Bollywood Buzz

Om Puri in no mood for reconciliation

It’s been a while since their marriage hit a rocky patch and the only reason why Om Puri and wife Nandita haven’t separated yet is their 15-year-old son Ishaan.

Yesterday though, TOI was surprised to chance upon Om at the Family Court in Bandra. After all, the actor had told this newspaper in June 2011 that Nandita and he had signed a MOU, where she had asked for two years before an official divorce, putting up certain conditions related to property etc. which he had agreed to. Later, in July 2011, we had reported that Nandita and her lawyer had received a letter from Om’s lawyer, asking her for a divorce. However, she didn’t consent at the time and a few months down the line, the couple decided to give their marriage a second chance. All was well for a while but by end-2011, the cracks in their relationship resurfaced.

Given this context, we were left wondering as to what Om was doing in court. After some digging, we found he had already filed for divorce in July 2012. Just that “he didn’t want to make a noise about it and hadn’t even told his close friends, which is why it never made it to the headlines till date,” Om’s friend revealed.

When contacted, Nandita confirmed Om wants to end their marriage. “But I have still not signed the papers. I am not taking this lying down. I have filed a legal suit against him under the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act,” she said. According to her, Om has stopped giving them money since September 2012. “Om wants us out from our Seven Bungalows flat. He wants his ex-wife Seema Kapoor to come and live with him,” she said, adding “Om does not attend the court many times, saying he is busy. If he is really busy, how come he has no money to give us? He can give financial aid to folk singers in Canada but not us,” she quipped.

On his part, Om, who was initially reluctant to speak, finally said, “Nandita is lying. I have been paying for her travel, all the bills, etc. I have coughed up Rs 350,000 for Ishaan’s education. And what is this rubbish about me wanting her and Ishaan out? I have four flats; three are in our joint name. She has rented out one of these to a friend, who is paying her a measly Rs 5000 per month.” He rubbished Nandita’s claims about having a lot of work saying, “I am doing only Punjabi films at the moment.”

So where is their marriage headed? Said Om, “Nandita painted a false picture of me in my biography ( Unlikely Hero: The Story of Om Puri), which she wrote despite my wanting Pawan Malhotra’s ex-wife Aparajita to pen it. She alleged I had a relationship with the maid when fact is, it was the matron, who was looking after my 80-year-old father. I was only 36 then and unmarried. Was it such a crime? My fans were put off from buying the book and my image was sullied.”

According to him, Nandita has a very bad temper and tends to get hysterical. “Currently, I am staying by myself in my fourth flat. I am 63 and have health issues. Please, I want some peace now,” he said. At Om’s response, Nandita shot back, “Om was a good husband until Seema Kapoor came back into his life in 2008. Our differences did not stem from the biography.”

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