Once upon a time, he ruled the filmdom with his comic acts and flexible dance moves, but today, he is facing a tough time getting distributors for his movie ‘Aa Gaya Hero’. Yes, we are referring to Govinda, who has given us some memorable years in the decade of 90s with his amazing performances in movies like ‘Coolie No 1’, ‘Hero No 1’, ‘Raja Babu’, ‘Haseena Maan Jayegi’ and many others. (Also Read: When Raj Kapoor immortalised his first meeting with actress Nargis on the silver screen)
As much as we loved him for his spectacular dance moves and fabulous acting skills, his love life was never in the scrutiny as he tied the knot with Sunita and has been by her side ever since. But, not many are aware that Govinda was neck-deep in love with actress Neelam who paired opposite him in movies like ‘Love 86’, ‘Ilzaam’, ”Hatya’ amongst others. Yes, he was madly in love with the beautiful Neelam, in spite of being married to Sunita and he had no qualms in admitting it openly.
Yes, in an old interview of 1990, Govinda candidly professed his undying love for his co-star of many movies and termed it as pure love and not lust.
Love at first sight for Govinda!
If you've thought that there's no such concept of "love at first sight" in real life and it only happens in movies, then we have a glaring example in the form of Govinda. Yes, the actor confessed that in the very first meeting with Neelam, Govinda was blown away by her natural beauty and her sweet nature. Said Govinda, "I remember the first time I met her. At Pranlal Mehta’s office. She was wearing white shorts. Her long hair falling straight, like an angel’s. ‘Hello’ she said politely, and I was scared to reply because my knowledge of English was embarrassing. It still is. And I wondered how I would communicate with her on the sets. I had never imagined I would work with her. She was a distant dream. I had seen her in ‘Jawani’, and seen the film again and again only to see her."
Falls head-over-heels for Neelam!
After the first meeting, Govinda was very much attracted to Neelam but maintained a safe distance as he was embarrassed by his English accent. But not for too long, as he soon started opening up and formed a beautiful bond with Neelam, finally losing his heart to her. He said, "I was very conscious of her. Of the difference in our backgrounds and upbringing. But gradually, we crossed these obstacles, and I started opening up. I would play pranks, crack jokes and she would laugh. We became friends. And we had so many films together. We met so often and the more I got to know her, the more I liked her. There was dignity in her. A kind of piousness in her eyes. And strength of character. There was no vulgarity about her, no loudness. She was the kind of woman any man would have lost his heart to. I lost mine."
His unusual relationship with wife Sunita
Govinda had met Sunita before he met Neelam and his love story with Sunita was not like those usual ones because he had no intentions of getting into a serious love affair with Sunita. Here's what he says, "I had never meant to get so seriously involved with Sunita. I was looking for a girl to go around with. I had signed a few films by then, and one day, my elder brother Kirti came to visit me on my sets. I had to do a romantic scene, but couldn’t bring myself to do it. I felt very uncomfortable and awkward holding a girl in my arms. So, later, my brother told me, ‘Why don’t you have an affair just to get some experience of romance? You’ll at least, learn how to hold a girl in your arms’. At that point in time, I met Sunita. I admit that my involvement with her was a totally calculated move on my part. And I paid a heavy price for it. I realised too late that one needn’t experience death to perform a death scene, similarly one needn’t experience romance to perform romantic scenes. It came naturally, one only had to let oneself go. But the harm was done. I had already committed myself to Sunita. I am very impulsive."
When his love for Neelam overpowered his relationship with Sunita
It was brave on Govinda's part to confess that he did not intend to fall for Sunita or tie the knot with her. But, it was even braver of him to profess that his love for Neelam started overpowering his relationship with Sunita. In fact, he had called off his engagement with Sunita because of his feelings for Neelam. Govinda said, "After I started getting busier, my relationship with Sunita went through a change. She began feeling insecure and jealous. And I was of no help. She would nag me and I would lose my temper. We had constant fights. In one of those fights, Sunita said something about Neelam, and I lost my head and called it quits. I asked Sunita to leave me. I broke off my engagement with her. And had Sunita not called me after five days and coaxed me into it again, I would probably have married Neelam."
Govinda's dream to marry Neelam was left unfulfilled
Clearly by now, we get the hint that Govinda was neck-deep in love with Neelam, so much so that he dreamt of marrying her, only if he hadn't met Sunita. In fact, his father too felt that he should marry Neelam, but it was his mother who told him to stick to his words and not break his promise to Sunita. He said, "My dad was very keen that I marry Neelam. He was very fond of her. She had even visited him with her family. Yes, she had come to Virar. Actually, I took her and her mother to see my father. And he was very happy. But my mother thought differently. She felt that since I had given my word to Sunita, I must honour it. And I knew that if I didn’t do it, it would hurt her. And for me, no relationship can be more important than my mother. Her happiness will always be my primary concern."
Govinda hid his marriage for a year from Neelam
He kept his word and tied the knot with Neelam, but he didn't want it to affect his professional life so he hid his marriage with Neelam for almost a year. He said, "I probably did not tell her (Neelam) because I did not want to break this successful screen pair. And to be honest, to a certain extent, I did exploit my personal relationship with Neelam for professional ends. I played dirty with her. I should have told her that I was married."
When Govinda said that there is a second marriage in his kundali
Being a firm believer of destiny, Govinda stated that there is a second marriage in his kundali. Here's what he said, "Tomorrow, who knows, I may get involved again, and then, maybe I will marry the girl I get involved with. But Sunita should be prepared for it. Only then will I feel free. And there is a second marriage in my kundali ... What has to happen, will happen." He also added that he will always care for Neelam, in spite of them not working in movies anymore. Here's what he said, " I will always care for her. For me it was love, not lust. Love in its purest form. I know she was too good for me. She probably deserves better. And I do wish her all the happiness in the world. The man she marries will be the luckiest man on this earth."