Neelima Azeem on her failed marriages with Pankaj Kapur and Rajesh Khattar: ‘Experienced grief, rejection, anxiety’


Neelima Azeem has opened up about her failed marriages. The actor was first married to Pankaj Kapur, with whom she had Shahid Kapoor, and then married to Rajesh Khattar, with whom she had Ishaan Khatter.

In a new interview, Neelima said that the failure of her first marriage hit her hard. Whereas, she felt that the second marriage could have worked had there been more control.

“I had this wonderful friend who I got married to, everything was just la-la-la-da-di-da, my parents were wonderful, I had a great crowd around me, toh mujhe ye pata hi nahi tha ke kuch zindagi mein aisa bhi ho sakta hai jisme pav phisal jaye aur hum dup kar ke ghir jaaye (I wasn’t aware that one could slip in life and fall flat). Aur rejection ka koi sawaal hi nahi hai (there was no question of rejection) because everybody used to love me and adore me and follow me around. So it was, in that way, when you’re young and full of beans, it was the first time when I actually experienced grief, sorrow, rejection, anxiety, pain and fear of the unknown and a whole lot of insecurity,” she said, speaking with Bollywood Bubble.

She said that the idea of living with her parents and raising a child by herself felt claustrophobic. “This was the first time when I slipped and fell on my face so to say. But I don’t see it as a terrible thing that happened to me in life. I just simply think that I needed that bump. We all must understand that we are not extraordinary or entitled, we are simply human beings that can be rejected. It took me a year-and-a-half after that to put myself together,” she added.

As for her marriage with Rajesh, Neelima said, “The second marriage would have lasted if certain things didn’t happen which were difficult to encounter… It was difficult, it was an impossible feat. I think it would have worked out if there was more control and more logic and sense it in. But it went, it flew out. And it happens in Bombay with all the struggle and with all the pressures, sometimes people succumb to it. But I have the ability to get up and start walking again, and I have these lovely boys in my life, my sons (Shahid and Ishaan), they were a great inspiration for me and a source of so much happiness and encouragement.”

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Today, Neelima is on cordial terms with Rajesh. She said that she shares a friendly bond with him and credited his wife Vandana Sajnani. “I’d like to give Vandana the credit here because Vandana is somebody who has always seeked me and I would say she has taken the initiative to be a friend of mine. And she respects me like as I am an elder in a family. She’s just always respected me and admired me and encouraged me to be there for her. I feel comfortable with Rajesh because of that,” she said.

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Shahid Kapoor and Mira Rajput pose with Neelima Azeem.
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Actor Shahid Kapoor and his wife, Mira Rajput, took to social media to post special birthday messages for his mother, Neelima Azeem. See their posts here.

Ishaan Khatter is proud of his mother Neelima Azeem.
Ishaan Khatter is proud of his mother Neelima Azeem.

Ishaan Khatter has shared a short video clip of his mother Neelima Azeem from her film Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare. The film released on Netflix on Friday and stars Neelima as Konkona Sen Sharma’s mother.



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