By Atul Mishra Last Updated:
If there is anything that Bollywood is known for all around the world, it's the love stories that our films portray on the big screen. And the one man who should be credited for giving us some iconic love stories is none other than Yash Chopra.
The first Indian to get a lifetime membership in BAFTA and the recipient of the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2001, Yash Chopra's films still inspire many scripts and stories in Bollywood. And today, on the occasion of his 86th birthday, we have brought you his love story with his wife, Pamela Yash Chopra. So, without further ado, here is Yash Chopra and Pamela Chopra's beautiful love story.
In an interview with Rediff, Pamela Chopra had opened about the first time she had laid her eyes on Yash Chopra. The playback singer had revealed that it was at a cricket event in Delhi. But that wasn't the time when the two met face to face. Pamela Chopra had recalled:
“I first saw him at this star cricket show in Delhi. Two of my cousins were completely star-struck and they wanted to go for this show. My father, being a military officer, had easy access, so he got us three passes. Yash was seated just a few rows in front of us. My cousins pointed him out to me. Yash turned around and saw us. My cousins were very pretty and you know, he had an eye for pretty girls, so he kept turning around throughout the match. But we did not meet or talk to each other”.
Adding further as to when she had met face to face with Yash Chopra for the first time, Pamela had told that it was a sangeet event in Mumbai. She had said:
“I think the first time I spoke to him was at Yashji's niece's wedding sangeet. I was in Mumbai for my holidays and staying at Simi's (Simi Garewal, they are cousins) home. They were invited and took me along. They said I would be a great asset as I sing Punjabi songs. I met him very briefly at first. He was too busy trying to convince Hema Malini to do a film. He and Hema were on the balcony the whole time. He came in only when the singing started. I was singing. He came up to me and complimented me on my singing. That was it”.
Pamela Chopra had also added in her revelation that even though she knew Yash Chopra was a filmmaker, she was not a fan of him. She had stated:
“I was a complete film buff. Every Friday when a film released, we would watch the matinee show. But I was not a Yash Chopra fan; I was more of a Raj Kapoor fan”.
Not many know that the man known for his love stories had an arranged marriage himself. When Pamela Chopra was asked to surface some details about her arranged marriage with Yash Chopra, an elated singer had shared:
“Our families had a common friend in (actor) Romesh Sharma's mother. She had seen me at a wedding in Delhi where I was singing and thought I would be ideal for Yash. She was not wrong because we had a wonderful marriage. She rang up bhabhiji (B R Chopra's wife) in Mumbai and told her about me. As luck would have it, Yash was coming to Delhi for auditions”.
Going further in the interview, Pamela Chopra had also opened up about the time when she and her parents had gone to meet Yash Chopra and his family. When Pamela was asked what had happened at the meeting between the two families, she had said:
“Romesh and his father came to meet me at work. I was working with British Airways at the time. They took me out for lunch. They did not mention Yashji at all. Romesh Sharma is a very entertaining person and we had a wonderful time. They told bhabiji that I was working, had short hair! Then my parents and I went to meet him. That meeting was a disaster because he wouldn't speak. They left us alone and we did not have a word to say to each other. After an embarrassing silence, he said, 'I suppose we have met before.' I asked, 'Where?' He said 'I met you twice, first at the cricket match (where I thought he was looking at my pretty cousins) and the second, at my niece's wedding sangeet.' When I came back home, my parents asked what I thought of him. I said, 'Theek hain, nothing great.' He told his family, 'Ghanti nahi baji (The bell didn't ring, meaning it didn't work for him).”
So, how exactly did the two end up being together? On being asked this, Pamela Chopra had recalled the time when she had witnessed a completely different side of Yash Chopra, both from inside and outside. While talking about the same, she had said:
“Yash missed his flight and had to spend another day in Delhi, so another meeting was arranged. This time, it went very well. I saw a completely different side of Yash. He was wearing a lungi and kurta, sitting on the floor and playing a chamach on the dholki and Romesh's sister was playing the dholak and they were singing. It was great fun. We were relaxed because we thought that this match won't happen. When you meet someone for matrimony, there is a certain tension. This time, there was no tension because we had both decided we were not going to go ahead with the wedding. Strangely enough, I started liking him and he reciprocated. He went to Mumbai and told his family 'Ghanti baj gayi ('The bell has rung)”.
When Pamela Chopra was questioned whether her life had changed after her marriage with an established filmmaker like Yash Chopra, the doting wife gave an interesting answer. Denying the changes, Pamela had opened up about her life after marriage with her husband, Yash Chopra. She had explained:
“It didn't. There was some unpleasantness between Yash and his brother (B R Chopra). All the discipline I had learned I brought to my household. Of course, there used to be story sessions in the house which would upset the routine completely. Four, five writers would arrive early in the morning and sit till late. I had to arrange lunch for all. That was a little disturbing. There were also music sittings at home. I loved listening, but he never invited me to be part of it, so I would be in the bedroom. When he realised I was interested in music, he would play the song for me if he had recorded it”.
