Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

Veteran actress Vyjayanthimala is regarded as one of the finest actresses and dancers that Indian cinema ever witnessed. She is the recipient of several accolades for her powerful on-screen performances. She is the first South Indian actress who made it as a national star and also went on to become one of the biggest-ever Hindi movie female stars.

Vyjayanthimala made her debut at the age of 13 in 1949 in the Tamil film Vaazhkai. Later, she made her debut in Hindi cinema with Bahar in 1951. However, she got a breakthrough in her career in 1954 with Nagin. 

In her career spanning around 20 years, Mala worked in over 66 movies opposite several stalwarts of Indian cinema, including Showman Raj Kapoor, Tragedy King Dilip Kumar, Evergreen Dev Anand, Jubilee Kumar Rajendra Kumar, to name a few.

Despite a dignified and successful innings in the industry with a mass appeal, Mala was mired in controversy for her alleged relationship with Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar. 

As the veteran actress turns 90 years old on August 13, here we give a glimpse into the controversial love life of Vyjayanthimala.

During her illustrious life as an actress, Vyjayanthimala ruled the hearts of cine lovers. It was said that her onscreen chemistry with Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar brought commercial success to the producers. For this reason, these pairs were repeated in multiple movies. Even their onscreen chemistry fuelled dating rumours. 

At that time, both Dilip and Raj were married. However, they allegedly had strong bonding with Vyjayanthimala. 

In her autobiography titled ‘Bonding: A Memoir’, co-authored by Jyoti Sabharwal, she stated that her relationship with ‘The Tragedy King’ and ‘The Showman’ was nothing but rumours. The rumours of her alleged affairs were rested after Dr Chamanlal Bali entered her life. 

The Tragedy King and his ties with Vyjayanthimala

Bollywood’s Tragedy King Dilip Kumar too allegedly had an affair with Vyjayanthimala after he broke up with Madhubala. Though they never admitted to it, following the burning onscreen chemistry of the duo in 6 movies, the rumours of their relationship were fuelled. Then, the gossip magazines also published that Dilip Kumar handpicked the shade of every saree that Mala wore for movies she worked with him.  After Kamini Kaushal and Madhubala, Vyjayanthimala was linked up with Dilip Kumar. Reportedly, during the shooting of Sangam, Mala kept teasing Raj Kapoor which resulted in him chasing her even more.

The Tragedy King’s wife Saira Banu did not bat an eyelid over the buzz of their sizzling relationship. However, later Dilip and Mala had a fallout and the broken bridge was mended after years by Saira. The fallout happened when Mala’s role in Ram Aur Shyam (1967) was bagged by Waheeda Rehman. Even, Mala had shot for the movie for quite a bit when the movie producer (Nagi Reddy) felt that she was being choosy over some things and hence he signed Waheeda to the part. However, Mala felt that Dilip had got her replaced.

Relationship with ‘The Showman’

Bollywood Showman Raj Kapoor was married to Krishna Kapoor. However, his married life couldn’t stop him from losing his heart to his co-actresses. After sharing a hush-hush relationship with Nargis, RK fell in love with his co-star Vijayanthimala. RK and Mala first met in 1959, when they started working on their first movie together in Nazrana. In no time, the onscreen couple allegedly fell in love with each other and started dating. Soon, the couple became the talk of the town, and even RK’s wife Krishna got to know about their relationship following which she decided to leave Raj’s house and went to a hotel.

Earlier, a furious Rishi Kapoor said that her affair with his father had driven the family apart. He also mentioned that he and his brothers had to move with their mother into a hotel.

In his book Khullam Khulla, Chintu stated that Krishna stayed in the Natraj hotel for about four and a half months and refused to go home if Raj didn’t agree with her conditions. Finally, Raj ended all his ties with Mala to win his wife back. He even promised to never work with her again. Reportedly, Mala had to even have an abortion as a result of her affair with Raj Kapoor.

Relationship buzz with other actors

Apart from the huge stalwarts of Indian Cinema, Mala reportedly had affairs with the three biggest actors in South Industry, i.e. Gemini Ganesan, Sivaji Ganesan, and MGR. Vyjayanthimala has also been linked to her co-star Rajendra Kumar. 

Buzz put to rest after Dr. Bali’s entry

Meanwhile, Vyjayanthimala fell in love with a doctor and her love story was no less filmy with him too. Once the actress had fallen sick and Dr Chamanlal Bali was treating her and that’s how they fell in love with each other. It was rumoured that Vyjayanthimala had bought her husband Dr Bali by paying up the hefty alimony sum he owed to his first wife. However, it was claimed that it was probably a rebound affair as a result of a failed love affair with Raj Kapoor.

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