From the archives: second edition

I guess my bias towards people behind the scenes is showing, since this is the second article of two (so far) that is all about a star’s wife’s point of view! Dharmendra’s wife Prakash, whom he married in 1954 at the age of 19 and with whom he has four children, Ajay (Sunny), Bobby, and two daughters, has mostly shunned the spotlight; but a persistent Stardust reporter cornered her in her home in 1981 and this was the result. Of course verifying its accuracy is impossible, but I think it is an interesting read and a glimpse into how Prakash has managed to retain her dignity and (hopefully) peace of mind in the face of Dharmendra’s well-publicized affairs and eventual second marriage to Hema Malini.

Prakash Kaur Deol interview

77 Comments to “From the archives: second edition”

  1. Memsaab:

    Thanks again to your blog when I can get info about something that has been in my mind since last so many years: what is the perspective of Mrs Dharmendra’s wife with his life style and Hema Malini-world?

    It now seems clear that: she placed her kids and their happiness over her own and justified the stuff happening around her. It however seems propestorous that she tries to justify and back Dharmendra’s actions too. I hope mr Dharmendra has in fact been fair to her despite his bad-habits and errors.

    • Hey—that’s what Indian women were taught to do through countless movies! It does seem that Dharam has managed to have his cake and eat it too all these years, so he must be doing something right :)

  2. What an interesting “Interview” i feel it was figment of reporter’s imagination..hmm what would happen if i get to speak to Prakash.. hence the article.

    anyhow.. i don’t see Prakash going to kitty party with Dimple.. lol

    nevertheless very interesting read:)

    • I looked in subsequent magazines after this one was published to see if any hue and cry was raised over it, and found nothing (Dharmendra was pretty vocal with the gossip rags when they made him angry) so it’s probably not a complete figment. Parts of it may be, as I said, we have no way of knowing.

    • I think that this interview is a complete figment of imagination. Stardust in fact specialised in publishing such made up stuff. Even I, who was a teenager those days did not believe anything printed in Stardust because other more credible movie magazines (viz Star and Style) hardly corroborated all these stuff that were regularly printed in Stardust. I suppose that the readers of Stardust were the same kind of people who now enjoy watching saas bahu serials on TV.

  3. haha.. the rumor of Ajay (sonny) going after Hema with a knife is hilarious.. lol… totally made up stuff…but then who knows.. lol

  4. memsaab, the rumour about Ajay (Sunny) going after Hema? Well, I don’t know about the knife bit (that was probably the masala), but he was definitely very cool with her, and there was some tamasha on one of his sets; he refused to even mention her name in any of his interviews. Understandable. But then, the double standards did come to the fore, when he launched into a very-long affair with Dimple. Like his father, he was also married; like his father, Sunny’s wife is also ‘hidden’. In fact, Bobby’s wife Tanya is the only one who is well-known, but then, she was already someone in her own right before she married Bobby.

    The relationship only improved after the Hema’s girls came along. He is very protective about Esha and Aahna.

    • Hmmm…yes that does sound kind of hypocritical, although it’s nice that he was loyal to his mother :) I think probably like many women her children are her biggest joy in life.

  5. Prakash joining Dimple for kitty parties!
    What would she have said if she knew at that time, that her son would have an affair with her? :-)

    But in her world, men have different set of rules than women! Her world, her rules, her happiness, her life!

  6. I read this interview – probably back in 1981 when it came out (hey I was a kid and the Stardust covers were so alluringly trashy :-). Her comment that any man, not just Dharmendra, would prefer Hema over her, filled me with pity as a kid and it still does – though I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t appreciate the sentiment. Hopefully, they’ve all achieved some measure of peace and happiness.

  7. Wow! Greta, I wonder how you get hold of these stories and pictures.. I’ve been trying to find Prakash Deol’s photos and any news concerning her, for quite some time now.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • I have a HUGE stash of late 70s/early 80s Stardust magazines that I found online a while back for a reasonable price ;-) I will keep sharing the gems, have been meaning to do it for some time now.

  8. wow!what a read!My heart goes out to prakash for being so modest .She seems like a strong willed person too.

  9. I just kind of felt sick at the journalist barging into her house. What an imposition! I know yellow journalism is even worse now, but still makes me feel kind of yucky. Specially when the target is the people behind the stars. The stars themselves are equipped to deal with this kind of journalism, and in a way, it’s part of their job.

    • It seems that she could have gotten rid of the journalist if she wanted, there were guards there…but maybe they were Indian spy movie guards and therefore completely ineffective. But yes—it takes a certain kind of person to barge into someone’s home knowing that they aren’t wanted.

