Explained: The Complicated Deol Family Dynamic

Explained: The Complicated Deol Family Dynamic

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Dharmendra married Prakash Kaur in 1954 and Hema Malini in 1980. The two sections of the family have always remained at a safe distance

Explained: The Complicated Deol Family Dynamic

It is the late 1960s and Dharmendra – an actor in his thirties – is the heartthrob of the nation. He has got the looks, the swagger and the acting chops and the next two decades only cement his position as one of the most popular stars in India. In 1980, the actor goes on to marry Hema Malini, a superstar known among cinema lovers as the ultimate “Dream Girl.” The couple has been loved and admired by fans for their chemistry and work together in several iconic films. While this may sound no different from many of Bollywood’s fairytale romances that have led to marriage – there is a catch. Dharmendra was already married and had four children.

Dharmendra married Prakash Kaur in 1954 at the age of 19 before he joined films. The couple even welcomed four children together – Sunny, Bobby Vijeeta and Ajeeta. The actor also has two daughters – Esha and Ahana – with Hema Malini. Sunny Deol and Bobby Deol are movie stars and so is Esha Deol. 

Dharmendra did not separate from Prakash Kaur following his marriage to Hema Malini. As a result, the blended family and their dynamics have often been the cynosure of all eyes. Now, weeks after the wedding of Dharmendra’s grandson – and Sunny Deol’s son – Karan, the Deol family is making headlines once again.

Hema Malini and her daughters’ absence at Karan Deol’s wedding further confirmed the notion that the two arms of Dharmendra’s family keep each other at a safe distance.

Karan Deol’s wedding and Hema Malini’s absence

More lenses were trained on the Deol family when days after the wedding, Dharmendra shared a rather cryptic note addressing Hema Malini and his daughters. Posting an image with daughter Esha Deol, the actor said, “Esha, Ahana, Hema and all my darling kids …loving Takhtani’s and Vohra’s l love you and respect you all from the core of my heart…age and illness is telling upon me I could have spoken personally to you…but…” For context, Esha Deol is married to Bharat Takhtani, and Ahana Deol is married to Vaibhav Vohra.

In response, Esha Deol shared a post for her father. Sharing an image from her wedding, she wrote, “Love you papa. You are the best. Love you unconditionally and you know that . Cheer up and always be happy and healthy. Love you.”

In order to understand the Deol family dynamics, let us take a look at the members of the family and how their relationship has played out over the years.

Dharmendra, Prakash Kaur and Hema Malini

Needless to say, Dharmendra’s wedding to Hema Malini was mired in controversy due to the presence of his first family. As the issue played out in the media, Prakash Kaur – who is a notoriously private person and seldom caught on camera – reportedly spoke up in her husband’s defence. As per an India Today report, she said, “Why only my husband, any man would have preferred Hema to me. How dare anyone call my husband a womaniser when half the industry is doing the same thing? All the heroes are having affairs and getting married a second time…He may not be the best husband, though he is very good to me, but he is certainly the best father. His children love him a lot. He never neglects them.”

Meanwhile, Hema Malini also spoke about her equation with Prakash Kaur on an episode of Rendezvous With Simi Garewal.When asked if she ever felt jealous of Dharmendra’s first wife, she said, “Not at all. That’s why I am the happiest person today. In love, you are only supposed to give and not demand things. You love the person so much and you have got so much love from the person, so how can you torture your person for these small petty things?”

Several decades later, at Karan Deol’s wedding earlier this month, images of Dharmendra and the usually recluse Prakash Kaur went viral on social media. Take a look:

Sunny Deol and Bobby Deol

Dharmendra’s two sons – Sunny Deol and Bobby Deol – followed in their father’s footsteps and became actors. The two stars have also kept their personal life protected from the media glare. 

Sunny Deol, in particular, is rarely seen with his wife Pooja Deol in public. Therefore, fans were in for a treat when the couple was caught on camera together at their son Karan Deol’s wedding. Like her mother-in-law, Pooja Deol too is rarely caught on camera.

Sunny Deol and Pooja have two sons together, Karan and Rajveer. Karan Deol made his debut as an actor in 2019. Bobby Deol is married to Tanya Deol and the couple are a regular fixture on the actor’s Instagram timeline. They have two sons named Aryaman Deol and Dharam Deol. Sunny and Bobby’s sisters Ajeeta and Vijeeta have lived an extremely personal life, away from media attention. 

“Cordial relationship with Sunny Deol”: Hema Malini

The Deol brothers – despite being in the same industry –  have rarely spoken about Hema Malini and seldom have they been clicked together by paparazzi. However, when asked about her dynamics with Sunny Deol at the launch of her biography, Hema Malini said, “Everyone wonders what kind of a relationship we (Sunny and I) are having. It is very beautiful and cordial. Whenever it is necessary, he (Sunny) is always there, along with Dharamji, especially when this accident happened,” referring to an accident she sustained in 2015. “He (Sunny) was the first person to come and see me at home and he saw that the right doctor was there for the stitches that were done on my face. I was really taken aback to see him showing so much interest. That shows what kind of a relationship we are having.”

Esha Deol

Esha Deol, Hema Malini’s daughter, also pursued a career in films and was a part of successful projects such as Dhoom. The actress has also maintained that she has a cordial relationship with her half-brothers. In Hema Malini’s biography Hema Malini: Beyond the Dream Girl, Esha Deol even shared that she ties a rakhi to Sunny and Bobby and explained that she looks up to Sunny as a “father figure.” , she was quoted as saying, “I don’t need to tell the world about the relationship between myself and my half-brothers. I know the world talks about our relationships in different ways. But the Deol family members do not want to show off their relationships.”

However, fans speculated that things were far from perfect when both Sunny Deol and Bobby Deol were a no-show at Esha and Ahana’s weddings.

While Esha Deol has responded to her father’s most recent Instagram post, the Deol brothers have been tight-lipped about Hema Malini’s absence at Karan Deol’s wedding.

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