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By Donald D’ Silva, Mira Road, Karkala

Donald D’ Silva is an Advertising Professional & Brand Strategist managing his own Digital Marketing Company in Mumbai. He writes about Current Affairs, Political Analysis, Bollywood Happenings and a variety of Social subjects.



(There are four friends who were thick and thin in their childhood. They were inseparable. Now, today they are in their 50 s and late 50s. they regularly get together and make merry as they have made their money and are well settled in their lives. It is the case of jumping early into business and tasting success. Two of them have taken VRS and settled down.)

  1. Jeevan Shetty: He is the owner of three Bar & Restaurants. One in Mangalore and two in Mumbai. A billionaire in his own right. From Karkala.
  2. Sathish Shenoy: He has a cloth store in Moodbidri. He has two veg Restaurants in Mumbai.
  3. Richard Almeida: He has one Bar & Restaurant in Mumbai.
  4. Melvin D’ Mello: He has two-night clubs in Mumbai.

Jeevan: Hello Friends, the lockdown is lifted and we have more cases. Business is improving, but the happy part is there is a heavy recovery rate whole over India!

Sathish: Yes. The phase of lockdown is over. Now, it will be business as usual, but with a mask and proper sanitization.

Richard: The nations worldwide are suffering without a proper vaccine. US is the most hit and India is fast onto overtaking the US in numbers! The mortality rate of Indians is minimum!

Melvin: But, Grump has lost the elections due to overconfidence.. He could not find a solution in terms of vaccines! Or else, Grump may have won the election the second time!

J: I heard that MCC is in deep trouble. What with garbage getting collected everywhere! Potholes are very huge on all roads! Same with Mumbai!

S: Another good news is our two other colleagues may join us very soon. Mrs Lalitha Shetty, owner of three Night clubs in Mumbai. She has come down to meet us. Good news is that all bar & Restaurants are opened on 5th October. Uddhav’s government has taken the right initiative. Even there is a lull in business, still, slowly customers may increase.

R: Also, our dear friend, Naveen Poojari has come down. He will also join us soon!

J: Friends, since long I was wanting to know about The conversion to other religions of celebs. There are so many all over India! Richard and Melvin, could you pls enlighten us on this?

R: Yes, we are born and our religion is given to us as an inheritance. Our parents’, forefathers belief and faith we carry forward. There are many celebrities who have converted due to inter-caste marriages or by their own interest.

One of them, to begin with, is Sharmila Tagore, the ’Kashmir Ki Kali’ fame actress! She was madly in love with our-ex cricket captain, the Nawab of Pataudi, the late Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi. She got converted to Islam and named herself as Ayesha Begum! The fiery Bengali actress surprised the fans and foes alike!

M: But, in a role reversal,  late Nargis Dutt converted to Hinduism from Islam after marrying the late Sunil Dutt. As they say, love is blind.

S: I remember reading somewhere that during the shooting of ‘Mother India’ where Sunil Dutt played the role of her son, there was a huge fire on the sets. Nargis was trapped amongst the flames and Sunil Dutt immediately jumped into the fire and rescued Nargis! So, love blossomed and the next thing we heard was they got married. However, Nargis was two years older to Dutt Saab, and the age factor did not deter them at all!

R: yes, love is indeed blind! Raj Kapoor, the great showman had a rollicking affair with Nargis, as he has done with his many leading ladies. That’s, how the media reported Sunjay Dutt, became a drug addict. He could not fathom the fact about his mother’s relationship with the great showman!

M: Sunju baba, was a spoilt brat since his childhood. His parents packed him to a boarding school. They wanted him to discipline him. But, Once ‘Rocky’ his first film released, he became a star overnight, and there was no looking back! He had a steady girlfriend in Tina Munim.

J: I heard, Sunju used to make her wait in his car and go and smoke joints in the loo and also inject himself with LSD!

R: Yeah, he became a drug addict and suffered for long. Tina left him for this addiction of his. He has suffered a lot. Nargis used to scold him “Shaitan, because of you I have to get insulted everywhere. Sudarjaa”. But, to no avail. Dutt Saab used to beat him black and blue with a belt. His two sisters were very obedient and homely!

J: We will talk about Sunju after some time. Let’s get onto the celeb cast conversion pls…

R: Who else, but our Gharam Dharam and Hema Malini! Dharam was head over heels in love with Hema. Hema wanted her children to be legitimate. This can happen only if Dharam converted to Islam. This religion permits four marriages. So, he converted to Islam from being a Sikh Jat.

Same goes to Boney Kapoor. The late Sridevi forced him to convert to Islam. All this was kept a secret until Dharam won MP’s election. There the opposition, mainly Congress guys cried fowl and Dharam did not contest any election thereafter.

M: The crazy and eccentric Mahesh Bhatt of course, is another great and weird example! He also converted to Islam after marrying Soni Razdan. Still, no one knows if his first wife, Kiran has divorced him or not! Such are examples of celebs.

