Dharmendra and Hema Malini love story is now part of Bollywood lore. So much has been written about it and the stars too have often spoken about it. But how many know that, contrary to perception, Dharmendra’s first wife Prakash Kaur had defended her husband when he married Hema?
The story goes that Hema and Dharmendra met for the first time in 1970 for their film Tum Haseen Main Jawaan. Over a period of time, doing films together, they fell head over heels in love. But the matter was as complicated as it could get. Dharmendra was a married man with four kids. Hema’s parents were death against the match. Hema had other suitors too – reportedly Sanjeev Kumar and Jeetendra were also in love with her. Under immense pressure to let go of each other, Hema was set to marry Jeetendra, when Dharmendra showed up and pleaded her to reconsider. The duo finally got married in 1980.
In all this, what was his first wife and mother of his four kids, Prakash Kaur, thinking? The two had married back in the day in 1954. Dharmendra was only 19. While little is known about Prakash, as she has always been a very private person, Dharmendra was dubbed a ‘womaniser’. It is then that Prakash had come out in the open to defend her husband. In an interview from that era, she had slammed those who dubbed her husband so.
An India Today article, quoting her from that time, said: “Why only my husband, any man would want have preferred Hema to me. How dare anyone call my husband a womanizer when half the industry is doing the same thing? All heroes are having affairs and getting married a second time.”
She had added how he was a good father. “He may not be the best husband, though he is very good to me, but he is certainly the best father. His children love him a lot. He never neglects them.”
And what did Prakash think of Hema? Far from hating her, Prakash was sympathetic towards Hema. She, however, did not approve of her action.
A Pinkvilla article, quoting Prakash, had said: “I can understand what Hema is going through. Even she has to face the world, her relatives and her friends. But if I were in Hema’s place, I would not have done what she did. For, as a woman, I can understand her feelings. But as a wife and a mother I do not approve of them.”
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And despite all that happened, Prakash never lost respect for her husband. She continued: “He is the first and last man in my life. He is the father of my children. I love and respect him a lot. What has happened has happened. I don’t know whether I should blame him or destiny for it. But one thing is for certain however; far he may be from me and whatever might happen. If I need him I know he’ll be there. I have not lost my trust in him. After all, he is the father of my children.”