On being asked whether it was disturbing for her to have no privacy in her own home because of her husband, Yash Chopra's professional commitments? Answering this, Pamela Chopra had stated that she had a different approach to that situation and had shared a few tricks on how she used to tackle it. She had said:
“Yes, but I realised early in my married life that if I want any part of Yash, I would have to join him in his work otherwise I would never get to see him. He was the kind of guy, who, in the middle of the night, would get up and start scribbling something and then go back to sleep. He was very involved with his first independent film (Daag: A Poem Of Love, 1973). Since it was his first film outside B R Films, he had to prove himself. Slowly, he started involving me”.
In the same interview, Pamela Chopra was also asked whether her husband, Yash Chopra was as romantic as his movie characters in real life too or not? Addressing this, Pamela had shared an interesting detail about her husband's personality and had revealed:
“He was romantic in his movies, but in real life, he was a very practical man. There was a child inside him, like if he was hungry he had to eat at that very moment. If he was sleepy, he would just leave everything and go to sleep. He was a completely different person at home and at work. At work, he was very efficient, and in control of things. At home, he didn't bother. He allowed me to manage the house the way I wanted to”.
Pamela Chopra had never complained about her married life with Yash Chopra, but there was one issue that had always bothered her. Revealing the thing that would upset her the most was when her husband used to forget their children's birthdays. She had recalled:
“The only thing that would upset me was if he missed birthdays of the children because they were so attached to him. Adi would be very disappointed. It happened once or twice. He never encouraged coming on the sets. Actually in the Chopra family, they never liked their women coming on the sets. We would go on the outdoor shoots. When the children started going to school, they could go on outdoor shoots during the holidays only”.
Going further in the interview, Pamela Chopra had also recalled the time when she used to be at home, taking care of their kids, Aditya and Uday, while Yash Chopra was out filming movies. However, in her revelation, Pamela had shared that her husband wasn't even aware of their kids' class and had never attended any parent-teacher meeting. Pamela had stated:
“Yes, I was at home taking care of my two children, Aditya and Uday. It was not difficult at all. I knew he would not be hands on with the kids because he was in his own world. My husband didn't even know what class they were in, never went to a parent-teacher meeting. But I never complained. Switzerland happened because we could no longer go to Kashmir. That was the only reason”.
Pamela Chopra, on being asked if her husband, Yash Chopra's daily routine, which had gone by around many gorgeous actresses, had ever bothered her. In response to this, she had quipped:
“Sometimes, yes it did (laughs). All the pretty ones made me jealous. He would pay them a lot of attention. Later, I got used to it because for Yash his family was also very important”.
In the same interview, Pamela Chopra had also addressed her husband, Yash Chopra's famous alleged fling with the legendary actress, Mumtaz. Opening up about the same, Pamela had stated that even before her marriage with Yash Chopra, she had also heard rumours of him getting married to a famous actress of that era. Recalling the same, she had said:
“Actually, there was more gossip before I got married. There was this gossip that he was involved with this heroine and they were on the verge of getting married. In fact, that was the only question I asked Romesh when he met me. I asked him what is this thing between Mumtaz (Mumtaz worked with Yash Chopra in the 1969 film Aadmi Aur Insaan) and Yash? He said it was nothing. He said Mumtaz is not a filmi, dainty heroine type at all and they are very good friends. He said there was nothing more. That is not the truth, but never mind”.
Everyone is aware of the fact that Yash Chopra was famous for his aggressive management on the sets of his films, as he used to fire people from their jobs in split seconds. However, Pamela Chopra had insisted that her husband had changed quite drastically after their marriage and had softened with time. She had explained:
“It was a remarkable change. When I was not married to him, he was an angry man on the sets. Any mistake from anyone on the sets or from the production, and he would fire that person. He was famous for not having lunch breaks when he was shooting outdoors. He was a very hard taskmaster. But slowly, he softened”.
On being asked that Chopra bahus don't go on the sets after marriage. However, Rani Mukerji had worked as a leading actress even after her marriage to Aditya Chopra, breaking the long-lasting tradition in the Chopra family. Addressing Rani Mukerji's choice, Pamela Chopra had said:
“I don't have any problem with that. There was a tradition in the Chopra family that the Chopra women don't act or go on the sets. But in the face of love, you don't make such stupid distinctions”.
Elaborating further if Rani is the kind of bahu she had always dreamed of, Pamela Chopra had given an interesting answer, calling her daughter-in-law the 'best wife' for her son, Aditya Chopra. She had explained:
“I don't know about that. I can tell you that she is the perfect wife for Adi. Adi is a different person these days. He is so happy, always smiling. When he was younger, he would sing walking up the stairs; he has started doing that again. He danced at his wedding! (laughs). She has changed him for the better. And if he is happy, why should I not be happy?”
This was the love story of the man, Yash Chopra, who had given some of the greatest love stories to Indian cinema and had also shaped the world of romance for every person of this nation.