He was a writer, filmmaker and a poet while she was the latest heartthrob actress in the world of cinema. Both were doing great in their respective careers and met occasionally at film parties. He was fascinated by her Bengali culture and she was highly impressed by his multitalented personality. On 15th May 1973, Gulzar got married to Raakhee in the presence of the entire film industry. Right from Dilip Kumar to Rajesh Khanna, Jeetendra, Amitabh Bachchan and almost all top film personalities were present on the occasion to bless the newly wedded couple. The couple took their relationship to its next level by giving birth to their daughter Meghna. But, after one year of Meghna’s birth, Gulzar and Raakhee decided to part their ways and live their individual life. There are many stories and speculations related to their separation but very few are authentic and true.
It all began much before the marriage of Gulzar and Raakhee. Gulzar was against Raakhee’s working in the film industry, which she gladly accepted. Raakhee though was highly optimistic about working in the films which were made by her beloved husband. Sadly, Gulzar did not sign Raakhee for a single film. On the other end, Raakhee was daily approached by several filmmakers for working in their films. The moment she used to discuss those offers or seek justifications from Gulzar over not signing her, he would react in a ruthless manner. There were reports about small quarrels between the married couple until that one fateful night which changed their married life forever.
It all happened on the sets of Gulzar’s directorial film ‘Aandhi’, when the couple flew down to Kashmir for the location shooting of the film. Gulzar being totally passionate about his work was totally involved with the making of ‘Aandhi’. Raakhee on the other end was feeling left out and showed signs of discontent. However, the hell broke loose when the stars of the film (Sanjeev Kumar and Suchitra Sen) were having a get-together. Sanjeev, as usual drank in numbers and when a tired Suchitra Sen decided to retire to her room he caught hold of her arm and would not allow her to leave. Suchitra tried to pamper the ace actor but all her efforts went in vain. Gulzar came to her rescue and tried to set her free from Sanjeev Kumar. There was Sanjeev pulling Suchitra Sen from one end while Gulzar did the same from the second side. Finally, Gulzar managed to set her free from Sanjeev’s clutches and marched out to her room. After escorting her to her room, Gulzar waited till her temper came back to normal. On the way back, he was confronted by his wife Raakhee. Raakhee wanted to know why he had to go to drop his charming heroine to her room. Not wanted to be questioned in front of others, Gulzar said something evasive and tried to move away. Raakhee blocked his way and repeated the question and a scene followed. As per the staff members and some others, Raakhee was beaten black and blue, later in their room, Gulzar was found dead drunk. It was a traumatic experience for her.
The next morning Raakhee met Yash Chopra who had come to Kashmir for location hunt for his next film ‘Kabhie Kabhie’ and also wanted Raakhee to be a part of this film. He was prepared to seek permission from Gulzar to allow her to work. But before he could do so, Raakhee herself walked towards Yash Chopra and told him that she would be working in his film. Gulzar tried desperately to change her mind but this time, Raakhee was adamant as she had not forgotten the barbaric treatment she got from Gulzar. This was the spark that ignited the Raakhee-Gulzar separation.
Fun Facts –
Raakhee’s first marriage was with Ajoy Biswas, a producer, and journalist who showed her a ray of light in her career. But when she was not selected in the screen test for the film, which her own husband was directing, her hope diminished.
It is said that Gulzar took his vengeance over Raakhee signing Yash Chopra’s ‘Kabhie Kabhie’, by signing her arch rival Sharmila Tagore for his latest film ‘Mausam’.
Raakhee and Gulzar have said that their daughter Meghna, could not accept their break-up and therefore, they never got a divorce.