Kabir Bedi has had an illustrious Bollywood career in yesteryear. The actor who became a household name in Hindi cinema for playing multiple variations of the bad guy was also in the limelight for his love life. Be it his open marriage with Protima Gupta, or his love affair with the wide-eyed beauty of late Parveen Babi, everything was a part of the then growing headline culture.
The actor now has decided to shed as much candid light he can on his open marriage to Protima and how it was a bad idea, according to him. He is also vocal about how Parveen Babi filled the void for him, and he fell in love. All of this is being written by the Khoon Bhari Mang star in his memoir I Must Tell: The Emotional Journey of an Actor. Read on to know everything you should about the same.
Kabir Bedi and Protima Gupta separated in 1977, and were parents to a daughter Pooja Bedi. The actor in his memoir candid talks how open marriage with Gupta only gave him anxiety. He thought it lacked intimacy and magic. He says Parveen Babi filled that void. Kabir said, “Our open marriage may have seemed like a good idea at first. In the end, it only caused me greater anxiety. It had led to a lack of intimacy between us. I didn’t feel the love that I wanted, the caring and sharing I needed. Nor was I able to give it. The old magic had gone. I was feeling alone, empty and dejected.”
“Parveen Babi filled that void. She was a ravishingly beautiful actress with fair skin, long black hair and dark, mesmerising eyes. Until then, I’d always thought of her as ‘the girlfriend of Danny Denzongpa‘,” Kabir Bedi added.
Kabir as per an excerpt found by Hindustan Times added, “He was a good-looking Sikkimese actor, two years younger than me, a year older than Parveen. In the years ahead, he would become a highly successful villain in Bollywood and be nominated for many Filmfare Awards. Parveen began her rapid rise to stardom during their four years together. Her living openly with Danny, wearing jeans and smoking in public, had given her a bohemian image in India. But, morally, she was a conservative Gujarati girl. While the rest of the Juhu gang talked about the ‘free sex’ preaching of Guru Osho, she believed in sexual fidelity. It’s what I was looking for when I fell in love with her.”
Kabir Bedi further goes on to explain the day he broke the news of his love for Parveen Babi to Protima Gupta. He said, “There was no easy way to break the news (to Protima). ‘I’m going over to Parveen’s tonight,’ I said softly when she came in. ‘Parveen’s!’ she repeated in surprise. I could see her computing what must have happened. ‘But I’ve only just arrived. Can’t you stay tonight at least?’ I shook my head. ‘No, I have to be with her tonight … and every night.’ In that moment, she realised that our relationship had changed forever. She let out a deep breath and looked at me. ‘Do you love her?’ I nodded, not without sadness. ‘Does she love you?’ she asked, her voice a notch higher. ‘Yes,’ I said gruffly, wanting to cry.”
“I knew I was ending a relationship where we’d shared life-changing experiences together, happy and unhappy, moral and immoral, for six tumultuous years. But I didn’t want to show vulnerability. I had to be strong to end it. I held her by the shoulders to embrace her goodbye. She clung to me and burst out crying. Then she sat down on the bed and sighed deeply before she spoke. ‘Please leave me alone now,’ she said in a firm voice as tears welled in her eyes. ‘Leave me alone. Please go!’ Our ‘open marriage’ was over,” Kabir concludes.
While Kabir Bedi and Protima Gupta parted ways in 1977, Parveen Babi breathed her last in 2005 following multiple organ failure.
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