|Other name||Anju Mahendroo Bollywood Shaadis|
|Profession||Fashion Designer, Film & TV Actress|
|Known For||Being the girlfriend of Rajesh Khanna|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters- 158 cm
in meters- 1.58 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 2”
|Hair Colour||Salt & Pepper (dyed black/brown)|
|Debut||Film (Hindi)- ‘Uski Kahani’ (1966) in a supporting role
|Date of Birth||11 January 1946 (Friday)|
|Age (as of 2022)||76 Years|
|Birthplace||Dehradun, Uttarakhand Miss Malini|
|Food Habit||Non-vegetarian Instagram- Anju Mahendru|
|Relationships & More|
|Marital Status||Not Known|
|Affairs/Boyfriends||• Rajesh Khanna (actor)
• Gary Sobers (cricketer)
|Husband/Spouse||Imtiaz Khan (businessman)|
|Other Relative||Maternal Uncle- Madan Mohan (music director)
|Parents||Father- Name Not Known
Mother- Shanti Mahendroo
|Siblings||Sister- Anu Mahendroo (elder)
Some Lesser Known Facts About Anju Mahendru
- Anju Mahendru is an Indian film & television actress and fashion designer. She was in a long-term on-and-off relationship with the legendary Indian actor Rajesh Khanna.
- Anju was brought up in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
- She started her career as a child actor in the Hindi film ‘Paying Guest’ (1957).
- Anju started working as a model at the age of 13 or 14.
- She did many acting projects and made her name in the world of modelling. She was then featured as a model in the print advertisement for Brooke Bond Taj Mahal.
- In one of her modelling projects, the Indian poet and lyricist Kiafi Azmi spotted her. He then suggested her name to the Indian director Basu Bhattacharya, who cast her in the Hindi film ‘Uski Kahani’ (1996). Anju then acted in many Hindi films such as ‘Jewel Thief’ (1967), ‘Darwaza’ (1978), ‘Ganga Ki Saugand’ (1978), ‘Pyaas’ (1982), ‘Khatarnaak Irade’ (1987), and ‘Hum To Chale Pardes’ (1988). However, she failed to impress the audience with her films.
- In 1966, she started dating the legendary Indian actor Rajesh Khanna. At the time they started dating, Anju was struggling to get a big break in Bollywood while Rajesh was an established actor. Initially, there were only rumours of their dating, but when people saw Rajesh’s car parked in the parking lot of Anju’s apartment, the rumours turned out to be true. The couple then started attending parties and events together. Rajesh then gifted a bungalow to Anju and they moved in as a live-in couple. Rajesh was head over heels for Anju, but gradually, he started being over-possessive about her. He wanted her to wear a saree, stay at home, and always be available for him. Whereas, Anju loved to party and wear short dresses. Soon, Rajesh’s behaviour started affecting her. In an interview, while talking about Rajesh, Anju said,
He is a very orthodox man, yet somehow, is always attracted to ultra-modern girls. Confusion was a part of our relationship. If I wore a skirt, he’d snap, why don’t you wear a sari? If I wore a sari, he’d say, why are you trying to project a Bhartiya nari look?”
In an interview, when Rajesh was asked about the same, he said,
Often after a hard day at the studios, I’d return home to find a note saying that she had gone to so-and-so’s party…Or when I would drop in tired and lonely, at her house, I would find her entertaining friends…I’d want to spend evening alone with her. Sometimes I used to ask Anju to spend time with my mother but she didn’t want to make the effort. Yes, I didn’t want Anju working in films. But what career did she sacrifice for me? Those two bit roles…Where would those stray roles have taken her?”
- Then the low phase of Rajesh’s career started which affected his personal life as well. He wanted Anju to always stay with him. In an interview, while talking about the same, Anju said,
It was getting difficult day by day to understand Rajesh Khanna. His flop films had disappointed him. He was also very moody and was under a lot of tension all the time. To me he was Jatin or Justin, a man I loved, not Rajesh Khanna, a Superstar or The Phenomenon. As much as I could, I had submerged my individuality, my personality, my identity into his, to make him happy. He wanted me to give up modelling at a time when I was paid very highly, I did. He wanted me to quit acting so he made me get out of a film with Sanjeev Kumar. I was keen on a film career but Rajesh came first to me.”
