Dear Sonali , So Beautiful So Radiant ….Subhash K Jha’s Open Letter To Sonali Bendre


Dear Sonali

I know we haven’t been in touch. But I still haven’t forgotten our warm connect in the past. Do you remember you came to my home in Patna many many years ago for a wonderful afternoon of conversation food and laughter? In the evening we dropped at the airport and I still haven’t forgotten how much sunshine you spread with your radiant presence.

When you decided to get married to producer Goldie Behl(whom I called the ‘Other Goldie’ after the great Vijay Anand) you settled to a life of blissful domesticity . I gradually lost contact with you.

My loss. But today I was jolted out of my normal routine when you declared you were ill, terribly ill, with a rare cancer.

I can’t begin to tell you how shocked I am to hear this. Sonali, you lead such a healthy regimented life. You are so slim and fit. How can you fall ill? God, are there no guarantees in life any more? Are we to presume that anything can happen to anyone at anytime?

I can’t even begin to imagine what you and Goldie are going through. And your sons are so young! How would you make them understand what is happening? This is so unfair to your children, to your family and most of all to you. Never harmed a soul, as beautiful inside as outside.

You have promised to fight it out to the bitter end. I know you will win over this crisis. This terrible illness has reached the wrong address. You’ve never harmed a soul, was never competitive enough to even try any games of oneupmanship.

I remember one of our many conversations in the past where I insisted you were not half as successful as your beauty merits. You would laugh that tinkling laughter and say, “I am just happy in my space. I am content with what I have. I don’t think I want anything else.I wouldn’t know how to snatch roles even if they were rightfully mine.”

You never craved to be no.1. You never sought roles. You were happy get the work that came your way . And then love ,trust and family always mattered more to you than your career.When love came, you gave up your career happily.

It is a strange coincidence that the boy who played your surrogate son in your best-known role and film English Babu Desi Mem was recently in the news for a road altercation with Anushka Shetty.It now seems almost like a forewarning for this awful news that you have given us today.

I know you will be fully well again.Because that’s the only way this narrative deserves to go. Get well, soon , Sonali. We’ve a lot of catching up to do.


Subhash K Jha

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