  10. I can believe her when she says that he may not be a good husband but is a great father. Such a well written piece! Thanks for sharing this Greta :)

  11. Thanks for both interviews. I remember reading them when they came out and its amazing that you’ve preserved them in your archives. Do you happen to have the interview of Rajendra Kumar where he praises his wife for not questioning him even when she knew that he was coming home late because he had been visiting his mistress! Winning line. It appeared in Stardust I think.

  12. I think I read this one. But there was another article where there was mention of her giving Meena Kumari a tongue lashing because of her affair with her husband. I guess Hema was spared that – and Sunny made up for the lapse. Who knows.

  13. has anyone seen pic of Sonny’s wife Pooja??? she is well hidden as well.. don’t think she ever gave any interviews

    that Rajender kumar statement is sick..praising his wife to be a doormat…..

  14. @Memsaab – Thanks again for sharing this. From her statements it seems like she placed her kids above everything else. The interview should be seen as a product of its time. Promiscuity existed then as it does now, but many people preferred the sanctity of marriage mainly to spare their kids the trauma of separation. Society the world over has become more open nowadays. The interviewer too had a blase attitude towards barging into someones house because not too many people cared about sounding politically (or socially) correct and it was a far less litigious society back then.

  15. the interviewer of that article sounds rude.

    Can you post some filmfare interviews of Helen since its Helen’s 72nd birthday?

  16. Helen didn’t give many interviews, especially in the late 70s and early 80s which is when most of my magazines were published, but I will look through them and see if I can find anything. Her birthday was yesterday, same as Shammi’s :)

  17. Sometimes I take care of ironing my clothes for office for the whole coming week over the weekend, sometimes I do it in the morning weekdays. Nevertheless, when I come across infidelity and such articles (Dharmendra’s, Rajendra Kumar’s) it makes me use that hot iron on things that would straighten a few things.

  18. This article left me so angry that I didn’t even feel like responding. I still remember not watching any movies of Hema or Dharam for a long time because I was so angry about this affair. I remember hearing these rumors about Rajendra Kumar, but to think he had the audacity to praise his wife for ignoring his affairs – UGH! What really makes me mad is that, even now, some of the Indian serials condone this behavior and make it appear that if a man keeps his wives/mistresses equally happy, then there is no justification for a wife to get angry or make a scene about it. Double standards! I have to stop here before I sound like a raging lunatic.

    • No, you SHOULD sound like a raging lunatic. The worst thing about those serials too is that many of them are made by a woman (Ekta Kapoor) who should know better! Although I guess her father was no great example of fidelity either it seems.

  19. Though I am a die-hard Dharmendra fan, this is the one topic that I would rather avoid. I still can’t digest the fact that he married Hema when he was a much married man with kids. Same goes for every other man who had married more than once or had extra marital affairs.

    I appreciate the “villains” who stay faithful to their wives in real life.

    • Shakti Kapoor has probably been an exception that last statement.

    • Fair enough, but what about Amitabh-rekha affair at the same time? Dharam atleast did not ‘hide’ it like AB. I’m sure memsaab magazines would be full with AB’s ‘adventures’.

    • I wonder how many people really were faithful. I would have thought Rajendra Kumar would have been one of them but alas!

      Oh well. We are all human, and humans make mistakes and hurt each other :(

  20. Memsaab, how do you still watch these ‘hero’s’ movies? one should be hating bollywood after reading such affairs and incidents like Sanjay-Zeenat one?

    I admit I tend to forget these things when i watch their films.(though songs play a big part as well)

  21. I am with Sashi on this one.

    Dharam is known for his womanising ways. His affairs with other leading ladies has been public news much before the Hema episode. In retrospect, Hema has paid a big price in deciding to stick with Dharam. Stardust labelled her as the “First Lady of Second Marriages” which was a bit unfair coz there have been other actresses in the same boat much before Hema. Hema’s marriage to Dharam became more public to the widespread reporting in the press.

    Apparently AB snr has now denied his affair with Rekha which is a sort of joke. I am sure these mags have a lot of articles on that story too!

    • AB managed to alienate the magazine industry and so his name never appears in magazines of that period, at least not in Stardust. He is only referred to as “the angry middle-aged hero” which makes me giggle. Probably not many of us could stand up to intense scrutiny that the stars and their families have to tolerate!

      • AB senior never acknowledged his affair with Rekha in the first place for him to deny it now. But then he’s never really talked much about his personal life, ever. Not then, not now.