R: There are many more…….Like A.R. Rahman, the great music director of South and Bollywood movies. He was born as Dilip Kumar, a staunch Hindu. He converted out of compulsion. He became Allah Rakha Rahman! The musician was introduced to Qadiri Islam when his younger sister was severely ill. He was enchanted by the ideals and values of the religion. His mother, who belonged to an Islamic family before her marriage, was influenced by Sufism. A.R. Rehman was born to a Muslim mother and Hindu father.

There are many others also. Divya Bharti took Islam to marry Sajid Nadiadwala. Hazel Keech took Sikhism post her marriage to Yuvraj Singh. Amrita Singh converted to Islam from Sikhism. However, she and Saif divorced after 7 years of marriage.

Actress Amrita Singh was born in a Sikh-Muslim family. She made her Bollywood debut in 1983 with Betaab and delivered several hits like Sunny, Mard and Saaheb. Amrita, who followed the Sikh religion since birth, converted to Islam just before her marriage to actor Saif Ali Khan, who was Muslim by birth. After thirteen years of marriage, they divorced in 2004. However, Saif’s current wife, actress Kareena Kapoor Khan, has not converted to Islam. She is still Kapoor. She prides over her famous family surname!

M: There are hordes of them, who converted…like Nagma, rumoured to be once an underworld moll like Mandakini! She converted to Christianity. Nagma went public about her change of faith in 2008. In one of the meetings, she was quoted as saying that Jesus Christ was the only superstar in her life and that she wanted to preach and spread the Gospel to every town and city the Lord takes her to. Salma Khan changed to Islam post her marriage with Salim Khan! However, his second wife, the ace cabaret dancer of movies did not convert. She is still a Burmese Christian!

J: I know of Nayantara, the southern star who became a Hindu!

S: There is another popular Punjabi singer who became famous for his “Dil Tote Tote Ho Gaya” number and many other songs. Hans Raj Hans!

The Pakistan media was crazy with reports that popular Indian singer Hans Raj Hans has converted to Islam. The singer, who is Sikh by birth, has belted out some popular chartbusters like ‘Aajanachle,’ ‘Dil tote tote’ and ‘Duma dum mast…’. It has been reported that the singer is proud to have converted to Islam and has also expressed a desire to visit Madina.

R: Saroj Khan, the ace Choreographer, converted to Islam at a very early age. So as Yuvan Shankar Raja, the great southern music director, Ilaiyaraaja’s son, Yuvan Shankar Raja is India’s youngest music composer. Despite the fact that he was born into a Hindu household, Yuvan eventually decided to convert to Islam.

Some of them after an inter-caste marriage are still practising their own religion!

Like our own Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao! Bollywood’s ‘Mr. Perfectionist’, Aamir Khan, fell in love with Kiran Rao, a Brahmin from Bangalore. They tied the knot in 2005. While they did set an example by marrying despite the religion difference, the two were an inspiration to a lot of couples as they announced the birth of their son, Azad in 2011, whom they welcomed in their lives with the help of surrogacy.

M: And there is another superstar of Bollywood and his wife. Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri Chibber. Indian cinema’s king of romance, Shah Rukh Khan, was no less romantic in his personal life. He fell in love with Gauri Chibber, who belonged to a Hindu Brahmin family.

J: What about Salman’s younger brothers?

R: Yeah, Sohail Khan and Seema Sachdev are an inseparable couple, the two ran away when Sohail’s first movie as a director, Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya, was released. They first married as per the Arya Samaj rituals, since Seema is a Punjabi. Later in the evening, they had a nikah. The two were later accepted by their families and are blessed with two sons.

Arbaaz Khan and Malaika Arora Just like his brother, even Arbaaz fell in love with a Christian and Punjabi Mix girl, Malaika Arora. However, Arbaaz did not follow Sohail’s footsteps when it came to marrying his ladylove. Rather, he took permission from Malaika’s mother, and the two had a Christian wedding.

The couple is now divorced! Malaika is madly in love with a younger actor, who is only 33 years old, Arjun Kapoor!! Media is after them with hammer and tongs! She is 46 years old. Strange are the tales of Bollywood!

M: There are still more celebs who are a crazy lot! Like Shirish Kunder and Farah Khan, Farhan Akhtar and Adhuna Bhabani, Kunal Khemu and Soha Ali Khan, Shakeel Ladak and Amrita Arora, Atul Agnihotri and Alvira Khan etc!

R: Riteish Deshmukh and Genelia D’Souza, This super-cute couple of Bollywood is yet another very beautiful example of the inter-faith marriage. Genelia is a Mangalorean Catholic and Riteish is a Maharashtrian Hindu. The two got married in 2012, in both Maharashtrian and Christian style, so as to show respect to each other’s traditions. They are blessed with two baby boys.

Also, Arshad Warsi and Maria Goretti, Maria, who is a Christian met the love of her life, Arshad Warsi, who is a Muslim, in 1991. The two got married on February 14, 1999. They are blessed with a son and a daughter.

J: Who else is left out?

