| Aamir with Reena in Hollywood in March. (Reuters)
Bandra family court
Petition no. F-4992
Filed on November 27, 2002
Aamir Khan Vs Reena Khan
It’s official. Actor Aamir Khan and his wife of 16 years, Reena, have jointly filed for divorce.
The reason, says the petition, is that the marriage, solemnised on April 18, 1986, could not work because of “disputes and differences between them”. “Irreconcilable differences arose between them on account of temperamental differences, making it impossible for them to live together,” it states.
Few are willing to add anything to that. Not even advocate Mrinalini Deshmukh, counsel to both Aamir and Reena. “Refer to the court documents, I have nothing further to add,” she said.
But over the past few months, Bollywood insiders have had plenty to say on it. Frenzied speculation about one of the more enduring marriages in filmdom followed as Aamir and Reena began living apart about a year ago.
Gossip columns went to town, insinuating that the method-actor was into new philandering ways, saying he was showering his attention on a PYT in the modelling circuit.
They reported about his involvement with actress Preity Zinta. Both were hotly denied.
Aamir, who swept into the hearts of teenaged girls over a decade ago with his rosy-lipped, innocent good looks in Qayamat Se Qatamat Tak, kept insisting throughout that his marriage was “intact”.
The doubters were left guessing as husband and wife teamed up to produce Lagaan, and then put up a perfect show of togetherness at the Oscars. But those moments of glory are now proving to have been the swansong.
Even as the chatterati went into overdrive, both refused to say anything against each other in public, choosing instead a dignified way to part ways.
Aamir and Reena fell in love in their teens, while living in opposite buildings in Bandra’s Pali Hills. They married secretly —much before Aamir became the “chocolate boy” of Indian Imagination — as Reena’s conservative Hindu family had reservations about it. The families were informed only after they had exchanged vows in a small ceremony attended by a few friends.
It seems both the actor and his wife tried hard not to let their marriage go the way many Bollywood unions have gone. The petition mentions that “innumerable efforts have been made by the petitioners themselves, their friends, their families to sort out the problems. In fact, both parties also took professional guidance, but were unable to reconcile. The petitioners have, therefore, realised and decided that the only solution is to bring the marriage to an end and part ways forever”.
According to the terms agreed mutually, Reena, formerly Reena Datta, will have custody of their children — Junaid, 9, and Aira, 4. Aamir will have access to the children thrice a week — on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays — from 6 to 8 pm.
He has also retained the right to meet his kids on alternate weekends every month, from 7 pm on Friday till 6 pm on Sunday.
The agreement further states that the estranged couple will “share summer and Christmas vacations equally with their children”. They will also have “access” to their children for the entire Diwali and Christmas vacations. The understanding is that if the children spend Diwali with Aamir one year, they can spend Christmas with Reena the next year.
The break-up hasn’t surprised Bollywood. As opposed to the few Fevicol marriages, tinsel town has a long history to divorces right from Madhubala to Kishore Kumar, from Rekha to Vinod Mehra, Manoj Bajpai to Pooja Bedi recently. In fact, the split might even add grist to the rumour mills, already working double shift.
As a page three regular said: “Look, Aamir eloped with Reena and married her, but that was 16 years ago. There’s a lot Aamir was exposed to after that. Success has all kinds of side effects. And as Sushmita Sen once said, ‘Every relationship comes with an expiry date.’ So there you are.”
Its Akele Hum Akele Tum again for Aamir Khan, only this time it’s for real and not on reel. Or is it'