Mukesh Aggarwal was a successful entrepreneur who made a fortune in the kitchenware industry. He was also a man who craved fame and glamour, and wanted to be associated with celebrities. He got his wish when he married Rekha, one of the most popular and controversial actresses of Bollywood, in a hush-hush ceremony in 1990. But their marriage was short-lived and tragic, as Mukesh suffered from chronic depression and hanged himself with Rekha’s dupatta in his bedroom, leaving behind a note that said he did not blame anyone for his death.
Who was Mukesh Aggarwal?
Mukesh Aggarwal was born into a middle-class Bania family in Delhi. He dropped out of school at the age of 13 and did various odd jobs before starting his own business of manufacturing kitchenware under the brand name Hotline in the late 1970s. His business flourished and he became a millionaire, expanding his empire to hotels, restaurants, real estate and airlines. He also had a passion for flying and owned a private jet.
Mukesh was ambitious and flamboyant, and loved to throw lavish parties for his friends and acquaintances. He was fascinated by the world of cinema and wanted to mingle with the stars. He would invite any celebrity who was in town to his parties, and would try to impress them with his wealth and generosity. He was also fond of travelling and would often fly to different countries for vacations or business deals.
How did he meet Rekha?
Rekha was one of the most sought-after actresses of Bollywood in the 1980s. She had started her career as a child artist and had worked in over 100 films, winning several awards and accolades. She was also known for her beauty, style and charisma, as well as her controversial personal life. She had been linked with many co-stars, including Amitabh Bachchan, with whom she had a rumored affair that made headlines for years. She had also been married briefly to Vinod Mehra, another actor, but their marriage was not recognized by their families or the law.
Rekha met Mukesh Aggarwal through a mutual friend, astrologer Suresh Chandra Sharma, in 1988. Sharma had predicted that Rekha would marry a businessman who would be very wealthy and famous. He introduced her to Mukesh, who was smitten by her at first sight. He pursued her relentlessly, sending her flowers, gifts, letters and phone calls. He also proposed to her several times, but she rejected him politely. She considered him a friend and a well-wisher, but nothing more.
However, Mukesh did not give up on his love for Rekha. He convinced her to accompany him on a trip to London in 1990, where he proposed to her again. This time, Rekha agreed to marry him, partly because she was lonely and insecure after her affair with Amitabh Bachchan had ended, and partly because she wanted to settle down with someone who would give her respect and stability. She also felt sorry for Mukesh, who had confessed to her that he suffered from depression and suicidal tendencies, and needed her support.
What happened after their marriage?
Rekha and Mukesh got married in a simple ceremony at Mukesh’s farmhouse in Delhi on March 10, 1990. The wedding was kept a secret from the media and the public, as both of them wanted to avoid any controversy or gossip. Only their close friends and family members were present at the occasion.
The newlyweds flew to Mumbai after their wedding, where they faced the paparazzi for the first time as a couple. They also hosted a grand reception for their friends from the film industry at a five-star hotel. Rekha looked radiant and happy in a red sari and gold jewelry, while Mukesh looked proud and elated by her side.
However, their marital bliss did not last long. Soon after their honeymoon, cracks began to appear in their relationship. Rekha realized that she had made a mistake by marrying Mukesh, who turned out to be possessive, insecure and obsessive about her. He wanted her to give up her acting career and stay at home as his wife. He also wanted her to cut off all ties with her friends and colleagues, especially Amitabh Bachchan, whom he hated and feared. He would monitor her phone calls, check her mail, and follow her wherever she went. He would also accuse her of having affairs with other men, and threaten to kill himself if she ever left him.
Rekha was suffocated and scared by Mukesh’s behavior. She tried to reason with him, and also sought professional help for his mental condition. She also continued to work in films, as she had signed some contracts before her marriage. She hoped that things would get better with time, and that Mukesh would understand and trust her.
How did he die?
Mukesh Aggarwal’s depression worsened as his marriage with Rekha deteriorated. He felt insecure and jealous of her fame and popularity, and also feared that she would divorce him and go back to Amitabh Bachchan. He also faced some financial troubles in his business, and was under pressure from his creditors. He became more erratic and violent, and started abusing Rekha verbally and physically.
Rekha decided to end her marriage with Mukesh, and filed for divorce in September 1990. She also moved out of his house, and went to London for a film shoot. She hoped that the separation would give them some space and time to sort out their issues.
However, Mukesh could not bear the thought of losing Rekha. He became more depressed and suicidal, and started calling her incessantly, begging her to come back to him. He also wrote several letters to her, expressing his love and remorse. He also tried to contact Amitabh Bachchan, and blamed him for ruining his marriage.
On October 2, 1990, Mukesh Aggarwal hanged himself with Rekha’s dupatta in his bedroom at his farmhouse in Delhi. He left behind a suicide note that said he did not blame anyone for his death, not even Rekha. He also requested that his body be cremated without any rituals or ceremonies.
What was the aftermath of his death?
Mukesh Aggarwal’s death shocked the nation, and sparked a media frenzy. Rekha was blamed for his suicide, and vilified by the press and the public. She was called a witch, a vamp, a man-eater, a home-breaker, and a murderer. She was accused of using Mukesh for his money and fame, and then dumping him when she got bored of him. She was also accused of having an affair with Amitabh Bachchan, and driving Mukesh to kill himself out of jealousy.
Mukesh’s family also turned against Rekha, and accused her of being responsible for his death. His mother cursed her, saying that she had devoured her son, and that God would never forgive her. His brother claimed that Mukesh loved Rekha truly, but she did not care for him at all. He also demanded that she return all the gifts and jewelry that Mukesh had given her.
Rekha’s colleagues from the film industry also shunned her, and refused to work with her or support her. Some of them made derogatory remarks about her character and morality. Subhash Ghai said that Rekha had put a blot on the face of the film industry that would be difficult to wash away. He also said that no respectable family would accept any actress as their daughter-in-law after this incident. Anupam Kher said that Rekha had become the national vamp, and that it was curtains for her professionally and personally.
Rekha was devastated by Mukesh’s death, and the backlash that followed. She went into isolation, and avoided the media and the public. She did not attend Mukesh’s funeral, nor did she claim his body or belongings. She also did not speak about him or their marriage for a long time.
How did she cope with the tragedy?
Rekha gradually emerged from her grief and trauma, and resumed her acting career. She faced many challenges and obstacles, but she did not give up on herself or her work. She proved her critics wrong by delivering some of the best performances of her career in films like Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi (1996), Koi Mil Gaya (2003), Krrish (2006), Super Nani (2014) and Shamitabh (2015). She also won several awards and honors for her contribution to Indian cinema.
Rekha also rebuilt her image and reputation as a dignified and graceful woman, who did not let the past define or destroy her. She maintained a low profile in her personal life, but remained active in social causes and events. She also developed a close bond with her secretary Farzana, who became her manager and confidante.
Rekha never remarried after Mukesh Aggarwal’s death, nor did she have any other relationship. She said in an interview that she did not believe in marriage anymore, as it was a social institution that did not suit