On February 4, jailed underworld gangster Abu Salem made it to the news for a strange reason: reports claimed that he got married while in custody. But a day later, he sent out a statement that said the news was untrue.
Although his ex-partner, actor Monica Bedi, prefers to keep mum about their relationship, here in an exclusive chat, she breaks her silence.
What was your first reaction when you heard about Abu’s wedding?
I have been so busy working and travelling, that I didn’t have the time to react. It’s been years since we parted ways. We knew each other only for a short period of time, not for ‘many’ years, as people think.
But did the news affect you?
I’m happy for him and I wish him all the best in life. I still respect our relationship, but he’s moved on and so have I. I never denied that we were in a relationship. It was purely love, nothing more. Right now, my life is all about my work — my TV show and films. We haven’t been in touch since we got arrested in 2002. It’s been a long time since then.
The media always brings up your name whenever he makes it to the news. You can’t seem to escape the association.
I don’t understand why that happens. Whenever anything happens to him, they want my reaction and quote. It’s not fair and I hope after reading this, people will stop doing this. I have a personal life too.
Are there any hard feelings?
No. We parted ways mutually and in a nice way, and we both wish each other well. So there is no anger or grudge against each other. Jitna saath likha tha, utna hi tha (we were together for the time we were destined for). We were not meant to be together. Whatever else happened was destiny, I don’t blame anyone for whatever happened to me. I look back at our relationship with fondness.
Have you found love again?
Unfortunately, not yet. But I am open to a relationship and marriage. Things will happen when they have to.
Though you always denied being married to Abu, there have been reports with proof that you both did tie the knot.
No, I have always made it clear that it wasn’t true.
There were reports that a film was being made on Abu Salem and your name was brought up again.
There are such reports every six months, so I don’t take them seriously. Anyone, who makes a film on his life has to take my permission to get the right facts, as no one knows it all, unless the film is a fictionalised version.
What do you feel about marriage?
When I find the right person, who I can trust as my life partner, I will get married. But right now, I am completely focussed on my work.
Tell us about your upcoming projects?
I am re-entering the show, Saraswatichandra. Doing a daily soap is hectic and time consuming. I am glad that they (the makers of the show) are bringing my track back on public demand. My character, Gumaan, has been loved and appreciated a lot, which is heartening for me. The plan was to keep her away for a while, but people thought I left the show. I am glad that they appreciate my hard work. I am also doing a Punjabi film, in which I play a cop. It’s very exciting and challenging. I have offers from Bollywood too. I hope they work out.