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Rewind: When Raakhee Gulzar  Chose Yash Chopra Over Gulzar



Rajesh Khanna

When the  ‘confirmed  bachelor’  Gulzar decided to  marry the very beautiful actress Raakhee  Gulzar he laid down  only  one  pre-condition. That she wouldn’t return to  acting.Ever.

This was  a time when Raakhee’s career was at  its  prime. However  love and marriage  seemed  paramount  at that moment and  Raakhee happily wrapped  up her work  in Vijay Anand’s Blackmail as her farewell appearance.In fact she  was pregnant with her  daughter Meghna when she filmed the  romantic song Pal pal dil ke paas with Dharmendra.That explains the radiance she  exudes in  the song.

After  Meghna’s  birth  . Raakhee  got restless . This is when Yash Chopra struck. He made  his leading from Daag (Yash Chopra’s first film as an independent  producer )  an offer she couldn’t resist.

In an interview I did with Raakheedi(that’s what I call  her  )after Yash Chopra’s death  as blunt as ever she revealed, “When I married Gulzar , Yash became our neighbour. He then offered me Kabhi Kabhie after my marriage.I think Kabhi Kabhie was conceived keeping me in mind. Lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi , I think , wrote the songs keeping me in mind.Gulzar and I used to regularly visit  Yash’s home. This was during those times when I was pregnant with my daughter Meghna and Yash’s son Adi was a child.One day in the presence Amitabh Bachchan  they played a  song and Pam said, ‘This song is for Raakhee’.That’s how Kabhi Kabhie was offered to me. Yash Chopra  said, ‘I’d drop the film . But I won’t make it with any other heroine.’Since acting was the only thing I enjoyed , I agreed to do the film even after marriage.”

When Gulzar Saab heard about his wife’s revived career plans he reminded her  of  the promie she had made. And if she   still agreed  to do Kabhi Kabhie it would be the end of their marriage.

Rakheedi made her  choice .She walked out on their home , though Gulzar and she remain cordial and  legally married  to this  day. Some of her  most successful films including Kabhi Kabhie, Tapasya, Trishul, Kala Patthar,Shradhanjali , Doosra Aadmi ,  Kasme Waade and  Muqaddar Ka Sikandar  occurred after her marriage was  over.

It is  no  coincidence that Amitabh Bachchan  was her co-star in a  majority of  post-marriage films. And  Mr Bachchan never worked in a  film directed  by Gulzar.

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