Today, everybody seems to be talking about how fragile relationships are in Bollywood. Relationships in Bollywood are indeed fragile — they tend to crumble under the intense glare of the arc-lights. In Bollywood, break-ups can almost break you because of the unrealistic proportions it assumes.
When it comes to breaking up, not many can go past the bitterness that the relationship endures during the split. What generally follows is finger-pointing and blame-games between the estranged couple.
It is only in the last five years or so that Bollywood has learnt not to wash their dirty linen in public. This sea change is due to their PRs or media managers. Anybody who’s got a good PR manager has not engaged in mud-slinging in public. Breaking up is a deep personal trauma, and the stars have learnt to mourn the loss in private. There are always exceptions though.
Fifteen years ago, Bollywood didn’t follow such rules and film gossip magazines thrived on stars who were willing to divulge details of their relationship, especially after a ‘break-up’. Almost all the major break-ups had a public mud-slinging match played out on the pages of magazines.
There has been a man who has never been a part of the kiss ‘n tell brigade — be it to defend himself or to talk against a girlfriend, who left him high and dry. That man is Salman Khan.
You might argue that that it’s the guilty mind who keeps quiet since the actor was accused of beating up his girlfriends — whether it is Sangeeta Bijlani, Somy Ali, Aishwarya Rai or Katrina Kaif. There have been stories about him having poured cola on his girlfriend’s head or slapping her in public. But Salman has offered no explanation till date. He once ended an interview abruptly when I dared to ask him one such question.
Not many know that Salman has always grieved his breakups outside the media glare. Only those close to him are aware of this side to him. The more he avoided the media to speak about his break-ups, the more he has suffered in private. There were instances of him harming himself physically when he broke up with one of his leading ladies. But this blog post is not about that. It’s about how two of his past girlfriends have made a quiet entry in his life – Sangeeta Bijlani and Somy Ali. And both, at one point of time, had spoken against Salman.
Ask them now about Salman in private, and both will speak very highly of their ex. They will tell you how he helped them get back to their feet. While so much has been written about how the brat Khan broke up with his girlfriends, but not many write about how he has been there for them when they needed his support. That’s what separates Salman Khan from the rest of the Bollywood heroes, who never even glance at their ex-lovers in public.
When they met
Salman Khan and Sangeeta Bijlani’s love story started in 1988, when she started doing Bollywood films, eight years after becoming Miss India. Sangeeta was five years older to Salman, who was 23 at the time. They met at a filmi party and within a month, were going steady.
This is a slide-show of pictures when Salman and Sangeeta were dating. They did quite a few ads together too.
A year later, fights began between the couple as Sangeeta couldn’t handle Salman’s frequent mood swings. They were clearly headed for a split. The couple started spending time away from each other.
The distance was such that it was just a matter of time for a third girl to enter the scene. Salman started seeing Somy Ali from 1992 even before he properly broke up with Sangeeta. Mud-slinging followed when Sangeeta openly said that Salman was two-timing her and treated her like a doormat.
Here is one such example, where Sangeeta speaks out against Salman Khan and says that Jackie is a far better person than him. Sangeeta was dating Jackie Shroff before Salman Khan.
When they met again
When Sangeeta re-entered Salman’s life, a lot had changed in those 20 years. She had just broken up with her husband of 14 years — tainted Indian cricketer and politician Muhammad Azharuddin. They were mulling over a divorce. Sangeeta stayed alone in an apartment in suburban Mumbai and didn’t interact much with her friends. She rarely made an appearance at public events.
However, things went for the worse when the news broke out Azhar is not with her. The more this news got around, the more Sangeeta got defensive and chose to avoid speaking to the media. The news soon reached Salman, who called her one day. The conversation, (say friends) went like this: ‘I want to meet you. Where are you?’ and then, ‘Okay, I am coming over.’
The next day, Sangeeta was invited over for dinner at his apartment in Bandra West where she found the whole Khan family waiting for her at the dinner table. Sangeeta soon opened up to the Khans. She later told her friends that it was the only good experience she’s had after a long, long time.
What next? Salman instructed his sisters to ensure that Sangeeta not be left alone. He also made sure that all her needs were met. It took Sangeeta six more months to completely open up to Salman, though she started attending events with the Khan company in tow.
Sangeeta religiously avoids the media though she doesn’t mind getting photographed with Salman and his family; she’s now a regular fixture at all their events and looks a lot happier.
Here is a video to show Sangeeta religiously avoids the media when it comes to questions about Salman Khan. Look how she looked the other way when asked about Salman.
Sangeeta is in a happy space and perhaps that is why she seemed unaffected when pictures of Azhar holidaying with a foreign beauty were splashed across newspapers a few months back. She now tells her friends that Salman is perhaps the best thing that had happened to her life.
In our next post we will talk about the love-story, break-up and his reconciliation with Somy Ali. That story, we promise, is much more interesting.
Here is the link of the second part one of the post. Click here -> https://bollywoodbingo.wordpress.com/2013/06/06/salman-khan-the-return-of-the-exes-part-two/