When a young Mumtaz, accompanied by her sister Malika, saw Shammi Kapoor filming a song on the sets of a film, she almost instantly expressed her desire to marry him. Little did she know that years later, the Junglee actor would propose marriage to her. While the yesteryear actors didn’t get their happy ending, their love story has been one of the most talked-about Bollywood romances in the past few decades. Both Mumtaz and the late actor have been vocal about their brief love story, despite the heartbreak.

While speaking to Zoom TV, Mumtaz, who shared the screen with Shammi in Brahmachari, said she was deeply in love with him but refused to marry him because she was young and ambitious and wanted to make it big in Bollywood. “His wife Geeta Bali had passed away. During the shooting of the song ‘Aajkal Tere Mere Pyar Ke Charche’, we came closer and fell in love. We were together for two-three years. He professed his love to me and asked me to marry him. I loved him deeply but he told me that I couldn’t work after marriage as women marrying into the Kapoor clan didn’t work,” recalled Mumtaz.

Mumtaz  was only 17, and Shammi Kapoor was double her age.

Explaining her decision, a wide-eyed Mumtaz, who wanted to create a name for herself in films, refused the proposal. “I told him I couldn’t marry him because I wanted to work and fulfill my dreams. I didn’t want to be a homemaker, taking care of his children and managing the household,” revealed Mumtaz, adding that the ‘no’ left the Teesri Manzil actor angry. She continued, “He was angry and told me, ‘If you would have truly loved me, you would’ve accepted my proposal and left working in films. You only pretend to love me because you wanted to score big films opposite me.’ This left me completely heartbroken.”

Also Read: When Shammi Kapoor said that relationship with Mumtaz ‘turned from dream to nightmare’: ‘I was a widower and Mumtaz happened to be…’

Festive offer

For Shammi too, the relationship, which started with dreams of being together, ended up as a “nightmare”. In an old interview with Lehren Retro, he said, “At that time, I was a widower, and Mumtaz happened to be a very pretty little girl, and for a little short while, we both had dreams and then it turned into a nightmare. I’m happy as I am today.”

Mumtaz ended up marrying Ugandan millionaire Mayur Madhwani in 1974 and moved to London, bidding goodbye to Bollywood.

The actor delivered some of her career’s biggest hits with Rajesh Khanna, so it was natural for people to link her with her Do Raaste co-star. However, Mumtaz, refuting rumours surrounding her affair with Rajesh, said, “We were a box office hit pair and worked in 10 successful films together, so it was obvious that people are going to assume that we were dating. But the truth is we didn’t have an affair.”

Mumtaz went on to explain that when two actors work together and spend 24 hours on film sets, they not only become comfortable with each other but also get closer. “We are no longer shy and start to know each other very well. Their closeness may give others the impression ‘ki inka kuch chakkar hai (they might be having an affair)’. This shouldn’t come as a surprise because many co-stars have fallen in love with each other and tied the knot. We are human beings at the end of the day, and it is natural for us to develop attachments. However, I want to clarify that I didn’t have an affair with Rajesh Khanna.”

She further revealed that Anju Mahendru, who was in a relationship with Rajesh Khanna, was always warm with her.

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