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 When Jeetendra Flew Down To  Chennai To ‘Marry’ Hema

In her  time there was  no  woman in India as  desirable  as Hema  Malini, She  was  loved by many. But she  loved only  one.  At least three  prominent actors were madly in love with Hema.They were Sanjeev Kumar,  Jeetendra and Dharmendra.  But Hema  loved only her “Garam Dharam” and defied her  authoritarian  mother’s wishes  to  finally marry  the  much-married father-of-three Dharmendra.

As she  told me  recently, “There may have been many who wanted  to marry  me. But I wanted  to marry only one man.”

Among the many was the  1960-70s’   star Jeetendra who , accompanied by his parents, actually flew down to Chennai(then Madras) in 1974  with a marriage  proposal to Hema and  an overnight wedding. Jeetendra   fell in love  with  Hema  while working together in a film called Dulhan. Hema’s mother approved of the match  for no  other reason except that Jeetendra, unlike  the man Hema  favoured, was unmarried.

When Dharmendra heard  of the impending wedding in Chennai  he panicked. He immediately rang up  Shobha , Jeetendra’s  patient and  unrelenting girlfriend . Shobha and  Dharmendra  flew down to Chennai to stop the  catastrophic wedding.

No  one knows  how Dharmendra  convinced Hema  to not marry the single bachelor (albeit in a committed  relationship  with another  woman)  and to marry him  instead. But she took the  plunge and  never regretted  it.

As  for Jeetendra he  eventually married Shobha,and they lived happily ever after.

Now when Hemaji looks  back  at  her  younger days she  is surprised that she  made the right  decisions in  life.

“I’ve never  regretted anything I’ve done  in my life,” she says.

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