'Parveen Babi believed in sexual fidelity...': Kabir Bedi on why he ended 'open marriage' with ex-wife Protima
'Parveen Babi believed in sexual fidelity...': Kabir Bedi on why he ended 'open marriage' with ex-wife Protima

Veteran actor Kabir Bedi's long-awaited autobiography 'Stories I Must Tell: The Emotional Journey of an Actor' is all set to hit the bookshelves.

In his memoir, the actor talks about his 'open marriage' with Odissi dancer Protima Gupta, the reason they decided to part ways and also his affair with late actress Parveen Babi.

In the excerpts published by a leading daily read, Kabir talks about how his marriage with Protima failed after 'a lack of intimacy' between them.

"Our open marriage may have seemed like a good idea at first. In the end, it only caused me greater anxiety. It had led to a lack of intimacy between us. I didn’t feel the love that I wanted, the caring and sharing I needed. Nor was I able to give it. The old magic had gone. I was feeling alone, empty and dejected," he says in the book.

For the unversed, Kabir and Protima, parents to actress Pooja Bedi, got divorced in 1977.

Bedi then talks about how he fell in love with Parveen Babi and adds, "Parveen Babi filled that void. She was a ravishingly beautiful actress with fair skin, long black hair and dark, mesmerising eyes. Until then, I’d always thought of her as ‘the girlfriend of Danny Denzongpa’. He was a good-looking Sikkimese actor, two years younger than me, a year older than Parveen. In the years ahead, he would become a highly successful villain in Bollywood and be nominated for many Filmfare Awards."

He further writes, "Parveen began her rapid rise to stardom during their four years together. Her living openly with Danny, wearing jeans and smoking in public, had given her a bohemian image in India. But, morally, she was a conservative Gujarati girl. While the rest of the Juhu gang talked about the ‘free sex’ preaching of Guru Osho, she believed in sexual fidelity. It’s what I was looking for when I fell in love with her."

In the memoir, Kabir Bedi also shared details of the night he told Protima about his feelings for Parveen.

"There was no easy way to break the news," he writes as he shares the intimate conversation they had that night.

He writes, "I knew I was ending a relationship where we’d shared life-changing experiences together, happy and unhappy, moral and immoral, for six tumultuous years. But I didn’t want to show vulnerability. I had to be strong to end it. I held her by the shoulders to embrace her goodbye. She clung to me and burst out crying. Then she sat down on the bed and sighed deeply before she spoke. ‘Please leave me alone now,’ she said in a firm voice as tears welled in her eyes. ‘Leave me alone. Please go!’ Our ‘open marriage’ was over."

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Free Press Journal