The Change In Life

In an interview in 2002, Khanna opened up about his mental turmoil during the early 1970s. He shared that he had everything – money, fame and all the worldly comforts, but he was seeking something beyond that, something more transcendent. It was this thirst for self-understanding and otherworldliness that led him to the ashram of Osho, a spiritual guru. Khanna was officially inducted into his ashram in December 1975, and by 1982 he was asked to take the various responsibilities at Osho’s Rajneeshpuram ashram in the US. Vinod announced his retirement from films in 1982 when he was still a popular actor. His decision shocked the film industry as well as his family members but nothing could stop him from quenching his thirst for spirituality.

When Vinod Khanna’s Marriage Came Crashing Down

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Vinod’s sons were still young, and while he would stay in touch with his wife Geetanjali over the phone, she would often plead with him to return back. It is said that his sons Rahul and Akshaye often had to face the ridicule of people around because of the fact that Vinod had abandoned his family. While the reports of his ‘irresponsibility’ and ‘selfishness’ did not bother Vinod, it definitely took a toll on his relationship with his wife. Eventually, by mid-1980s Geetanjali filed for divorce from Vinod, and the couple officially dissolved their marriage. When Vinod finally returned back to India in 1987, he had nothing and no one in his life. He went back to his friends in the film industry, who gladly accepted him back once again. Little did he know that three years down the line he would find love the second time.

[Read More: Rajesh Khanna’s Marriage]

The Brief Fling

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Vinod Khanna made his return to films in 1987, and in the year 1990 he signed a film with Amrita Singh (Saif Ali Khan’s first wife). It is said Amrita had a long time crush on Vinod Khanna and was besotted by his looks right at the moment she saw him on the sets. She was dating cricketer Ravi Shastri at that time and it is said that she jokingly mentioned that she would soon be dating Vinod Khanna. Ravi surprisingly scoffed at her statement by remarking that she could never get Vinod Khanna even if she tried. Amrita took those words seriously though and eventually made it a point to woo Vinod no matter what. She would try to flirt around with Vinod during the making of their film. Despite all her efforts, Vinod barely noticed the pretty lady. But after a while, Vinod started reciprocating the same feelings but this time they faced stiff resistance from none other than Amrita’s mother Rukhsana Sultan. Since Vinod was not exactly serious about the relationship, and was just basking in the attention he was receiving, he spared little time to breakup with Amrita who soon found solace in Saif Ali Khan’s arms (that’s a different story).

Vinod Khanna’s Marriage : The Second

Vinod Khanna's Marriage - second-marriage

It was on Vinod Khanna’s 43rd birthday in the year 1989 when he was introduced to a 30 year old woman named Kavita Daftary, who was the daughter of industrialist Sarayu Daftary. Kavita was a shy yet ardent admirer of Vinod Khanna, and while Vinod was charmed by her looks, Kavita did not think the same way about Vinod. She just saw him as yet another pompous film star obsessed with his good looks and wealth. It took Vinod several efforts and phone calls to break the ice, and he eventually managed to convince her to go with him on a long drive. That trip thawed the cold perceptions in Kavita’s heart and she realised that there was something more about Vinod than what she assumed. That marked the beginning of a new chapter in Vinod’s life, and Vinod Khanna’s marriage to to Kavita Daftary in May 1990. The couple were blessed with a son (Sakshi) and a daughter (Shraddha) from their marriage.

[Read More: Vinod Mehra’s Marriage]

Moving On…

Vinod Khanna's Marriage

Vinod Khanna’s marriage to Kavita was a redemption for Khanna since it gave him a chance of returning back to the normalcy of a family life. Today, he is one of the few actors from his era who is active in the showbiz. Now that is called being a true superstar! We wish Khanna all the best with his life and all other pursuits.

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