Actor Nanda Karnataki, who was engaged to filmmaker Manmohan Desai never got married after his sudden death following their engagement. On Manmohan’s 28th death anniversary, Nanda’s brother Jayprakash Winayak gave a closer look at their love story, revealing how the two met and fell in love with each other. Read More: Rishi Kapoor remembers Manmohan Desai on his birth anniversary with a throwback pic: ‘He worked with all the Kapoor’s’
Nanda, who appeared in films such as Chhoti Bahen, Dhool Ka Phool, Bhabhi, Kala Bazar, Kanoon, Hum Dono, Jab Jab Phool Khile, Gumnaam, Ittefaq, The Train and others, fell in love with filmmaker Manmohan in the late 80s. In 1992, Nanda got engaged to Manmohan but in 1994, just two years after their engagement, Manmohan died after accidentally collapsing from a balcony. After his death, Nanda never got married. In 2014, she died after suffering a heart attack.
In an interview with Pinkvilla, Nanda’s brother Jayprakash recalled his sister’s love story with Manmohan. He said Manmohan’s son with his first wife Jeevanprabhaji, took actor Waheeda Rehman’s help to unite his father with Nanda.
Jayprakash recalled, “So, Waheedaji organised a small dinner. After dinner, they left didi and Manji alone. Manji then revealed his feelings to didi saying, ‘I want to marry you’. Didi said she’d first have to consult her family. On her return that night, I was the first one with whom she discussed the proposal. I said Manji was a respected filmmaker, a wonderful person and a charming personality and that she should go ahead. ‘I want to see you settled,’ I said. Gradually, the family was involved. After their approval, didi called up Waheedaji and said she was for it. The second meeting was held at our place. didi wanted a traditional wedding.”
Jayprakash further revealed that after Manmohan’s death Nanda lived a life of a widow. He said, “Didi was shattered. After that day, she never wore coloured clothes. She’d say, Maine unko pati maana hai aur woh hamesha mere pati rahenge (In my mind I was already married to him. He will always be my husband)’. The white libaas (garment) was her answer to all those who, in the coming years, suggested that she get married again. She stopped meeting people because she didn’t want any discussion on the same topic. She largely remained at home. She almost imprisoned herself. She was passionate about travel but after Manji, she gave up on that. She stopped visiting theatres to watch films, something she once loved. She arranged for a home theatre instead. She loved diamonds but later lost interest in them. ‘Ab kya rakkha hai!’ she’d remark. She lived like a sanyasin (saint).”
Some of Manmohan’s known works include films such as, Amar Akbar Anthony, Parvarish, Suhaag, Naseeb, Desh Premee, Coolie, Aa Gale Lag Jaa Mard, Ganga Jamuna Saraswati and many more.