Why Rakhee’s Marriage with Gulzar Broke Up – Blast From the Past
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Why Rakhee’s Marriage with Gulzar Broke Up – Blast From the Past

Rakhee’s career ambitions, fuelled by an offer from Yash Chopra, played a part in her marriage to Gulzar breaking up

When the ‘confirmed bachelor’ Gulzar decided to marry the very beautiful actress Raakhee Gulzar he laid down only one  pre-condition. That she wouldn’t return to  acting. Ever. This was a time when Raakhee’s career was at its prime. However, love and marriage seemed paramount at that moment and Raakhee happily wrapped up her work in Vijay Anand’s Blackmail as her farewell appearance. In fact, she was pregnant with her daughter Meghna when she filmed the  romantic song Pal pal dil ke paas with Dharmendra. That explains the radiance she  exudes in  the song.

After  Meghna’s  birth, Raakhee got restless. This was when Yash Chopra struck. He made her his leading lady from Daag (Yash Chopra’s first film as an independent  producer) an offer she couldn’t resist.

In an interview I did with Raakheedi (that’s what I call  her) after Yash Chopra’s death, as blunt as ever she revealed, “When I married Gulzar, Yash became our neighbour. He then offered me Kabhi Kabhie after my marriage. I think Kabhi Kabhie was conceived keeping me in mind. Lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi, I think, wrote the songs keeping me in mind. Gulzar and I used to regularly visit Yash’s home. This was during those times when I was pregnant with my daughter Meghna and Yash’s son Adi was a child. One day in the presence Amitabh Bachchan, they played a song and Pam said, ‘This song is for Raakhee’. That’s how Kabhi Kabhie was offered to me. Yash Chopra  said, ‘I’d drop the film. But I won’t make it with any other heroine.’ Since acting was the only thing I enjoyed, I agreed to do the film even after marriage.”

When Gulzar Saab heard about his wife’s revived career plans, he reminded her of the promise she had made. And if she still agreed  to do Kabhi Kabhie it would be the end of their marriage. Rakheedi made her  choice. She walked out on their home, though Gulzar and she remain cordial and  legally married  to this  day. Some of her  most successful films including Kabhi Kabhie, Tapasya, Trishul, Kala Patthar, Shradhanjali, Doosra Aadmi, Kasme Waade and  Muqaddar Ka Sikandar  occurred after her marriage was  over.

It is  no  coincidence that Amitabh Bachchan  was her co-star in a  majority of  post-marriage films. And Mr Bachchan never worked in a  film directed  by Gulzar.

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