Filmmaker Sanjay Khan’s recently-released autobiography, The Best Mistakes Of My Life, reads more like a PR release rather his life story. He’s so busy portraying himself as an ideal husband and father that he seems to have forgotten his very public affair with actress Zeenat Aman, which ended rather sordidly when the actor thrashed her at a Bollywood party while other guests looked on.
Khan, a father of four, and Aman were in a serious relationship from 1977 to 1980. And it was during this time that he embarked on his debut directorial venture, the ambitious Abdullah, which starred none other than Zeenat, Raj Kapoor and himself. The project overshot its budget and Zeenat ended up having to put a lot of her own money into it. It was then that things took an ugly turn. Sanjay Khan’s no-nonsense wife Zarine threatened to walk out on the marriage, and in an attempt to prove his loyalty, the director allegedly thrashed the daylights out of Zeenat before leaving her to bleed on the expensive carpet of a five-star hotel.
Talking about the incident that nearly cost Zeenat an eye, a close friend of the actress says, “Her eye was not the most precious loss she suffered that fateful evening when Sanjay Khan decided to prove his mardaangi. Any woman who is subjected to such public humiliation bears the scars for life. Zeenat has never forgotten the ugly incident, even though Sanjay Khan seems to have forgotten all about it.”
Ironically, during promotions for his sanitised autobiography, Khan was quoted saying, “I’ve always followed a principle: Never cross the line. Of course there were many beautiful women who would vie for me and try to get into my orbit, but I would not senselessly cheapen myself by falling into their hands… I always thought that if I ever went and slept with another woman, what would my children and my wife say…? The institution of marriage is being eroded and isn’t celebrated as it was in the earlier days, when it was marriage till death do us part. My personal advice to all youngsters who get married would be to do their best to make it work. When we could do it in our times, why can’t you?”
Zeenat’s close friend says that the actress laughed so hard when she read the mighty faithful Khan’s pearls of wisdom that her eyes filled up with tears — even the one that Khan slapped so hard that it has only ever opened partially since that day.