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This story of time-tested love began almost 44 years ago when Amitabh, the angry young man was still a struggling actor in Bollywood. It was in early 1970, when these two love birds had a glance at each other. Jaya saw Amitabh at the Pune Film Institute, when he arrived there accompanying the famous filmmaker K. Abbas and some fellow actors.
Jaya was already a superstar at that time and nothing much happened between them at that first meet.
You can call it the typical filmy style beginning where the hero looked in awe at his heroine on a magazine cover and realised that she was his dream woman who would be only his life partner.
He was mesmerised by those beautiful eyes and that traditional yet demure beauty of her personality. Love struck in his heart and there was no looking back now.
Their second meeting happened on the sets of the movie ,Guddi with the help of Hrishikesh Mukherjee.Amitabh was totally thrilled at this golden opportunity to meet his diva who was had carved a niche for herself as a versatile actress at that time.
Recollecting the experience, Jaya said in an interview:
“I was introduced to him on the sets of Guddi. I was impressed by him and somewhat in awe as he was Harivanshrai Bachchan’s son. I felt he was different, though people laughed at me when I said that. I expressed my feelings and said he’s going to make it big, even though I was aware he wasn’t the usual stereotype hero. I fell in love with him very soon.”
Ek Nazar,…the beginning
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The not so typical twist happened when the diva fell in love with this charming , tall and handsome man.She realised that she was intensely attracted to him and her dream came true quite soon.
On the sets of Ek Nazar, ironical as it sounds, their love story took a turn for the best and Amitabh too fell in love with Jaya.
The London Bet..a Gamechanger
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Jaya’s close friend,Rajesh Khanna did not really approve of Amitabh during those days.In fact, it is said that he had cautioned Jaya against meeting Amitabh and would openly ignore him on the sets of Bawarchi.
There was still no stopping these two lovers from continuing their love story.The major turn which came in their lives was in 1973.Their friends had made a bet that if their upcoming movie,Zanjeer would become a hit then they would go to London!
The film was a huge success and they had to go to London according to the bet.But, it was Amitabh’s parents who rejected the idea of going to London with an unmarried girl.
Amitabh took the most vital decision of his life by seizing this one-time opportunity to propose to his diva.
She said Yes immediately and their parents gave their approval even more readily. The wedding, on June 3,1973, was a low-key affair with only only their close friends and relatives being invited.
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Their marriage was perfect and they were blessed with two beautiful kids,Shweta and Abhishek.
Jaya was the perfect example of a doting mother who willingly chose to back out of her career to care for her kids.
She was in a very happy state of her marriage and was ready to sacrifice her towering success in Bollywood to take over the role of a homemaker.
She was not insecure nor was she ambiguous in her decisions. This decision showed how healthy a relationship the two of them shared.
Expressing his feelings about his marriage, Amitabh(nicknamed ‘Lambuji’ by Jaya) once said:
“Every marriage is a challenge, and mine wasn’t different. One thing I find very admirable about Jaya is that she chose to give preference to home, not films. There was no obstacle from me ever, it was her decision.”
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Every marriage has its share of ups and lows and so did this beautiful marriage.After three years into their marriage, news of Amitabh’s affair with his co-star, Rekha became the talk of the town.
Rumours of alleged affairs of any kind impact any strong relationship with ease. But, the two upheld their poise and respect and preferred to not talk about anything in public.
Amitabh was also had linked-up with Zeenat Aman, Parveen Babi, and a few other actresses, but Jaya remained unfazed.
Expressing her opinion on such rumours, Jaya once stated,
“I totally trust my husband and I know this industry. I have never been threatened or felt insecure about anything he did.”
Her husband, Amitabh too did the same and refused to comment on any gossip and supported his wife through this testing time.
A perfect example of remaining each other’s support even if the whole world was hell bent on separating and creating a rift in the marriage.
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On their 42nd wedding anniversary,Amitabh celebrated his marriage with Jaya and on a nostalgic note, added a few beautiful lines remembering those early days of their marriage,
“After 42 years it all seems so very close and immediate… The decision to be together.. The hurried simple preparations.. the ceremony in Bengali tradition .. The gentle drops of rain that began to fall just before.. and finally after it was all over, the entrance of the bride into our home and the departure soon after to London with some dear friends for a honeymoon.”
The King of Bollywood rules the industry even today.His phenomenal performances and grace has earned him huge accolades and respect.But, this would not be all possible without the support of his beautiful wife,Jaya.
As they rightly say, “Behind every successful man is a woman”,so is the case with this love story of these two shining personalities of Bollywood.
We salute them for reposing our faith in the institution of marriage and proving that ‘love does last forever,no matter what obstacles it faces in the way”.
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