Both Govinda and Neelam are happily married today, however, there was a time when their off-screen chemistry was as much the talk of the town as their on-screen rapport. In fact, in an interview to Stardust magazine, Chi Chi had confessed about his feelings for the Love 86 actress and said, “She was the kind of woman any man would have lost his heart to. I lost mine.” It was a tell-all interview where the Kill Dil actor spoke extensively about his feelings for Neelam and his marriage with wife Sunita. While the actor revealed that it was his decision to marry girlfriend Sunita, he did also reveal that he couldn’t help but fall in love with Neelam, a co-star with whom he worked on many projects in the 80s.
The Partner hero in this throwback interview talked about how his relationship with wife Sunita was a calculated move. He said, “I had never meant to get so seriously involved with Sunita. I was looking for a girl to go around with. I had signed a few films by then, and one day, my elder brother Kirti came to visit me on my sets. I had to do a romantic scene, but couldn’t bring myself to do it. I felt very uncomfortable and awkward holding a girl in my arms. So, later, my brother told me, ‘Why don’t you have an affair just to get some experience of romance? You’ll at least, learn how to hold a girl in your arms’. At that point in time, I met Sunita. I admit that my involvement with her was a totally calculated move on my part. And I paid a heavy price for it.”
The actor even confessed how his love for Neelam caused a rift between his fiancé and him, he added, “I would tell Sunita to change herself and become like Neelam. I would tell her to learn from her. I was merciless. Sunita would get irritated. She would tell me, ‘You fell in love with me because of what I am, don’t ever try to change me’. But I was so confused.” He also revealed how Sunita got “insecure” and “jealous” of Neelam and he broke off his engagement with her because she had talked ill about Neelam.
After he tied the knot with Sunita too, Govinda did confess that he hoped to settle down with his Ilzaam heroine, “Yes, I wanted to marry her. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.” He continued, “Neelam was the ideal girl, the kind every man visualises for a life-partner. The kind of girl I wanted. But that was getting emotional. There was another practical side. Just because I had fallen in love elsewhere, I couldn’t overlook my commitment towards Sunita.”
Govinda’s family too was divided over Neelam, while his father wanted the on-screen lovers to get hitched in real life, his mother thought very differently and wanted Chi Chi to stick to his commitment, which the actor eventually did.
Govinda in the same interview talked about what created a massive rift between him and Neelam who were one of the most popular on-screen pairs in the 80s. He said, “I was consumed with absolute jealousy and insecurity. I was scared that I would lose out on her (Neelam) totally. And that she was the only one good heroine that I had. And then Aag Hi Aag
and Paap Ki Duniya
became hits. She started signing more films with Chunky (Panday), Sunny (Deol), Mithun (Chakraborty), Chintu (Rishi Kapoor), I was very
The Hero No 1 talked about how he could never really get over Neelam and said, “I was so confused. I liked her tremendously. I was in love with her. I wanted to marry her. But I couldn’t. And yet, I didn’t want to let go.” He added, “Of course, she’s very cordial to me whenever we bump into each other. But my heart still misses a beat when I see her. I feel like screaming in despair. If only I had not promised to marry Sunita. If only …”
The actor gets mighty upset when his relationship with Neelam is termed as an affair because Govinda feels that “it somehow demeans the status of the relationship” and the “depth” of his feelings.
In the 80s, Govinda and Neelam were considered a hot pair and the duo worked together in almost 14 movies. Theirs was not an affair to remember but looks like Govinda will never forget his one true love.