‘Kudi badi changi hai’: What Dharmendra told Shashi Kapoor when he first saw Hema Malini

On Dharmendra’s birthday, here’s a look at some of the most interesting anecdotes about Dharmendra that Hema Malini has shared in the book.

bollywood Updated: Dec 08, 2017 13:45 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Dharmendra,Hema Malini,Shashi Kapoor
Hema Malini and Dharmendra met for the first time at a film premiere where Shashi Kapoor was also present.

Bollywood actor Dharmendra, who celebrates his 82nd birthday on Friday, called Hema Malini “badi changi kudi” when he first saw her at a film premiere! In her biography “Hema Malini: Beyond the Dream Girl” that was launched earlier this year by Deepika Padukone, Hema talks about the first time she saw her husband.

Talking about her first meeting with Dharmendra, Hema said it was a film premiere. Her memoirs reveals, “When I was called on stage, I had to walk alone, and I remember being so shy. I had just finished my film with Raj Kapoor but the film had not yet released. While walking towards the stage I heard Dharam-ji tell Shashi Kapoor in Punjabi, ‘Kudi badi changi hai (The girl is quite pretty)’ but I chose to ignore it. Then they introduced me as Raj Kapoor’s Dream Girl. How nervous I was to be sharing the stage with Dharam-ji and Shashi Kapoor!”

“I remember Ananthaswami had told my mother that I should start attending premiere shows of big films to gain visibility. I had just completed my first film and I had no idea what premiere shows were all about. My mother made me drape a traditional Kanjeevaram sari, put kaajal and wear a gajra. During the interval of the film, they called some of the artists and producers on stage for their feedback – as they usually do at premieres,” she added.

In her book, Hema also revealed how the celeb couple went through a difficult stage with her parents refusing to accept Dharmendra in the family. “In 1975, during the outdoor shooting of Ramanand Sagar’s Charas (1976), we were to be in Malta for weeks. And since I was to be shooting with him (Dharmendra), my father insisted on coming along with me. Often, the cast and crew had to travel together in a car. My father was not happy with this at all. He would order me in Tamil – so that Dharam-ji would not understand what he was saying – to sit in one corner while he would try and sit in the middle. But Dharam-ji would make up some clever excuse or the other to get in from my side, so that I would end up sitting in the middle and he would be beside me,” she said.

“Today we can laugh over it, but at that time it wasn’t funny. Strangely, my father had no problems with Dharam-ji other than the one related to me. In fact, they got along so well whenever I wasn’t around. They would always be laughing and I would want to freeze the moment. If only they could be like that forever. Everyone in my family adored him … just not as a prospective son-in-law. It’s difficult for me to describe what I went through in those days. I liked him – I couldn’t deny that he was attractive and strong and there was an air of serenity about him. I tried turning away from him. But I couldn’t. There was something inherently good about him,” she added.

Hema also talked about the moment when they first talked about marriage: “One day, while we were shooting, he suddenly asked me if I loved him. I began to blush and replied indirectly ‘I will only marry the person I love’. That was my only answer.”

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First Published: Dec 08, 2017 13:36 IST