Kabir Bedi reveals how he ended open marriage with Protima Gupta to be with Parveen Babi: 'She burst out crying'
Actor Kabir Bedi will soon be launching his book, Stories I Must Tell: The Emotional Journey of an Actor. In it, Kabir has written about his journey in Bollywood and his personal relationships.
A segment is devoted to his failed marriage with Odissi dancer Protima Gupta. The actor wrote that they were in an open marriage, which did not make him happy.
"Our open marriage may have seemed like a good idea at first. In the end, it only caused me greater anxiety. It had led to a lack of intimacy between us. I didn't feel the love that I wanted, the caring and sharing I needed. Nor was I able to give it. The old magic had gone. I was feeling alone, empty and dejected. Parveen Babi filled that void. She was a ravishingly beautiful actress with fair skin, long black hair and dark, mesmerising eyes. Until then, I'd always thought of her as 'the girlfriend of Danny Denzongpa'. He was a good-looking Sikkimese actor, two years younger than me, a year older than Parveen. In the years ahead, he would become a highly successful villain in Bollywood and be nominated for many Filmfare Awards. Parveen began her rapid rise to stardom during their four years together. Her living openly with Danny, wearing jeans and smoking in public, had given her a bohemian image in India. But, morally, she was a conservative Gujarati girl. While the rest of the Juhu gang talked about the 'free sex' preaching of Guru Osho, she believed in sexual fidelity. It's what I was looking for when I fell in love with her," an excerpt from his book, published by a leading daily, read.
Elaborating on how he told Protima that he had fallen in love with Parveen, he wrote, "There was no easy way to break the news (to Protima). 'I'm going over to Parveen's tonight,' I said softly when she came in. 'Parveen's!' she repeated in surprise. I could see her computing what must have happened. 'But I've only just arrived. Can't you stay tonight at least?' I shook my head. 'No, I have to be with her tonight ... and every night.' In that moment, she realised that our relationship had changed forever. She let out a deep breath and looked at me. 'Do you love her?' I nodded, not without sadness. 'Does she love you?' she asked, her voice a notch higher. 'Yes,' I said gruffly, wanting to cry. I knew I was ending a relationship where we'd shared life-changing experiences together, happy and unhappy, moral and immoral, for six tumultuous years. But I didn't want to show vulnerability. I had to be strong to end it. I held her by the shoulders to embrace her goodbye. She clung to me and burst out crying. Then she sat down on the bed and sighed deeply before she spoke. 'Please leave me alone now,' she said in a firm voice as tears welled in her eyes. 'Leave me alone. Please go!' Our 'open marriage' was over."
Kabir and Protima got divorced in 1977. They had a daughter together, actor Pooja Bedi. Parveen died in 2005 of multiple organ failure.
Kabir recently said to the media that he has "poured (his) heart into this book about (his) turbulent professional and emotional life."