- Anju and Rajesh then started facing more problems in their relationship, and one day, after a major fight, Anju left Rajesh’s home. A few days later, she met the West Indies cricketer Garfield Sobers at a party. Soon, Anju became friends with Gary. After a few meetings, Gary proposed to Anju with a ring. She used to love spending time with Gary, so she accepted the proposal. A few days later, she realised that she liked Gary, but she was in love with Rajesh Khanna. She then returned to Rajesh’s home and from there he called Gary and broke her unofficial engagement with him. In an interview, when Gary was asked about his relationship with Anju, he said that he did not know any girl named Anju.
- Rajesh got to know about Anju’s affair with Gary through media sources. He was very upset with Anju for this.
- One day, when Rajesh was travelling in a chartered plane with the cast of one of his films, he met the Indian actress Dimple Kapadia there. Their seats were next to each other. Rajesh became friends with her there, and they then started meeting more often. At that time, Dimple did not make her debut in Bollywood.
- Rajesh then organised his birthday party at his home and asked Anju to send the invitation to the guests. By that time, Anju had heard the news of Rajesh and Dimple’s close friendship. So, she deliberately skipped her name from the guest list. When Rajesh got to know about this, he personally invited Dimple and his father to the party. In 1973, during an interview, Anju talked about her first meeting with Dimple. She said,
Dimple was a clever girl. She first call me Anju aunty and him as Rajesh uncle. She then started taunting me acting innocently.”
- When Dimple arrived at the party, Anju taunted her as she was not happy with her presence at the party. When Rajesh got to know about Anju’s behaviour with Dimple, he became very upset and apologised to Dimple and his father. Gradually, more problems started arising between Anju and Rajesh, and they started realising that it was time to end their relationship.
- Rajesh then started spending more time with Dimple, and one day, he proposed to Dimple. Dimple accepted the proposal after which they went to Khandala, Maharashtra for a film shoot. Somehow, Anju got the news that Rajesh and Dimple were in Khandala, and she then decided to confront Rajesh. While she was driving her car to Khandala, she met Rajesh’s driver midway. She asked him about Rajesh and the driver said that she should not go there. Anju understood that Rajesh was with Dimple. She was shattered after that and returned to her apartment. She then returned all the gifts of Rajesh Khanna to his driver and told the driver to convey her message to Rajesh that she never wanted to meet or talk to Rajesh again. When Rajesh got the message, he was hurt that she sent her message through a driver. In an interview, while talking about the same, Rajesh said,
When I returned from Khandala, my driver told me that Anju Madam said that she never want to meet me nor she want me to call her. She even returned my gifts with driver. Even I wanted to end the relation, but I was upset that she ended the relation like this by telling everything to a driver.”
- On 27 March 1973, Rajesh got married to Dimple and to make Anju jealous, he deliberately changed the way of his baraat from Anju’s home.
- However, in 1982, Rajesh and Dimple got divorced. Anju then started meeting Rajesh Khanna more often. They used to spend time together, and even during the last days of Rajesh Khanna, they were together. Even at Rajesh’s last breath, he was holding Anju’s hand. This news was confirmed by the Indian director Mahesh Bhatt. In an interview, Mahesh Bhatt said,
After I learnt of Khanna’s death through the media, I thought of Anju because I knew she would be affected by his death. I managed to reach her late at night and learnt that Khanna and Anju had got together in the last years of his life. She used to take care of his medical needs and even accompanied him to hospital. Holding back her tears, she told me, ‘My only consolation is that I was holding his hand when he took his last breath’.”
- Anju has appeared in many popular Hindi TV serials such as ‘Shingora’ (1986), ‘Swabhimaan’ (1995), ‘Kasautii Zindagii Kay’ (2003), ‘Ek Hazaaron Mein Meri Behna Hai’ (2011), and ‘Yeh Hai Mohabbatein’ (2015).
- She then continued playing small roles in various Hindi films like ‘Saathiya’ (2002), ‘Satta’ (2003), ‘Page 3’ (2005), ‘Hum Ko Deewana Kar Gaye’ (2006), and ‘The Dirty Picture’ (2011).
- Anju has been featured on various magazine covers and many articles were published on her in magazines and newspapers and most of them were on her affair with Rajesh Khanna.
- She smokes cigarettes often. She has even shared a few videos of her smoking on her Instagram account.
- She has been working for the welfare of animals and birds. She is associated with the birds’ welfare campaign ‘Bahena.’
- She is a dog lover and owns a few pet dogs.
- She loves to do gardening, whenever she gets time from her busy schedule.
- She enjoys watching cricket and one of her favourite cricketers is Sunil Gavaskar.