Flashback Fridays! Would Have Married Dharmendra Had He Been Single: Hema Malini's 1976 Interview
Hema Malini and Dhramendra are perhaps still one of the most handsome couples of B-town. Their love has stood strong, through thick and thin, through happy days and challenging situations. Parents of two lovely girls, who now have their own families, Hema and Dharam are still the very-much-in-love couple who always have each other's back. Here is an interview of Hema Malini and Dharmendra from 1976, which was when the two started developing a bond with each other. The romance, it seems from the interview, was in a budding stage at this point. In the interview Hemaji talks highly of Dharmendra's character and looks and explains how they became such good friends. Dharmendra, married at the time, also talks highly of Hema and it is quite evident from his words that he was head over heels in love with Hema Malini.
Well, the two would go on to tie the knot four years after this interview, in 1980. They have two lovely daughters Esha and Ahana, who were born in 1981 and 1985.
In Hema Malini's Words
On the First Meeting:
I find his eyes and lips the most fascinating features of his face. There is a rate depth in his eyes and at the slightest provocation they light up with good cheer and in a delightful manner. What is there to tell about Dharam? I have been talking all these days only about my association with him. You know, I n this field one hit leads to the pair being case in a number of films together. And our teaming was no exception. With Sharafat and Tum Hasee Main Jawan both catching the fancy of the public, we were made as a romantic pair. But in his case, I remember everything thing about our first meeting. It was at the Aasmaan Mahal premiere. I was a newcomer just cast in Sapno ka saudagar.
Dharam was already an established hero. We were introduced and I remember being overawed by him – his impressive physique and rugged handsomeness and most of all his unassuming friendliness. He was in a brown suit and it suited him so well I keep telling him even now that he should a suit in that color.
On Their Friendship:
Come to think of it, Dharam and I started in our first films at the same time as I started the Shashi starrer Abhinetri. I have been friendly with Shashi too, but as I told you it is success that really beings you together. Dharam is the only true friend I have in the industry and out of it. Even if I marry and leave the field he is one friend I will never cut out of my life.
I know what you are thinking, you too think like the others. But I have never had a friend of my own from my young days. I have been very lonely sort of person. Dharam had a big hand in getting me to shed by shyness and introvert-ness. He is a gen of a man and such a terrific actor. Now, for the friend part of it this is a funny field. If I have been really friendly with a woman probably they would have branded me queer. Now that I am friendly with a man they say we have having an affair. But one thing is certain. He is the one man who can confide all of his troubles in me. And I too feel free to go to him with my problems. We do a lot of collecting thinking on our careers and roles. He adores me and seeks my opinions on his roles. We have such a rapport that by now we know each other’s moves to perfection. People ask would I have married him if he were unmarried and available. Of course I would have married him if he was a bachelor. After all, when we have so many things in common between us should not we have been married had he been single?
Why I alone, my whole family used to tell him that he should stop drinking which is the only vice in him. He is God’s own good man, but he would stop for a couple of days and then go back to the bottle again. Whenever he did it, he would be so guilt-conscious that I had only to point a mock-accusing finger and say there you’ve gone and drunk again. He would apologize for his weakness. But by God’s grace he has stopped drinking and I hope that he keeps it up.
Her relationship with Dharmendra’s wife:
Very good indeed. His wife phones me often and even comes to our house. But I am a busy artist, hardly ever at home. So naturally, Dharam and I are more together than his wife and I.
Fights with Dharam:
It’s impossible to be upset with him. He is like a child. When I make him angry, he pulls a long face and sulks for a while. But the moment I see his face I know something has upset him. So I nag him till he comes out with it and then it is okay. He is so easy to get on with, unlike some other actors who have such a hang up about their status and what not. No wonder we get on so famously.
In Dharmendra's Words:
On Hema Malini:
The first and foremost thing about Hema is that she is very un-filmi. You know, even today she is one of our leading ladies who has not acquired any of the starry airs. You know the kind – over made up, with the pallu of the saree falling. If there is one thing I hate in a woman, it is this stratagem of exhibiting herself, inviting hungry eyes to rove over her person. Actually when I met Hema for the first time I was struck by her shy and withdrawn demeanour and behaviour. That is what made me want to know this girl a lot more.
Hema was never that accessible. I was aching to know her better, to talk to her, to draw her out. But she used to be so quiet and alone those days. Neither mixing with others nor encouraging them to take the initiative. She would sit alone in a corner to eat her home made meal I would wonder about her a lot. Her aloofness made her all the more attractive, because there was about her, an aura of mystery. It was only much later that I asked her whether she had not ever wanted to talk to me those days. She laughed that intriguing laugh and said, ‘Oh yes I did. I was fascinated with your personality and friendliness. But since you rushed off after your shots I thought you did not care for me that much.’
Another thing I love about her is her attachment to her mother Jaya. I am a simple man so I naturally respect Hema for these simple qualities. Her beautiful eyes and lips. Her lips have a way of conveying good humour and hidden mirth without having to smile. Her eyes particularly they are so expressive. They cannot hide anything – be it respect or hate. She will keep to herself any problem that is bothering her. When badgered with a lot of questions will she come out with it and that to in the most casual way. I blow my top on such occasions. Hema is my opposite in this aspect.
On Their Friendship:
We have a good rapport. We understand each other perfectly. This equation has come because we have worked so much together. I know her plus points and she knows my minus points. She is the best friend I have in the industry, Let people say what they like but I know our friendship is going to endure. This kind of understanding is vital in a relationship like ours. The moment such understanding goes, the two have to go their different ways
I am almost like one of their family now. They all feel so concerned about my welfare. When I at long last stopped drinking, realising what a monster liquor was, her people were the first to lend me moral support. There have been times when Jayaji has herself done for me little things, that Hema as my co-star may have wanted to do. For instance, when they were recently in America, Hema was thinking of buying me some shirts but even before she could do so, Jayaji had already bought them on hemas behalf. And they say jayaji does not like me to be in their home with her daughter. Those who know me know that I have harmed no one intentionally and Hema and her people are among those who know me closely enough to place their trust in me. I know I will never betray that trust. A popular romantic pair is repeated so many times that the audience comes to believe there must be something between them, But it is not so.
On His Marriage and Kids:
How can I wish away the fact that I am not only married but also a father? Please understand that I am very fond of my wife and deeply attached to my family. So what is the point in going into the ifs and buts of a situation that cannot be changed.
But Hema is certainly my idea of the ideal woman. A woman who has achieved great success without losing her dignity or charm or balance. And she is affine actress too. I feel sure she can do any role. You know a good artist when you see one. She is our most underrated actress.