Best remembered for her role in the 1985 movie 'Ram Teri Ganga Maili', actress Mandakini was born in an Anglo Indian family in Meerut on July 30, 1963. (All pictures courtesy: mid-day archives and YouTube)
Mandakini's birth name is Yasmeen Joseph. In picture: A still from 'Ram Teri Ganga Maili'.
She faced rejection a few times initially when she tried her luck in the Hindi film industry. She finally got a breakthrough when Ranjit Virk changed her name to Madhuri and signed her up for 'Mazloom'.
Before the film could take off, Raj Kapoor discovered her at age of 22 and cast her in a lead role in 1985 movie 'Ram Teri Ganga Maili' with the screen name 'Mandakini' opposite his youngest son Rajiv Kapoor.
Mandakini created quite a stir with a couple of 'bold' scenes in her debut film 'Ram Teri Ganga Maili'.
'Ram Teri Ganga Maili' made Mandakini the sex-symbol of Hindi cinema then.
Following her bold debut, Mandakini was often offered dare-to-bare roles. In picture: Mandakini with Jeetendra.
Mandakini went on to act in few more films like Dance Dance with Mithun Chakraborty, Kahan Hai Kanoon with Aditya Pancholi and Pyaar Karke Dekho with Govinda. In picture: Mandakini with Rajiv Kapoor.
Mandakini, however, could never manage to sustain the success of her debut movie Ram Teri Ganga Maili. In picture: Mandakini with Rajiv Kapoor.
In 1994, photos began circulating of Mandakini with gangster Dawood Ibrahim. In picture: Mandakini with Mithun Chakraborty.
Rumours were doing the rounds that Mandakini and Dawood Ibrahim were having an affair. In picture: Mandakini with Chunky Pandey.
One of the theories floating around at the time was that Mandakini had shifted to Dubai to be with Dawood.
Mandakini, however, denied all the rumours.
In an interview with mid-day earlier, Mandakini opened up on her association with Dawood Ibrahim. She said, "I don't want people to connect me with Dawood any more or even think of that unfortunate episode. That's in the past now. I feel very bad that the media still wants to cash in on my name and make it as controversial as possible... I cleared my stand at that point of time. After some time, you get irritated. If you want to clean your image, it does not mean you have to give a statement every six months."
Mandakini spoke about her family helping her to overcome the turmoil in life, "They helped me to forget things that were really disturbing at that point of time. The entire credit goes to my family. I was really distressed then, as things had happened too suddenly for me to even think about it. I got used to it and accustomed to live under that pressure."
Mandakini opened up on her personal life in the interview and said, "My husband was a monk for a major part of his life before we got married. He's a Dalai Lama follower and has always supported the Tibetan cause. It's not that I am consciously trying to be good to be back to doing movies. I'm still at home with my children."
When asked about her comeback to acting, "I don't know but if I have made up my mind to act, I think I should be able to do it."
Mandakini had released two pop music albums, both of which failed to create any buzz.
After failing to revive her career in Bollywood, Mandakini married a former Buddhist monk, Dr Kagyur T Rinpoche Thakur.
Mandakini's husband Thakur gained fame in childhood as the baby featured in Murphy Radio advertisements in the 1970s and 1980s.
Mandakini now runs classes in Tibetan yoga and is a follower of the Dalai Lama.
With her husband, Mandakini runs a centre for Tibetan medicine, which is commonly known as the Tibetan Herbal Centre.
On speaking about doing the wet white sari scene in 'Ram Teri Ganga Maili Ho Gayi', Mandakini said, "I would never regret the Ram Teri Ganga Maili scene. The audience and my fans remember me for that scene. Kuch log achche se yaad karte hain, kuch log mazaak udate hain. But I am happy that they at least love me for that. I'm fortunate to have worked with the best filmmaker of that time -- Mr Raj Kapoor."
Remember the iconic picture of a baby in the print ads of Murphy radio, way back in the 1970s and 1980s? We tell you the real identity of the toddler. He is Kagyur Tulku Rinpoche, the husband of the '80s star Mandakini.
In picture: Mandakini with Kagyur.
Incidentally, post the ad, Rinpoche moved to a monastery and became a monk for the next 20 years. He never pursued modelling as a career and after shifting to Delhi, got married to Mandakini.
Rinpoche told mid-day in the same interview earlier, "It was such an iconic ad that even today when I tell some people they remember the baby and are surprised that it was me."
Mandakini has a son Rabbil and a daughter Rabze Innaya Thakur.
Here's wishing a very happy birthday to Mandakini!
It's yesteryear actress Mandakini's birthday today. The actress is best remembered for her debut 'Ram Teri Ganga Maili' in 1985. Wondering what she is up to now? The '80s beauty is married to a former monk and teaches yoga!
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