Unrequited love can’t get any more frightening than this. Singer-actress Sulakshana Pandit had a budding career in the 1970s. In fact, she was the first singing-star of Hindi cinema since Suraiya. While her songs like Beqaraar dil tu gayeja (Door Ka Rahi), Maana teri nazar mein tera pyar hum nahin (Ahista Ahista), Baandhi re kahe preet (Sankoch), Somwar ko hum miley manglwaar ko nain (Apnaaapan) and Ghadi milan ki aayee (Ek Baap Chhe Bete) became chartbusters, her starring roles in films like Uljhan, Apnaapan, Phansi and Hera Pheri made her quite the box-office favourite.
It was during the making of the suspense thriller Uljhan that Sulakshana fell in love with Sanjeev Kumar, a love that destroyed her life. Her single-minded devotion to the actor went completely unreciprocated, as Sanjeev had eyes only for Hema Malini.
It was a bizarre quadrangle. Sulakashana loved only Sanjeev Kumar who loved only Hema who loved none but Dharmendra. Sulakshana kept hoping against hope that Sanjeev would change his mind. Since food was Sanjeev’s weakness she personally cooked and carried his favourite dishes to his shootings, hoping that the belief that the way to man’s heart was through his stomach would be proven correct.
Alas, the food did nothing to Sanjeev’s heart except create calorie clots. He died of heart complications leaving Sulakshana heartbroken for life. In his defense, Sanjeev never kept Sulakshana in the dark, never misled her into believing that he could return her feelings
Her sister Vijayta Pandit told me, “Sulakshana Didi was never the same after Sanjeev Kumar turned her love down. She rapidly lost touch with reality. It came to a point where she couldn’t stay on her own. So in 2006, we brought her to our home. She has been staying with me for several years now. She doesn’t meet anyone, hardly ever steps out of her room, unless it is to occasionally visit our farm-house in Lonavala which she loves.”
What a tragic love story this turned out to be!
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