M: There is still a long list…Naseeruddin Shah and Ratna Pathak Shah. The duo met during the rehearsal of a play, back in 1975. Manoj Bajpai and Shabana Raza….Her screen name was Neha, and they met a short while after her first movie Kareeb, was released in 1998.

R: Then there is a famous couple….Mayur Madhvani and Mumtaz. Mumtaz, the glorious actress of yesteryear, left her career during the peak and got married to her love interest Mayur Madhvani on May 29, 1974.

Aditya Pancholi and Zarina Wahab. Zarina is a Muslim and is six years older than Aditya, who is a Hindu by religion. Suniel Shetty and Mana Qadri. Suniel Shetty met Mana Qadri when she was just 17. Mana is Bohri Muslim, while Suniel is a Hindu belonging to the southern part of India. After a 9-year-long relationship, the couple got married in 1991.

J: Also, Raj Babbar and Nadira Zaheer, Nadira Zaheer met Raj Babbar in 1975, in the National School of Drama. At that time, she was already an established actor-director, while he was just a student.

S: Unable to forget, our ex- ace cricketer, Mohammad Azharuddin and Sangeeta Bijlani!

R: Their love story seemed quite unbelievable to many in the beginning, as Sangeeta was dating Salman Khan at that time and Azharuddin was already married. After a long period of denial, the two finally tied the knot in 1996, as he divorced his first wife. Azhar and Sangeeta got divorced in 2010.

S: What about, Mohsin Khan and Reena Roy?

R: When this Bollywood actress was linked up with a Pakistani cricketer, there obviously were a lot of issues. But, the couple got married in 1983, and later shifted to Bombay. However, the marriage did not last for long and they later got divorced.

And our superstar, Hrithik Roshan and Sussanne Khan, Even though the couple recently parted ways, they were once an example of true love and commitment. They got married in 2000 and got divorced in 2014. They have two sons.

M: Urmila Matondkar and Mir Mohsin Akhtar, They are the latest entrants on our list of Bollywood couples who had an interfaith marriage. The 90s heroine, Urmila Matondkar got married quite recently to her boyfriend, Mir Mohsin Akhtar in a private ceremony. While Urmila is a Hindu, her husband is a Kashmiri Muslim. Even the fact that Urmila is 10 years his senior did not deter him, and they tied the knot.

M: The last one is of course, who we discussed earlier….Sanjay Dutt and Dilnawaz Sheikh (Maanyata), Maanyata, whose real name is Dilnawaz Sheikh. She was a junior artiste and dancer. She appeared in a dance in ’Gangajal’ movie. They got married despite different religious backgrounds and a whopping 19-year-old age gap.

J: Yes, now let’s hear more about this super brat, now, 60 years old, but still called Baba!!

S: Well, Richard and Melvin, shoot…!

R: Sanju was a child at heart. He never grew up. He lost his wife too early to cancer. Richa Sharma was Dev Saab’s protégé. Sunju fell in love. Then came the Madhuri scenario. Neither of them ever confirmed the existence of this relationship but it was said that the two were deeply in love. Sanjay and Madhuri starred in films like Khatron Ke Khiladi (1988), Ilaaka (1989), Kanoon Apna Apna (1989), Thanedaar (1990), Saajan (1991) and Khalnayak (1993) among others and it was their camaraderie on the sets that led to such speculation.

M: Films like Sadak (1991), Yalgaar (1992), Gumrah (1993) cemented his position in Bollywood but things were about to get rocky soon. Khalnayak (1993) was about to release when Sanjay’s involvement in the 1993 bomb blasts of Mumbai started doing the rounds. Sanjay’s connection with the underworld came under the radar and since he was already known as a brat, it didn’t come as a shock to many that Dutt was involved in a heinous crime. He was arrested under Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act or TADA as weapons like AK-47 had been found in his possession.

Sanjay Dutt married Manyata Dutt in 2008. The two became the proud parents of a boy named Shahraan and a girl named Iqra in October 2010. Sanjay was doing extremely well in his career until the hearings for the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts started again. He featured in films like Dhamaal (2007), All The Best: Fun Begins (2009) and Agneepath (2012).

His performance and look in Agneepath was loved and appreciated by all. It was during the shoot of Rajkumar Hirani’s PK, that Dutt was sentenced to prison again. He finished his ongoing assignments and could not start any venture until his sentence was finished. PK released in 2014 and Dutt was serving his time in prison then. His Munnabhai MBBS was a great success.

The second instalment of the franchise was also a success. But, as the situation unfolds, again he is in trouble. He is diagnosed with lung cancer. He has come out with a message to his fans that, He has recovered and will be back in action soon! The boy in Sanju is very much like the child next door!

He is still a small kiddo!! But, having learnt his lessons, soon He will reign supreme, provided his smoking habits are kicked off! Or again he will go on coughing himself to death!!

J: Let’s wish him a speedy recovery and a great career success!! Let’s get into action now, dinner is ready. Waiting to be attacked.

(All the four rushed to the dinner table)

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