Helen discussed her relationship with Salim Khan, admitting that it was difficult for his first wife, Salma Khan, when the two began dating while he was married with children.
During the 1950s and 1960s, Helen was known as the dancing diva of the Hindi film industry. Helen married screenwriter Salim Khan in 1980 after falling in love with him. At the time, he was 45 and she was 42. When Salim decided to marry Helen, he was also a married man with children. In a new interview with Salim’s son, actor Arbaaz Khan, Helen, who has a close relationship with Salim and his family, opened up about her marriage and said it was “tough” for Salma Khan.
Salma had to ‘go through a lot’ when Helen and Salim started dating. After dating for a few years, Salim Khan and Sushila Charak, now known as Salma Khan, married in 1954. They have three sons: actor Salman Khan, actor-producer Arbaaz Khan, and actor-director Sohail Khan; they also have two daughters: Alvira Khan and Arpita Khan.
On Thursday, a teaser for the upcoming episode of The Invincibles was released. When Arbaaz Khan asked Helen about her famous dance numbers in films and how she left her career in the clip, she said, “I was extremely fortunate to be able to continue dancing (in films) until the age of 42. People used to believe that ‘film industry main kaam nahi karna chahiye, yeh achi baat nahi hai’ (working in the film industry was not regarded favourably at the time). The heroines practically took over, and they began wearing clothes that no heroine would wear back then. It was my destiny, Helen, and nothing else.”
Arbaaz then asked Helen if she met Salim Khan, his father, around the same time. Helen responded, “He (Salim) cast me in a role (in a film). We became friends because Mummy was very nice; (it must have been difficult) for your mother because she must have been going through a lot at the time. I believe destiny brought me close to all of you, and I owe you all my gratitude… I never wanted Salim to be separated from his family.”
It was in the 1950s and 1960s that Salim assisted Helen in landing several projects in Bollywood, which led to the two developing a successful professional relationship. In a 1990 interview with Filmfare, Salman discussed how his mother, Salma, was hurt by his father, Salim’s second marriage to Helen. ‘Helen aunty,’ he added, had become a party of their family over the years, despite the many ups and downs.
The upcoming episode’s teaser began with Helen explaining how her mother protected them during a bombing at an airport. When asked about with whom she enjoyed dancing the most in films, Helen said that she loved dancing with Shammi Kapoor the most. “He has his own style, and he never attended rehearsals.”
Helen said of her career in the film industry, “I was very lucky because I continued dancing until the age of 42.” She recalled that at the time, women were not allowed to work in the film industry. “The heroines practically took over,” she added. They began to dress in outfits that no heroine would wear.”
When Arbaaz questioned her about the time she met his father Salim Khan, Helen blushed and said, “He gave me a rose, we became friends and he was very nice.” When Helen and Salim initially met, Salim was already married to Salma Khan. Talking about Salma, Helen said, “She must have gone through a lot and I think destiny brought me close to all of you.” Helen also added, “I never ever wanted a separation from the family.”