        Funnily enough, it was Jaya who once said, in one of her early interviews, that her husband would never look at ‘that girl’. Though I don’t know if that was also made up. Because I cannot somehow see Jaya being that nasty in print about anybody. The one time I saw her on television where she made an oblique reference to it was when she said ‘Then he would be with her, wouldn’t he?’ But she also had the support of her in-laws.

        I can only wonder at the star wives. What has changed today? Suzanne Roshan, Reena Khan… were all in the same boat. The only guys who have been (supposedly) faithful are Ajay Devgan, Shahrukh Khan and Akshay kUmar; the last because he seems to have sown all his wild oats before he got married.

  22. Memsaab ji,

    I wish you a HAPPY BIRTHDAY today.
    May God shower all the Happiness and Joy on you today,everyday and always !


  23. Happy birthday, Greta jee. I in fact have posted discussion on a rare song (containing the word memsaab) in my blog on this occasion.

  24. Though I am in mourning and haven’t greeted anyone for any occasion I think I will make an exception for you,’On this birthday may God bless you with all the happiness in the world’.
    By the way I have a very faint memory of Prakash Deol, I had seen her as a kid at a preview of a film.

  25. Thanks so much for sharing this, I’ve been looking for a picture of Prakash Kaur for ages, and it’s a very interesting piece. And Happy Birthday to you!!

  26. A very happy birthday dear Greta. Have fun with that meat curry and dancing to Atul’s song :-D

  27. @Memsaab – Happy Birthday. Wishing you the best for the times to come.

  28. Happy birthday, Greta! Enjoy that curry that Edwina is making specially for you! What are you having with it? Rice? Rotis? Btw, I am making carrot halwa today for Diwali, but I will inaugurate this in your honor! Sweets for the sweet!

  29. Memsaab:

    Seema all your buddies are using this blog to greet you so here is my HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you

  30. Though a day late, Many Happy Returns of the day!

  31. Birthdays are better topics of discussion than these cheating spouses!

  32. I love your reviews and come to your site often. If I may play the devils advicate for awhile. Please don’t stoop to this gossip tabloid tactics. It just does not become your memsaab. Also after months of reading your reviews it was very strange reading your reviews when you used curse words. It was surprising to hear you talk like that after months of reading your ohh so wonderful style of writing. This is just my point of view and not meant to be harmful in anyway what so ever. Keep up the good work and great reviews.

    • Sometimes movies enrage me so I can only use curse words, and I love the gossip tabloids (although I try not to be too judgmental, and don’t believe nearly everything I read in them)—they are often about as close to any kind of cinema history documentation there is left. But I appreciate your feedback and am glad you generally like the blog :)

  33. Dharmendra is my fav actor, but this is one thing I didn’t really appreciate of him. Anyone knows why Dharam and Hema seperated lateron?

    and Anu, Akshay did also have an affair with Priyanka Chopa apparently. Twinkle asked him not to work with her again, and thats what happened.

    Ajay Devgan has been pretty loyal to his wife and so has Bobby Deol.

  34. Well…I could not resist adding that Ajay Devgn is well known for his philandering ways. He chooses the women staff instead of his lead actresses and therefore, has been able to keep it out of news. And to think Kajol is my fave actress, feel for her :)

  35. Oops..I meant I feel sad for her :(

  36. Memsaab’s relying on gossip magazines (as pointed out by Anonymous) is not a bad one because it exposes chink in armour of the so-called demi gods.But yes, interviews in Star dust were made up – this is agreed. Memsaab, i am disappointed that you wrote about jeetendra – he is one of the most thorough gentleman in the industry -except for that rumour about him wanting to marry hema, can’t think of any controversies with Jeetendra.
    BTW, who was Rajendra Kumar’s other woman .. we heard that saira was involved with him at one point of time

    • Well if we’re going to gossip, everyone is fair game! Jeetendra was rumored to have an affair with Sridevi after his marriage, and whether he did or not none of us will ever know—just like with everyone else (except Rajendra K who I guess confessed to his—although that could have been made up too for all we know!).

  37. i think the only male actor i can think of who didn’t have an affair while married is sunil dutt

  38. Hats off to you Memsaab for calling a spade a spade! It makes me sick to see Hema and Dharam flaunting their love before the world and hiding his first wife Prakash.He would have been a better man if he would have left his wife for love ..But the man wants to have his cake and eat it too.My heart goes out to Prakash for bearing this great insult silently…Maybe her silence could be out of fear of society, love for kids and fear of facing the world on her own.I watch Hema and Dharam’s movies but can’t stand to watch them in public…To think of people sucking up to these two selfish stars makes me wonder if there’s noone to stand up for the victim in this so called love story!

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