Zeenat Aman: How a free-spirited actress onscreen was shackled in loveless marriage

She is fearless, she is trendsetter, she is bold, she is iconic… she is Zeenat Aman! This name reminds everyone about a young, urban chick in her early 20s, holding a guitar, puckering her glossy lips, and wooing her crush onscreen by singing churaa liyaa hai tumne jo dil ko…

Born on 19th November 1951, in Germany, Zeenat Aman started her career as a journalist in a renowned magazine named Femina, and kept herself occupied with miscellaneous modelling projects. Her flamboyant personality and alluring beauty made her the winner of Miss Asia Pacific International in 1970.

What seemed like an independent personality and a basket of sunny smiles from a distance, was no less than any other woman falling for the wrong men at the wrong time, always. Despite her confident, outgoing and westernized outlook, Zeenat Aman often had a tough time when it came to her love-life.

Unlike many other celebrities trying to make it big in Bollywood, most of Zeenat’s struggles were related to personal life and seldom professional. On the sets of Abdullah, Zeenat Aman lost her heart to an already married actor named Sanjay Khan. Although he had three children from his first wife, his marital status didn’t stop him from starting a relationship with Zeenat Aman.

If reports are to be believed, to say the least, Sanjay Khan was extremely brutal, violent and abusive towards Zeenat Aman. There are many rumoured versions behind unprecedented episode of physical violence at Hotel Taj in Mumbai, which left the actress with multiple injuries and an irreparable vision. While her jaw was set right with surgery, no doctor could fix her eye with which the bold actress used to pierce directly through hundreds of cameras.

Despite many warnings against her decision to marry Sanjay Khan, the veteran actress defended her choice by saying,” I love this man. Don’t you understand? I will back his every move and I will make him a king one day”.

The tragic tales of this gorgeous and free-spirited actress didn’t end with her divorce, it rather deteriorated her personal life further. After a brief fling with Pakistani cricketer Imran Khan, Zeenat, once again, tied the nuptial knots with not-so-known actor, Mazhar Khan in 1985. She was on the peak of her career when she made yet another mistake in her quest for “true love”.

Being subject to domestic violence on regular basis, Zeenat Aman’s marriage was anything but happy. She had three children in this marriage but she labelled her decision as one of the biggest mistakes of her life.

Speaking to a popular daily, the veteran actress shared, “Mazhar never wanted me to grow as an individual or as an artist. He always wanted me to be with the kids and be at home. During the very first year of marriage I realised I had made a huge mistake, but I decided to live by it and make it work. I tried to make it work for another 12 years. There was no light at the end of the tunnel for me. There was not a single moment of happiness or joy during those 12 years. But I still tried making it work.”

While doing everything in her capacity to save her loveless and unhappy marriage, this B-town diva lost her energy, time, and whatever was left with her. In one of the interviews, she recalled her life decisions and said,” “I have always let my heart rule my head, but if I could rewind and start afresh, I would listen to my mother. I would agree and follow whatever she told me.”